Budgets aren’t one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for another. There are SO many different types of budgets you can use that there’s a good chance you could be missing out on one that will work better. Choosing the right budget for your family can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. To start, ask yourself a few questions. They will determine which types of budgets you want to stay away from.
Do you primarily use cash?
If you primarily use something other than cash, such as a debit card, you’ll want to consider staying away from the envelope system budget since that is a cash based budget. If you DO primarily use cash, the envelope system might be a better option for you since it allows you to budget individual envelopes for each expense category.
How often do you get paid?
If you have a monthly pay schedule, you’ll want a budget that isn’t based on a weekly pay schedule. For budgets that need a longer pay period, take a look at using a budget based on holding accounts or the envelope system.
Is your income steady or irregular?
Irregular income can be very hard to budget especially if you’re just starting out. Figure out how quickly you can save enough money to build a buffer. Holding accounts work well with irregular income, but line item budgets and other more in depth ones can as well.
How much do you have in savings?
If you have money in your savings account, you can use that balance to help boost a once a month budget or to help fund holding accounts budget. If not, using a zero based budget is your best bet to start until you have a bit of savings built up.
No matter which budget you choose, make sure you are comfortable with it. If you find it isn’t working, don’t despair. Try another one. Thankfully, there are many, many budget types out there!
What kind of budget do you currently use?