Hate budgeting? Here's what you can do instead

Managing Money

Are you convinced that budgeting won’t work for you? Maybe you have tried every method under the sun, but no matter what you try it just doesn’t seem to click. Does that mean that you a destined to a life of poor financial habits with no chance of getting a grip on your spending? We don’t think so. Here are some great alternatives that you can try instead of trying to stick to a budget.

Give mindful spending a go

When you have looked at budgeting in the past it is quite likely that you didn’t come across mindful spending. That’s because it isn’t about budgeting at all. Mindful spending takes you to a place where you feel good about your spending. It sees you recognising what your values are and when you spend you make sure that your spending aligns with these. If you feel good about what you are spending it is quite likely that the spending is necessary and worthwhile.

In contrast, you will probably find that on a day to day basis you don’t feel particularly great when you spend. Often money is spent without giving any thought as to why. These are the kind of spending habits that tend to lead to a life of debt. 

Review your income and expenses

This may sound a little too much like budgeting to some people, but we assure you that it’s not. It is worth taking a monthly look at what you have coming in and what you have going out. If you have a job with a set wage then you know that reviewing your income will take seconds. If you have started with a side hustle or you perhaps do the odd bit of overtime then looking at your income may take a little bit longer. 

Looking at your expenses can just help to make sure that you are not falling behind anywhere. If you into a little more depth and categorise your spends you will be able to easily see the areas where you can perhaps cut back. This is great as it allows you to change your habits and move towards saving for the future.

Make savings goals 

If budgeting goals are not your thing why not aim for savings goals instead. Budgeting may seem a little restrictive to some people as you only allow yourself a set amount to spend on each area of your life. Rather than restricting yourself, it can be more effective to set a goal that brings you rewards.

Is there a holiday destination that you’d love to see? Do you have your eye on a car that would be great to own? Maybe you’re looking to build a deposit so that you can buy a house. With things like this to work towards, it suddenly becomes a whole lot easier to put money aside every month. 

Evaluate your expenses 

How often do you look at your expenses? How often do you take a step back and question yourself after a purchase or when a regular payment has just left your account? Rather than budgeting, you can put yourself into a stronger financial situation by simply looking at what you are spending and asking yourself some simple questions:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Is it worth the money that I am about to pay?
  • Can I get the same for less?

It could be that you have an internet package that includes a host of TV channels. You pay this every month just because you have got used to doing it. Have you stopped to consider if you actually need the package that you have? Do you even watch half of the channels that you pay for? If you’re not using the package to its fullest then it hardly represents value for money. If you are adamant that you do need the same package, have you looked at who else offers it and what they charge? You can follow this process with all of your expenses and end up saving money.

Check your balance and review yesterday’s spending 

How often do you check your bank balance? How many days of the month do you know what is in there? How confident are you when you are about to make a purchase, knowing that the payment will be accepted? It could be that you’ve been extremely lucky over the years and not had your card declined. To make sure that this never happens, you need to be checking your balance daily.

As well as checking your balance, take a look at what you spent the day before. Was the spending all necessary? Could you have spent less? By making these checks a habit you will find that you have less anxiety as you know there are no unpleasant surprises coming your way. Knowing that you are lacking funds may not be the best feeling in the world, it is preferable to a bounced direct debit or card payment.

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