Do you dread numbers? Did you pretend to be sick to avoid math class in college? If so, budgeting probably sounds like the last thing you’d want to do. But this simple guide will show you how to create a budget that’s ridiculously simple, saving you time and tears of frustration. Read more to learn how to create the easiest budget that takes 10 minutes.
Before getting started, know that the set up for this budget may take a bit more time, but once you’ve gone through the steps to get organized, it should be very quick to budget each week or month. That’s where the 10-minute budget comes in.
Step 1: Mark Payment Dates on Calendar.
Hopefully, you know when your bills are due. If not, this is your chance to get organized. It has never been more manageable because you can quickly look at your banking app to determine what dates you pay each month. Once you find out your significant payment days, write them in your planner or calendar.
Step 2: Use Easy Numbers.
I don’t recommend this for anything that requires a specific amount to be paid, like rent, utilities, insurance, credit cards, etc. But it is possible with groceries, gas, car payments, and mortgages. Please check each situation before trying it, since there could be exceptions. Try to round up to numbers ending in 0 or 5 if at all possible. Don’t overpay by a lot, but just enough to make it simple to do the math. With car payments, tell the auto lender the extra needs to go to the principal. And fair warning: you may have to tell them every time, or not depending on your situation.
It makes sense to deal with easy numbers when you’re budgeting, and you hate math. For example, do you want to be looking at a page that reads like this:
Or would you prefer this?
It is a mental exercise more than anything, but it can relieve some tension if your budgeting page leaves less room for error.
Step 3: Visualize.
When you write your budget, the best way to stay consistent is to keep your plan in front of you always. If you want to be a successful budget-er, set yourself up to do well using a large wall calendar or daily app that helps you stay on track.
Step 4: Leftover Money.
Hopefully, you will have a bit of extra cash left after making your monthly payments. If so, you can of course use it for anything. But here are a few suggestions:
- Savings account.
- Retirement fund.
Step 5: Write the Budget.
Since you’ve done advanced preparation with the other steps, building your budget should take a short time. The fastest way is to gather materials – pen and paper, excel sheet, or your phone if you prefer. Then follow these steps:
- Write out your bills using simple numbers, including their due dates.
- Add their totals into your calculator, and write it down underneath.
- Subtract what’s in your account from what your payments cost.
- What’s left is your extra money. Set aside some of this for savings, retirement, or fun. Use easy numbers.
- Last, leave a bit of extra cash in your account. It can be any number, but it should be at least $100.00. More if you’re able. It will protect you from forgotten or unexpected expenses. Not worrying about your bank account can relieve a lot of stress, so don’t skip this step.
That’s it – the easiest budget that takes 10 minutes! Recommended for math haters everywhere. As a bonus, you’ll be saving for your future, without spending a lot of time overthinking or staring at a calculator.
Now that your budget is manageable, are you left with too much free time? If you’re feeling extra productive, you can try my ultimate list for How to Reset Your Home (and Life) in 1 Day.