Smarter and Harder

YDNAB:  You Don't Need a Budget.

A strict, written budget is one of the most common and highly recommended tools for improving financial stability.

Many families point to budgeting as essential in their success, and experts often suggest it as the first step to solving money trouble. 

But traditional styles of budgeting also have their flaws, and may not be ideal for everyone.

Monthly finances are not always easy to predict, and missing monthly goals can be discouraging.

Creating a budget can also be a stressful exercise. Making a negative association with money drives many people to ignore it entirely.

Additionally, much like a strict diet, setting a strict, short-term budget can lead to a rebound effect with increased spending later.

On the other hand, the problems that budgeting seeks to address are very real. Ignoring our money altogether is not helpful either.

The good news is you don't necessarily need a budget to keep an eye on your money and build healthy spending and saving habits.

If using a traditional budget spreadsheet or app works for you, that's great. But if you're like the rest of us, here are a few alternatives.

Keep an eye on your monthly spending without prescribing or setting hard limits. Look for problem areas and gradually adjust spending.

Track and Adjust

Pay yourself first. Put money toward savings and goals at the beginning of the month, then let the rest of your expenses fall into place around that.

The Anti-Budget

Set up monthly auto-payments for all essential bills and money goals. Put good money habits on autopilot, and don't worry about the rest.

Automate Everything

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