According to a 2014 Gallup poll, only 30 percent of people are successful at budgeting. That makes 70 percent unsuccessful! Why? Fluctuating bills, unexpected crises, major life changes—and the reality that most human brains are not primed to track 500 distinct transactions per month and tuck them into neat, clearly delineated categories. Sound familiar? Based on your quiz results, we bet you’re in the 70 percent.
Good news — budgeting is only one way to manage your spending. If you’re struggling with debt and don’t know what to do next, here are two tips that may help you:
Divide cash between debt and savings
Want to know the single best solution to most of your money problems? It’s savings. Nothing — and I mean nothing — beats a pile of cold, hard cash when you need it.
If you have a lot of debt, it may be tempting to pay down debt as quickly as possible. But if you don’t build a savings fund simultaneously, you’ll just end up going back into debt as soon as you pay it off. Build your savings muscle and learn how to save cash every month that you don’t spend.
Divide cash into TWO checking accounts
Consider separating your bill-paying checking account from your spending checking account. This way, you never spend money on food or clothing that’s already allocated to bills. Yes, that means two personal checking accounts and two debit cards, but it also gives you much better visibility into how much you spend on non-essentials.
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