8 Easy Ways to Budget

Pick Your Favorite Budgeting Tactic -- and Get Started!

Not sure how to start creating a budget? Have you had trouble getting a budget to work for you before? Or do you have trouble sticking to the boundaries of your budget?

Then check out these eight tactics and tips that can help you develop your ideal budget. The resources listed below range from worksheets that you can fill out to overarching philosophies around the number of categories you should track.

You'll find out how to plan for occasional expenses, how to budget with irregular income, and just how much you ought to be saving.

Best of all, you'll find out which kind of budget is best for your situation. Budgets are not a one-size-fits-all concept in personal finance. It's important to adapt the concepts you'll learn to fit your needs because everyone's situation is different. 

1
9-Step Guide to Creating Your First Budget

Woman working out bills and budget
Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images

Want to create a budget in less than one hour -- with no prior experience? This 9-step guide will show you exactly what you should do. More

2
The ABC Budgeting Formula

Learn the ABCs of budgeting - perfect for those getting started with the basics.

Here's an extra-simple way to create a budget: "Automate, Bills, Cash." Find out the details in this post about the ABC budgeting formula. More

3
How to Budget with Irregular Income

Learn how to budget with an irregular income. Great advice for freelancers, self-employed individuals, and business owners.

You're self-employed, you freelance, you perform contract work, you earn commissions or bonuses. For whatever reason, your income is irregular. Don't know how to budget accordingly? This article is for you. More

4
Try the Simple 5-Category Budget

Don't enjoy tracking every penny you spend? Try the five category budget instead.

Overwhelmed by the idea of itemizing every tiny category, from "pet food" to "water bill?" Don't worry. Here's an easy budget that only has five categories. More

5
Try the Simple 3-Category Budget

This three-category budget doesn't get much simpler. This is a good alternative for those who don't like to spend hours tracking their spending.

Does five categories still sound like too many? Try the 50/30/20 budget, which only requires you to classify your income according to three broad categories. More

6
Try the 2-Category Budget

Really hate budgeting? Then try this super simple solution if you still want to manage your money.

This is the budget for people who hate budgets: The ultra-simple two-category budget, which involves skimming your savings from the top first, and then spending the rest. More

7
How to Budget for Occasional Expenses

Learn how to budget for occasional expenses so you're not stressed when multiple charges occur.

Do you get blindsided by those once-a-year or once-a-decade expenses? Here's how you can plan for these. More

8
Don't Miss These Essential Budget Worksheets

These budget worksheets will get you on the fast track to financial success.

 Finally, you can feel free to create a traditional budget by classifying your expenses based on these worksheets. More

Start Budgeting Now

The best budget is the one that you'll stick to. Don't get caught up in whether it's better to create line-items for each specific expense, or whether it's better to use a 50/30/20 budget or some other strategy. "Best" is a matter of personal preference. Just pick one of the above -- and get started!