How Simplifying Your Budget Can Help You Save Money

Simplifying Your Budget

Simplify Your Budget!

When looking for ways to save money, many consumers immediately start wondering which bills can be eliminated.  While these are important considerations, if you’re looking to save money, simplifying your budget can offer an even better look at how to save money.

Likewise, we are often taught to save money by creating highly detailed budgets. However, instead of detailed budgets that track down every expense in your life, a simplified budget could provide an even better solution.  Here’s how.

Simplifying Your Budget – The Concept

Simplifying Your Budget - The Big Picture

Simplifying Your Budget – The Big Picture

For starters, it’s important to understand the concept behind simplifying your budget.  Essentially, simplifying your budget boils down to consolidating all similar expenses.  So instead of an individual entry for each credit card bill, how about combining them all into a single ‘credit cards’ category.

You can do the same for utilities – just list them together instead of separating each of them.  This gives you a better idea of where all your money is going.  Four or five credit card payments for twenty bucks a month may look small, but combining them will show you they’re more than you think and give you a better idea of what to cut.

Next Step to Simplifying Your Budget

Now that you’ve taken the time to simplify your budget let’s look at where you’re spending the most money.  You can identify these areas by using the “grouping” technique that we mentioned above.  After identifying them you can ‘zoom in’ for a more detailed line item by line item examination.

Time to Make a Decision 

Isolate, Decide and Trim

Isolate, Decide and Trim

Now the only thing left to do is to decide what you want you want to do with the items eating up your savings.  Can you cancel a credit card or two?  What’s the biggest bill in your utilities category, and is it possible for you to reduce it or even eliminate it?

Starting with the simpler view lets you see where you’re really losing money so  you can more closely review only the items that need your attention.

Choosing to simplify your budget is only the beginning.  Saving money isn’t always easy, but having an idea where your money goes certainly helps.  Also, be prepared because it might take an hour or two to really crunch all the numbers, but just remember that it’s time well spent.

You can also use one of the free online budget websites to help you plan out all of your options and figure out what’s working.

Do you prefer a more detailed budget or a simplified budget?  Let us know by commenting below.

3 Comments

Filed under budget, Saving Money Now Series, savings

3 responses to “How Simplifying Your Budget Can Help You Save Money

  1. Great advice. Thanks for the post.

  2. Great post. I completely agree that combining is the key to identifying where the biggest money pits are; especially for beginners. The simpler, the better! I view myself as a medium-level budgetor, but I suppose what looks like a simple plan to me would seem very complex to people who don’t do it for fun.

  3. Budgeting can be a complicated process, but it can also be simple. Your tip about consolidating similar expenses into one category can help people who are struggling to create a budget. The key with budgeting is to write everything down and stay organized. This gives you an idea of where your money goes each month.

    Thanks for the mention!

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