Options for people who don’t like to budget
Creating a budget may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn about the tools and techniques that can help simplify budgeting and help you reach your financial goals.
OPTIONS FOR TRACKING
AND MANAGING YOUR SPENDING
Keeping a detailed budget
can be one of the best
ways to help you save
money and avoid overspending,
but not everyone has the time—
or the desire—
to sit down with a
spreadsheet on a regular basis.
You may have even
tried to keep a budget
ICE CREAM $20, COFFEE $40
before but it didn’t work out –
CAR LOAN $250, MOVIES $35,
CABLE BILL $60, ELECTRIC $110
you’re not alone.
HAIRCUT $60, GYM MEMBERSHIP $70
CAR INSURANCE $67, RESTAURANTS $21
Fortunately, there are some
ways you can manage your money
without a traditional spreadsheet.
Now, the most important
part of managing your money
is making sure your needs are covered.
MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE COVERED
This will require a bit of math,
but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
MORTGAGE $1200, UTILITIES $110
CAR PAYMENT $150, INSURANCE $90
Start by figuring out all of
your regular monthly expenses.
This will be your regular bills--
like rent or mortgage payments,
all your utilities, insurance payments
UTILITIES $110, INSURANCE $90
and any other loan or credit
card payments you make each month.
CAR LOAN $150, TOTAL $1550
Then, estimate your
other necessary expenses
ESTIMATED NECESSARY EXPENSES
like what you spend
per month on groceries
and transportation costs.
TRANSPORTATION COSTS $250
Add all these costs
up and you’ve got your baseline—
MONTHLY EXPENSES, TOTAL $1910
what you need to cover every month.
When it comes to
paying your regular bills,
MARCH, DUE, BILL DUE
CABLE BILL, LOCATION
setting up alerts on a calendar
FROM MARCH 08, 08:00AM TO
can help to remind you to pay
them a few days before they’re due.
Or to make it even easier, you can try
automating some of your payments.
UTILITIES, CABLE, CAR LOAN
You can sign up for automatic
bill pay with your utility companies,
lenders, and in some
cases even with your landlord.
The amount you owe each month
will be automatically
withdrawn from your bank account—
or charged to your credit card.
Automating payments can save
you time and effort every month
and help make sure
your bills are paid on time,
just be sure you always have
enough money available in your account
to cover all of your
And if you use a credit card,
make sure you can pay
the balance in full each month
BALANCE DUE, PAY IN FULL, PROCEED
in order to avoid paying
interest on those charges.
If you change your mind and decide
that automated payments aren’t for you,
you can always cancel
your scheduled payments
and go back to paying manually.
can also be a great way
to help you systematically
pay down debt
if you set up extra
payments toward your loans
and they can
help you grow your savings
if you set up regular
contributions to a savings account.
This can be especially helpful, if
you’ve had trouble saving in the past.
To help yourself prioritize saving,
FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL
you can try thinking of saving
as a bill you have to pay to yourself.
Even if it’s just a small amount,
making automatic payments to yourself
can help you build up an emergency
fund or a retirement account.
Once you’ve taken care
of your regular bills and savings,
you have a bit more
flexibility with what’s left.
But if you find yourself
overspending from month to month,
EMAIL, WARNING, LOW BALANCE
you might want to
try tracking your spending.
TRACKING YOUR SPENDING
One simple way of doing
this is using the “envelope method.”
While it might sound old-fashioned,
putting a set amount
of cash in envelopes
each month for different
purposes like groceries,
transportation, dining out,
TRANSPORTATION, EATING OUT
and just general spending money
can help you set limits
on what you spend.
So then, if you find
yourself spending more
than you had available
in any of your envelopes,
you might need to make
adjustments the following month.
Another way you can keep track
of your spending with little effort
is to use a single
debit or credit card
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD
that can track and
categorize your expenses for you.
By keeping all of your
purchases on one card,
you’ll only have one monthly statement
that shows how much you’ve
spent and where you spent it.
So it can be easier to see
where you might be overspending
and how you might cut back.
Plus many banks now have online tools
that can categorize
your spending for you,
so you’ll be able to get an idea
of what you spent on different things
groceries or dining out.
Many banks also offer account alerts
EMAIL, WARNING, LOW BALANCE
that will let you know when you’ve
reached certain spending limits.
If using a single
card is too limiting,
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD 1,
CREDIT CARD 2
money management software or apps
MONEY MANAGEMENT APP
ACCOUNT, TRANSACTION, BALANCE
can help you link all of your accounts
DEBIT CARD, CREDIT CARD 1, CREDIT CARD 2
and automatically track your
spending and saving for you.
Many of these have even more detailed
tools to help you
analyze your spending
and they also have
alerts that can warn you
UNUSUAL SPENDING ON DINING OUT!
if you might be
overspending in one category.
if you feel like setting limits
on your spending is a challenge,
consider making one of
your goals a small reward to yourself.
Whether it’s a treat
at the end of a long week
or putting aside a little extra toward
a large purchase you really want,
might help you feel more
motivated about managing your money—
as long as it doesn’t push
you into overspending.
While a detailed budget
can be a great motivational tool
INCOME, NECESSARY EXPENSES
to help you cut costs
and reach your savings goals,
it’s not the only answer.
As long as you pay
attention to the basics…
make sure your needs are covered;
MAKE SURE YOUR NEEDS ARE COVERED
manage your debts and savings;
MANAGE YOUR DEBTS AND SAVINGS
and avoid overspending,
you’ll be setting the groundwork
for a more secure financial future.
BETTER MONEY HABITS®
BANK OF AMERICA WITH KHAN ACADEMY
THE MATERIAL PROVIDED ON THIS VIDEO IS FOR INFORMATIONAL USE ONLY AND IS NOTE INTENDED FOR FINANCIAL OR INVESTMENT ADVICE. BANK OF AMERICA AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM ONE’S RELIANCE ON THE MATERIAL PROVIDED. PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT SUCH MATERIAL IS NOT UPDATED REGULARLY AND THAT SOME OF THE INFORMATION MAY NOT THEREFORE BE CURRENT. CONSULT WITH YOUR OWN FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL WHEN MAKING DECISIONS REGARDING YOUR FINANCIAL OR INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT. ©2017 BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION.