Can you really save money without a budget?
After all, the experts say a budget is a fundamental part of getting your money organized. Without which apparently you would be just winging it and hoping for the best.
Creating your budget is supposed to be the first step you should take when you finally decide that you are going to get your financial act together.
Your shiny new budget then magically helps you pay off debt, save money and plan the rest of your financial future.
You’re supposed to learn how to live on a budget and save money. Not just how to save money.
The answer is yes.
You Can Save Money Without A Budget
But wait! Are all the experts wrong then?
No, they’re not wrong.
Having a budget is GOOD.
A budget will help you get your financial sh*t together, no doubt about it.
A budget helps you see clearly what money you have and how you intend to spend it.
Budgets help you find smart ways to save money.
But you can do all of these things WITHOUT a budget.
You can save money, get your financial sh*t together and be intentional with your spending.
All without that budget you apparently must have.
So No-one Needs A Budget?
Here’s the thing, in the ideal world you would have a budget because they are good and you definitely gain from having one.
What I am saying is you can still save money WITHOUT a budget.
- Can you save more money if you had a budget? Probably.
- Can you achieve your goals faster with a budget? Yes.
- Can you plan your money better with a budget? Yes.
When The Budget Fails
So many people dislike budgets that the act of creating one stops them from being proactive with their money.
You read guide after guide telling you how easy it is to create a budget but doesn’t tell you how it can be hard to actually USE it.
You get disheartened because the magical budget action is not working for you.
Next month you resolve to try again. You pull out all the paperwork you’ve been told you need.
You crunch those numbers and come up with a slightly different budget.
This time it’s going to work. This time you’re going to feel the budget magic happen.
Only you don’t, and it sucks. So you give up.
You think you’re a failure because you can’t make your budget work.
You go shopping to make yourself feel better and the money problems don’t go away.
You Can Save Money Without A Budget
Because I did, for many years.
I’ve lived frugally for more years than I care to tell you and I didn’t have a budget in the beginning.
Of course I tried.
I had numbers on a pieces of paper but what I ended up spending did not relate in any way to those numbers.
No matter how many times I crunched those numbers, I failed.
And as someone who prides herself on being good with numbers and ‘knows her stuff’, it was painful to admit that I wasn’t really budgeting.
I started adult life with debt, a baby and a job that barely left enough once I paid for childcare.
A budget would have been super handy!
I had a lot of difficult years with not enough money and it took a long time for me to know what I know now.
Eventually though I learned how to save money.
To stretch my income so not only did it last all month, I was also able to pay off my debt and set aside a few pennies for emergencies.
But a budget was NOT one of the things I used to get my finances in order. In fact a budget came along much later.
Budgets Are Good But Not Essential
Budgets ARE good.
They DO help you save money.
They DO help you to pay off debt.
But you CAN do these things WITHOUT a budget.
If creating a budget is holding you back from saving money, from becoming more organized with your finances then let go of the budget.
- Know that you can save money without a budget
- You can slash your food bill without having a grocery budget
- You can change your money mindset without a budget
Laser Focus On Saving Money
Letting go of the budget allows you to focus all your efforts into finding creative ways to save money.
A budget doesn’t show you how to save money, it gives you focus.
But you can be focused without the budget.
Every time you open your purse to take out cash or card you should ask yourself:
- Do I really need this?
- Can I get it cheaper if I get it elsewhere or wait longer?
- Should I save my money instead?
Of course you need to be scrupulously honest with yourself when you both ask and answer these questions. You are only fooling yourself if you do otherwise.
Know What You Spend
All the budget gurus talking about tracking your spending and I totally agree.
You need to see what you are spending each day, each week. It needs to be visible and obvious.
This way helps you to retrain your spendy thoughts.
You shy away from spending too much if you know you’re going to end up seeing it later in glorious black and white.
Use a spending tracker to note down what you bought, where, when and how much.
Help Saving Money
I know how it feels to fail with a budget. I know how it feels to not have enough money to clothe your child.
I also know how to save money without a budget.
I know it can be done because I did it
And I’ve created the toolkit you need in order for you to successfully save money without that dreaded budget too.
The (not so) snazzily titled Save Money WITHOUT a Budget Toolkit is exactly what you need.
- Forget the budget pain and learn to save money on your terms
- Prove to yourself that you are a savvy saver
- Get your spending back under your control
- Plan your brilliant money future
Last Updated on 3rd March 2021 by Emma