While a budget is a powerful financial tool to have, it can be seen as restrictive and difficult to follow. Many times a budget can leave us feeling disappointed if we overspend and while it’s not good to overspend, this negative reaction to budgeting can lead to having a bad relationship with money. There is a way to budget in a non-traditional way for someone who wants the structure of a budget, but without the rigidity of an actual budget.
The key to having a budget without actually having a budget is giving yourself the freedom to spend a certain amount of money a month without tracking this spending. The best way to do this is to have two checking accounts. The first account will be for all of your fixed expenses, such as bills and other payments. You will need to know how much your monthly expenses are to ensure you have enough in this account. The second account will be used as fun money. You can decide how much goes into this account and you can spend it on anything you want. This can be used for your groceries, clothes, coffee, and more The catch is that once this money is gone then you cannot replenish it.
This method works very well because of the flexibility you have. You know your monthly bills and expenses will be taken care of in your first checking account. You also have given yourself a set amount to spend on anything else. This gives you the structure of a budget without the strict limitations to only spending a certain amount on groceries, clothes, going out to eat, and so on. Some months you may spend more on dining out than other months. This way of budgeting let you account for those variations and not feel guilty about spending your money.