If you’re tired of feeling like your money is controlling you, it might be time to try a zero-based budget. This type of budgeting is different from the traditional “set it and forget it” approach because it requires you to give every dollar a specific job, starting from scratch each month. It may sound intimidating, but with a little bit of effort, zero-based budgeting can be a fun and effective way to take control of your finances.

What is a zero-based budget?

A zero-based budget is a budgeting method where you start with zero dollars and give every dollar a job. This means that you’ll allocate all of your income to specific categories, such as rent, groceries, entertainment, and savings. The goal is to make sure that your expenses don’t exceed your income and that you’re making intentional choices with your money.

The benefits of zero-based budgeting

  • It helps you take control of your finances: With a zero-based budget, you’re in charge of where your money goes. You’ll be more intentional with your spending and less likely to overspend.
  • It helps you save money: By giving every dollar a job, you’ll be able to see where you can cut back and save more money.
  • It helps you prepare for unexpected expenses: When you have a zero-based budget, you’ll have a better idea of where your money is going, which means you’ll be better prepared for unexpected expenses.

How to do a zero-based budget

  • Determine your income: Figure out how much money you have coming in each month.
  • List your expenses: Make a list of all your regular expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation.
  • Assign each dollar a job: Start with your income and allocate it to each expense category until you’ve allocated all of your income.
  • Review your budget regularly: It’s important to review your budget regularly to make sure that you’re staying on track and making progress towards your financial goals (with the Brigit app, you can check what categories you’re spending in)
  • Adjust as needed: If you find that you’re consistently overspending in a particular category, you may need to adjust your budget.

Not sure if a zero-based budget it the right one for you? Check out these other options. The important thing is to find something that works for you and your lifestyle.