In financial planning, we come across all kinds of individuals. Some are excited by the idea of maintaining their finances, while others would prefer to crumple up every bill and never think about numbers again. In our years of working with clients, we’ve established five kinds of budgeters, outlined below. While there’s no one way to budget, we’ve found that people tend to fall into one of the categories below.
- Analytical Engineer
This person has every aspect of their financial situation built out on their own Excel spreadsheets. They’re very analytical and detail-oriented, and we wouldn’t be shocked if they owned several pocket protectors. These are the kinds of people who struggle with whether they should round up partial pennies - they’re not going to miss anything when it comes to their finances.
- Tech-Savvy Money-Saver
This person is what we would consider to be a financial early adopter. They’re always upgrading to the latest iPhone, and their budgetary situation follows suit. Whether it’s Mvelopes, YNAB, or Mint, this person is continually downloading the latest budgeting app to help them keep their financial situation on track, no matter where they are.
- Cash-Only Envelope-Lover
Unlike the Tech-Savvy Money-Saver, this individual loves cold, hard cash. Their budgeting system involves white envelopes and little flexibility. Credit card debt is an offensive combination of words to them, and since their system has worked for so long, they have no need to ever change. Some say timeless, some say antiquated, but either way, every single dollar of theirs has a purpose.
- Right Here, Right Now
Living in the moment is this person’s everyday mantra. While they put money into their retirement plan and refuse to carry debt into the next month, this person doesn’t have a budget. They keep enough to pay their expenses and save a certain percentage, but everything else is determined on a day-by-day basis.
- What’s a Budget?
This person lives everyday with no assemblage of a budget. Chances are, they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck with little long-term security. While they could be under the impression they’re living like a “Right Here, Right Now,” they’re really facing everyday with no plan, unaware of the basics of budgetary living.
None of these are the “correct” way to budget – in fact, there’s no such thing. However, making sure your goals and expectations are in line with where you’re putting your money is the best way to work towards a successful financial future. Creating a budget can seem to be an overwhelming task, but we have a few steps to help you work towards your goals.