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Which Budgeting Method is Right for You?

A lady sat at her laptop looking at bills with her hand to her head

Written by

Aventur Team


Financial Planning

Which budgeting method is right for you?

Budgeting and saving are two of the most important aspects of personal finance. A budget can help you track your income and expenses, identify areas where you can cut back, and reach your financial goals. Saving money can help you build an emergency fund, afford major purchases, and retire comfortably.

There are many different budgeting and saving methods out there, so it's important to find one that works for you and your lifestyle. Here are a few of the most popular methods, along with their pros and cons:

50/30/20 budget

The 50/30/20 budgeting method is a simple and effective way to prioritise your spending. With this method, you divide your income into three categories: needs, wants, and savings.

  • Needs: This category includes essential expenses such as housing, food, transportation, and healthcare.
  • Wants: This category includes non-essential expenses such as entertainment, dining out, and travel.
  • Savings: This category includes money you're saving for short-term and long-term goals. Such as an emergency fund, down payment on a house, or retirement.


  • Simple and easy to follow
  • Helps you prioritise your spending
  • Can help you reach your financial goals


  • May not be flexible enough for everyone
  • Can be difficult to stick to if you have a lot of debt or unexpected expenses

Pay yourself first method

The pay yourself first method is another simple and effective way to save money. With this method, you set aside a specific amount of money from your salary each month before you pay any other bills. This ensures that you're saving money consistently, even if you have unexpected expenses come up.


  • Easy to implement
  • Forces you to save money, even if you don't have a lot of extra cash
  • Can help you reach your financial goals faster


  • Can be difficult to stick to if you have a lot of debt or unexpected expenses
  • May not be flexible enough for everyone

Zero-based budget

A zero-based budget is a more detailed budgeting method that accounts for every dollar of your income. With this method, you start by listing all of your expenses, both fixed and variable. Then, you assign each dollar of your income to a specific expense or savings goal.


  • Very detailed and comprehensive
  • Helps you track your spending and identify areas where you can cut back
  • Can help you reach your financial goals more quickly


  • Can be time-consuming to set up and maintain
  • May be difficult to stick to if you have a lot of debt or unexpected expenses

The Envelope System

The envelope system is a budgeting method that uses cash instead of cards like credit or debit. This method is also known as cash stuffing. With this method, you withdraw a specific amount of cash for each expense category at the beginning of each month. Once you have spent all the cash in a particular envelope, you cannot spend any more in that category.


  • Very visual and easy to track your spending
  • Can help you avoid overspending
  • Can help you stay disciplined with your budget


  • Can be inconvenient to carry around cash
  • May be difficult to track your spending if you have a lot of different expenses
  • Can be difficult to adjust your budget if your income or expenses change

Which budgeting method is best?

The best budgeting method for you is the one that you can stick to. If you're not sure which one to choose, start with the 50/30/20 budget or the pay yourself first method. These are both simple and effective, and they can help you start saving money right away.

Once you've been using a budgeting method for a while, you can adjust it to fit your specific needs and goals. For example, if you're trying to save for a down payment on a house, you may want to save more of your income.

It's also important to review your budget regularly and make adjustments as needed. Your financial situation can change over time, so your budget should change too.

Financial Planning

Aventur Team