Finance By Design: 8 Budget Tidbits for You!

What’s up, readers?! How’s it hanging?

Did you know that tomorrow is World Savings Day?! (It’s okay, I didn’t either until I was looking for a picture to accompany this article.)

In honor of this beautiful day wherein financial security is encouraged, I have written you a new blog post!

I was reading this article today, which talked about different budgeting techniques for different age groups, from 20s through 60s. And man, do I have a bone to pick with this article!

It started off great! The title is “10 Most Effective Ways to Budget Your Money at Any Age”, so, if you’re like me, you’re thinking it’s gonna be 10 tidbits of advice to budget better, right?

WRONG.

The article broke down these tidbits into 2 per age group, which irked me, because it’s misleading. So let’s break it down, shall we?

First off, they started with this header and gems of advice:

Budgeting Money in Your 20s

  • 1. Cut back on nonessentials.

  • 2. Open a savings account.

Okay, these were fair bits of advice, to be perfectly honest. I started reading this section and soaking up the knowledge happily. Yay for cutting spending and yay for savings!

But then! They moved on to:

Budgeting Money in Your 30s

  • 3. Open a 401k or IRA

    4. Build up your emergency fund.

This is where I started getting irate. Because if there was someone out there in their 20s needing to get in better financial shape, and they read this article and followed it religiously…they wouldn’t be opening a retirement account until they were in their 30s! Or building an emergency fund!

Then it got even worse. They went on to suggest the next 6 points as follows:

Budgeting Money in Your 40s

  • 5. Rework your budget.

    6. Generate more income.

Ways to Save Money and Budget in Your 50s (see what they did there?)

  • 7. Consult a retirement planner.

    8. Reconsider lifestyle choices.

How to Budget in Your 60s and in Retirement (is anyone else annoyed by the deviation in headers solely for the last two points?)

  • 9. Try living on your estimated retirement budget for a month.

    10. Execute your retirement withdrawal strategy.

Who’s to say you can’t do any of these things earlier in life? 9 and 10 may be a little more difficult in your earlier years, or just flat out unnecessary, I’ll admit that.

But you can generate more income in your 20s or rework your budget whenever you want! In fact, you should probably be constantly reworking your budget, as life changes happen!

I know that this article was written with the best of intentions, and I’m probably just being supremely nitpicky (*cough*anal retentive*cough*). But I also know that not everyone out there is a rocket scientist or personal finance enthusiast, and may not be able to read between the lines so easily.

They may take the advice literally. And then they’d be up shit creek without a paddle.

So! I’m revising this article for everyone!

10  8 Most Effective Ways to Budget Your Money at Any Age in General

  • 1. Cut back on nonessentials.

    2. Open a savings account.

    3. Open a 401k or IRA

    4. Build up your emergency fund.

    5. Rework your budget.

    6. Generate more income.

    7. Consult a retirement planner.

    8. Reconsider lifestyle choices.

(I left off the last two because they’re honestly more related to retirement planning instead of budgeting!)

And presto! You can ALWAYS try to find ways to cut back on spending or save more for your emergency fund. You can ALWAYS look for ways to generate more income. And you should!

You should also open a retirement account or two ASAP. I mean, age 18, let’s go! Vamonos!

Take advantage of that compound interest!

And never be opposed to consulting a financial planner, especially if you have some complex investments or want a more hands off approach!

All of these things are good advice for anyone at any age, not just for your specific age group, and should not be marketed as such!

Okay. Bone picked!

See you next time!

– Rachel


“Save your money. You’re going to need twice as much money in your old age as you think.”

– Michael Caine

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