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Here are some guiding principles to help you budget well. How to do each of these is explored in more detail in other pages in this guide.

1. Give generously

Your life will be better when you give some amount of money away. It doesn’t have to be much, but build charitable giving into your budget.

2. Live on last month’s income

Spend this month what you earned last month. If you’re not able to do it yet, make it a goal. You really can do it—Buckets can help you!

After you start living on a month’s supply of income, make it two months. Then three. All the way up to a year.

3. Tools are just tools

Hammers don’t build houses. People do.

No one says: “look at the beautiful house this hammer built!” Likewise, budgeting tools don’t make you better with money—you do.

Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but you could successfully budget without Buckets. You could use a spreadsheet. Or a calculator and notebook. Prior generations used paper and pencils. Bust out a slide rule or abacus if you want. These are all just tools.

Budgeting tools can be good for:

Budgeting tools are not good at:

Tools are just tools. Effective budgeting is all about you.


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