I use Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps as general guidelines. I’ve tried following them to a “T” before, but its only backfired for me, as its too rigid. I’ll be posting more on these 7 Steps and how I apply them to my general budgeting strategy towards my financial goals.
YNAB’s Four Rules act as my framework for budgeting. Again, I use a flavor of these rules of thumb and apply them to my strategies in combination with Mr. Ramsey.
Lastly, I use Undebt.it’s Free Debt Snowball Calculator (because I do have debt at the moment) to work Baby Step #2 (along with YNAB) to keep an eye on my debt free date and progress. This tool also is great to measure how much you can afford to throw on those snowballs within your budget (i.e. things like “what if paid $20 more towards those student loans each month, how much earlier will I be debt free?” etc.).
My budget checklist below summarizes the three major influencers of my personal financial goals and budgeting strategies on how to achieve them. Check it out, use it and add it to your budget binder! Let me know what you think, and where you get inspiration for your budgeting goals.