5 ways to make budgeting easy and painless

Whoever first joked about having champagne taste on a beer budget made a pretty big assumption about human nature. They assumed people budget when in reality, they typically don’t.

Philip Olson, a certified financial planner based in Austin, Texas, has a theory about why so many people are averse to budgeting: “Budgeting makes you look at the ugly truth,” he says. “It’s kind of like looking at the back yard you’ve neglected for the past 10 years—it’s not going to be super pretty at first, and it’s going to be something that requires some work or change on your part.”

As trying as that work may be, it’s essential because having a budget is the first step to achieving financial success. “It’s the backbone of everything else that you do financially,” says David Weliver, founder of financial blog MoneyUnder30. “It all comes down to that golden rule of spending less than you earn. A budget is how you control that.”

Here’s how to get started budgeting:

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