The Per-Diem System Is a Seriously Easy Budget to Follow [Budgeting]

15 Apr/09

If you’ve ever taken a work-related trip, chances are you’re familiar with the concept of the per diem (Latin for “per day”)—a daily cash stipend intended to cover your expenses. Photo by chrisdlugosz . Weblog Get Rich Slowly details how to apply this concept to your monthly budget, creating a per-diem budget for all your spending cash. As a guy who just finished paying off $14,000 in credit card debt, I wanted to share one tip that helped me get over the bad debt hump. I allocate my spending money on a per diem system. At the beginning of each cycle of my monthly budget, I set aside funds for: Every fixed expense that I have (rent, cable/internet, groceries, power) Any unique expenses (a plane ticket, for example) And, of course, my savings (about 8 percent of my after-tax, after-401k income) After allocating this money, I go to the bank, withdraw the remaining funds in cash, and divide it among envelopes for each day of the month. Each day, I open an envelope and add the day’s cash to my wallet.

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