By now, you have probably heard of the numerous benefits of having a budget, particularly if you are trying to get out of debt. Perhaps you even tried it for a month or two. If you’re convinced that it took too much time and simply did not work for your lifestyle, try one of these five creative budgeting options.

Use an App

Numerous apps are available today that will help you with the nitty-gritty of budgeting as long as you input a few numbers each month. For example, the Every Dollar app let you transport budgets from month to month and even connects to your bank account for a small monthly fee. Other good apps to try include Mint or Personal Capital.

Take Advantage of Your Bank Account

Many bank accounts can be accessed online these days and, surprisingly to some, many of these come with tools that let you see into which categories your spending falls. This can be a very basic tool to keep you on target each month and can also be a good way to start budgeting as you see where you spend most of your money. Check with your bank or a credit union like GE Credit Union to see if this is an option for you.

Pay with Only Cash

Many people find great success in only paying with cash except for some bills, which must be paid with check or debit card. These people swear off credit cards altogether. In fact, research has shown that people tend to spend less when they pay with cash because it feels more like they are actually spending money than it does when swiping a card.

Try the Envelope System

The envelope system eliminates the need for writing down every purchase by putting a pre-planned amount for each category in a separate envelope each month. When you run out of money in the “restaurants” envelope, for example, you will have to eat in for the rest of the month. If you have money left over in an envelope, save it for the next month, put it in savings or put it into a different envelope where you fell short. If you pay for something with a credit card, put that much cash into a “spent” envelope that you can transfer to next month’s budget.

Try the “Anti-Budget”

For those who absolutely hate any type of budgeting, the “anti-budget” may be the best option. With this idea, you will put a pre-designated amount into savings each month, such as 20–30%. The rest will be available for you to spend how you like. However, if you struggle with going over your spending amount each month and start regularly dipping into savings, you will need to try a more in-depth budget.

Budgets work best when they fit your personality. If you like expert organization, for example, a thorough app that shows you exactly where your funds are going may be for you whereas if you enjoy freedom, the envelope system could work the best. If your first try at budgeting feels too restrictive, simply choose another creative option, and try it again next month.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.