I hope you’ve all had a chance to pick up a copy of “Napkin Finance” by Tina Hay. Even if you haven't, the book covers so many different aspects of personal finance and I welcome you to join in on our discussions!
For those who are reading: How are you liking the book so far?
I really like how “Napkin Finance” uses graphics to illustrate different financial concepts. The “fun facts” and “key takeaways” in each section are super helpful and interesting to me. I also appreciate the use of repetition to drive home each point.
For example, you can see how the 50/20/30 budget works in the graphic, then you read more about it on the following pages and it’s also included in the quiz at the end of the first chapter.
Speaking of the 50/20/30 budget, what do you all think about that budgeting method? (If you haven’t grabbed a copy of the book, read about this budgeting method here.)
I remember when I was paying for child care for my daughter as a single parent, there was no way I could keep all my essentials under 50%. (Child care was definitely an essential.) Now that my kid is in elementary school, I’ve been able to make it work — but I still don’t love the 50/20/30 method.
“Napkin Finance” mentions that you can come up with your own custom-made budget — though it doesn’t delve into how. I set budget limits for myself each month by referring to my normal spending trends plus factoring in anticipated irregular expenses. I usually stick to less than 10 broad budget categories. I also really lean into tracking my expenses by hand (I prefer the pen-and-paper approach over using an app) and reflecting on my spending and saving, journal-entry style.
My budgeting system is part kakeibo, part calendar budgeting and part zero-based. It’s totally okay to take aspects of different budgeting methods to come up with your own! (Read how Kumiko Love of The Budget Mom did just that.)
While the 50/20/30 method has you dedicating 20% of your earnings to saving, I’m hoping to challenge myself to save even more this year. I love the tip in “Napkin Finance” about putting your savings aside before spending any money. That’s not new advice for me, but it’s something I’ve yet to put into practice.
What’s the best tip you’ve learned from “Napkin Finance” so far or any other budgeting tips that have worked well for you?