Erase your Debt with the $20 Budget

The $20 Budget

Are you buried in debt? Can’t find any way out? Have you considered calling one of those debt solution places advertised on the radio or TV? Or are you just looking for a way to put more money in your savings account every month? Then following the $20 budget will definitely help you! However, with the current state of the economy even if you have no money problems at all you will still benefit from the $20 budget.

The $20 budget is the simplest and easiest way to get out of debt and get your finances in order. All you need is a jar (the larger the better) and the will power to follow the simple steps. Take all your credit cards out of your wallet or purse. However, it is ok to leave one for emergencies as long as you have enough control to only use it for that. This includes your gas cards, department store cards, check books, and any other type of instrument used to pay for items anywhere. Now that all other forms of payment have been removed from your person put a twenty dollar bill in your pocket. The $20 is all you are able to spend for the entire day. You have to budget in all your gas, your ciggs, your beer, your lunch at work and anything else you want for the day into that $20. once that $20 is spent you are out of cash till the next day. Don’t get your credit card out, don’t go to the ATM, that will defeat the purpose of the $20 budget. That is the hardest part of the program.

At the end of the day you take what ever is left from that $20 and throw it into the jar, including any paper money left. The next morning put a new $20 bill in your pocket and do it again. This will quickly cut all the frivolous spending out of your budget. If you do not have other people depending on you for food I suggest all your food purchases come out of that daily budget. Most of you reading this, however, have families and need to provide for them. This means you can use your credit card or preferably your debt card or cash for your weekly groceries. BUT, you must make a list of everything you are going to buy from the grocery store before you go and stick to it. Buying items not on your list totally defeats the purpose of being on the $20 budget. Ciggs, beer, and liquor can not be part of your store list; these items should only come out of your $20 a day. Now, you still pay your normal bills such as car notes, house notes, rent, utilities, etc. from your bank account like normal.

Friday and Saturday nights should be no exception to your $20 budget. However, I like to go hit the bars on the weekends and understand that $20 does not go far in most places. If you must go out on the weekends I have a few suggestions that will keep you on your budget but still allow you to have fun. The first is picking one night to go out and only go out that one night. If you slip up on your budget one night it will not do as much damage as screwing up your budget a few nights a week to go out drinking with the guys. Next you should give your self an extra $10 or $20 on Friday and Saturday. Come on it’s the weekend and you have made it all week living off of $100 reward your self. Just don’t go overboard. The last suggestion is use all the money you have put in your jar during the week for your going out money. Only do that if you do not give your self a small increase in money for Friday and Saturday. Remember this is all about budgeting and you will have to make sacrifices.

After a few weeks, if you have not cheated on your budget, you will notice that you have a lot more money in your bank account then you normally do. As you see your money increasing in your bank account you will also notice money increasing in your jar and your debt going down since you are no longer using your credit cards. Take that extra money in your bank and pay off those credit cards you are not using. Use the money in the jar as a rainy day fund or use it to buy something as a reward to yourself for sticking to the budget. Who knows maybe after a year there will be enough in the jar to pay for a family vacation? One time I cleaned out my jar to pay for a car repair and I had over $1400 in it. All from putting the left over change and cash from my $20 bill into the jar at the end of the day. Plus on Sundays I usually did not spend much money if any at all so some Sundays all $20 went into the jar.

The $20 budget can be adjusted to fit. If you can get away with only $15 a day then great do it and see your savings grow even faster. Similarly, if you have to drive far every day for work maybe $20 will not work for you so bump it up to $25 or $30. This budget can be adjusted to meet you needs, but remember its supposed to be a budget to cut your spending. Do not inflate the budget just so you can buy a case of beer and carton of ciggs every night. That is really all there is to the $20 budget. Its very simple. If you need help with your $20 budget I will gladly answer any of your questions. Sometimes just having a picture of the budget you want to follow can make a big difference in your chances of success.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

Stop being owned by the credit cards the $20 budget will help you gain financial freedom and you will once again own yourself!

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Comments 10 comments

darkside profile image

darkside 6 years ago from Australia

Excellent tip!


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 6 years ago

amazing advice


Jesusjohn78 profile image

Jesusjohn78 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Thank you both very much!!


gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 6 years ago from Antioch, TN

VERY good advice. In my situation, I have no children, just a hubby and myself. If we both limited ourselves to $10 each a day (easily doable) and ate off our groceries (far cheaper in the short and long term) then we could definitely save quite a bit. There are even days when we don't spend -anything-.

Though, I will say, it is a lot more difficult when you do not use cash.


Jesusjohn78 profile image

Jesusjohn78 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Yes it is definitely more difficult when you don't use cash. I suggest to start using cash. If you get in the habit of only spending the cash in your pocket instead of swiping that plastic it will help to keep you from spending out side of your means. The biggest problem people have is spending outside of their means. That is how people get in trouble. If you only spend the cash in your pocket and spend no more then its a lot easier to get out of debt and stay out of debt.


gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 6 years ago from Antioch, TN

Well, for us, the benefit is that we're down to one credit card, and that card is nowhere near the max balance anymore. :) I used tax refund money to pay my second card down nearly to zero, and next month's payment will close the account out. I feel pretty accomplished, even though it's only a $300 card.


Jesusjohn78 profile image

Jesusjohn78 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Congratulations! That is outstanding to hear. Great Job! Once you break the habit of debt spending its so much easier to budget everything.


Mieka profile image

Mieka 6 years ago

Great article. I'm always spending too much money. I might try this!

Thank you for a great hub!


Mikmaq2010 6 years ago

AWESOME!! I have 3 kids and 1 adult brother with Autism and a cat and a BIG dog , we spend way too much! I'm gonna try this and let you know how it goes....I make good Money but it seems I am not getting ahead, I have one credit card thats 2500, a car loan i owe about 6000 and no mortgage, so my savings should be pretty healthy but there not...we will see how it goes...


Jesusjohn78 profile image

Jesusjohn78 6 years ago from Ohio Author

Focus your efforts on little goals first to help you reach the big goals. I would assume the credit card has a much higher interest rate then the car loan. Once you start having a little extra money put it towards paying off the credit card. Because you have a lot of people and a few pets that depend on you I suggest keeping the credit card open in case of emergencies. But they must be real emergencies not frivolous spending. If you can discipline your self to not use the credit card anymore then you will be well on your way to having more money and financial freedom. I wish you well in your endeavor to be debt free.

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