Red Pill Money: Designing a Zero-Based Budget
Spending all your money on paper on purpose is crucial to gaining financial control and advancing your personal goals as a man. Even though nobody likes doing a budget, having a game plan and keeping track of where every dime of your money is going will be a powerful tool. If you make $2,500 a month, develop a plan to know where every bit of that money being spent to avoid becoming one of the two-thirds of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, dependent on employers who are becoming increasingly disloyal and ungrateful to their employees in the “new economy” of the 21st century.
Looking out for number one makes good financial sense and it is also a masculine trait. Businesses often use zero based budget, and financial author Dave Ramsey explains why it is so important:
The point of a zero-based budget is to make income minus the outgo equal zero. If you cover all your expenses during the month and have $500 left over, you aren’t done with the budget yet. You must tell that 500 bucks where to go. If you don’t, you lose the chance to make it work for you in the areas of getting out of debt, saving for an emergency, investing, paying off the house, or growing wealth. Tell every dollar where to go.
I only wish I had someone to tell me all this when I was a young man instead of learning it through the school of hard knocks. Anyway, here’s how you or another Red Pill man you know who’s not budgeting yet can get started.
Four Basics of Budgeting
Here are the four basics of each zero based budget:
Spending. If it’s a recurring monthly expense or a bill coming in the mail each month, it needs to be written down on paper. The object is to make “overhead” i.e. fixed expenses like rent, electricity, transportation expenses, etc. as low as possible and the amount left for saving and investing as large as possible. These expenses come first on the zero-based budget. After budgeting for fixed expenses, think of everything else you spend money on from eating out to groceries to entertainment to beers at the bar, then budget for each expense. Set a fixed amount for each expense. Then, obey the money rules you’ve laid out.
Stick with the Plan. Dave Ramsey recommends a cash envelope system with each monthly expense written on the envelope. Place cash in each envelope, and once the eating out or drinking at a titty bar budget is spent for the month, you must not violate the plan. Keep long term goals and financial freedom in mind.
Saving. If you save 25% of your monthly income, for every 3 months you work you can take a month off and not have any noticeable change to your lifestyle. For every 50% you save, you can work 6 months out of the year and take 6 months off with no noticeable change to your lifestyle. Of course, these models are highly simplified and only intended to illustrate the power of saving and the power of having expenses under control. The more you save, the more in control you will be and the more options you will have. As you amass a fat bank account, you will begin to think about money differently. Rather than seeing it is a palliative to relieve short-term stress like most sheeple do, getting paid on Friday and being broke by Monday, the Red Pill man thinks in terms of how he can make his money work for him.
Investing. Depending on your plans, i.e. dedicating a good part of your life to the labor market, or working aggressively towards a leisure lifestyle, or pursuing other goals than life on the corporate plantation, you can invest a little or invest a lot. As Einstein said, compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. Say you make $3,000 a month and you life a minimalistic, frugal lifestyle and save half your salary every month without fail for 5 years. Putting the money in a good growth stock mutual fund means you will have $128,000 of freedom in only 5 years. Even if you don’t invest another dime after aggressively building up a 5-year nest egg, in 10 years that money could be worth $225,000 of freedom. This assumes a better than average return of 12%, attainable if a man is wise and does research.
Just because you’ve made a great plan doesn’t mean rainy days won’t come around to piss all over you. Financial blogger Trent Hamm helps men plan for inevitable setbacks and challenges along the path to financial freedom.
Budget for everything: Creating a zero-sum budget will only work if you are willing to budget for everything – even things you wish you didn’t have to budget for to begin with. When writing out your monthly budget, make sure to include all categories where you spend money. Doing so is the only way to ensure success!
Overestimate variable expenses: Variable expenses can be hard to estimate at times, especially when it comes to costs that fluctuate – things like utility bills and gas usage. With these items, I tend to err on the side of caution. If you overestimate how much you will spend, you can always transfer any “leftover money” to savings at the end of the month. Likewise, you can use it to take care of overages in any other category.
Track your spending once per week: Your new spending plan might take some time to get used to, but it will be easier to adjust if you’re able to track your spending as the month progresses. For example, your new $600 monthly grocery allowance will be easier to swallow if you check your statements to see where you’re at at least once per week. Checking in frequently with each category will help you discover how much you have left to spend.
Prepare for setbacks and adjustments: Your new zero-sum budget might go off without a hitch, or it might be a total nightmare. Either way, it’s important to know that you’ll likely need to adjust and readjust your spending for categories as the months progress. For example, you might think that a $500 food budget is entirely feasible, but find out that it is completely impractical in real life. When those things happen, make a note of it and change things up for the following month. Your zero-sum budget can evolve as you go: It should work as a tool to help you track your spending, but it shouldn’t be too restrictive.
The idea behind zero based budget is knowing exactly where your greatest wealth and freedom building tool – your income – is going each month. Keeping women out of your wallet is also key to this plan, as they’re insidious materialists powering 80% of the American consumer economy. You’ll never satisfy them by getting on the Hedonic Treadmill and running as hard as you can, and even if you could it only turns you into a weak Beta provider in their eyes.
Our goal is to give men power over their lives, their romantic interests, and their finances. Get started on your zero based budget today with a good old-fashioned pen and piece of paper, or there are apps for that. A budget is the linchpin holding everything else in a man’s life together. Ignore it at your own peril. Use budgeting to gain money, status, and power to torment women with someday, or to live the IDGAF MGTOW lifestyle.
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