How to Budget as a Free Spirit

December 13, 2022
Sticking to a budget isn’t easy, especially for those of us who tend to be more free spirited. Here's how to budget in 6 easy steps.
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Britt & Laurie Anne
Two female investors in their 30s with a collective net wealth of over $6 million+
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Sticking to a budget isn’t easy, especially for those of us who tend to be more free spirited. We rely more on our hearts and intuition. We have a natural joie de vivre and want to feel uninhibited…which is why we don’t like budgets.

Budgets can feel restrictive, like you’re limiting your options for what you can or can’t do or buy and that you’re making these decisions before the moment is even upon you! Who knows what is waiting for you around the corner?

But they’re actually the opposite. Budgets are crucial to maintaining your financial freedom. They help you afford fun things now AND build security for the future.

I’m going to explain how to budget WITHOUT feeling restricted. Be sure to stick around until the end because I am going to teach you a simple budgeting method that allows for freedom and spontaneity.

How to Budget as a Free Spirit

To have success with budgeting as a free spirit, you need to transform your relationship to budgeting from something that restricts you to something that supports your freedom. Budgets can protect you from overspending and ending up in piles of debt - which feels anything but freeing.

1) Start with your dreams

Think about where you want to be in one year, five years, 10 years.

You don’t have to be too specific – I know as free spirits we don’t necessarily like to plan too far ahead – but we love to dream!

Would you like to buy a house in the near future? Do you want to start your own business? Would you like to travel through Europe?

Think about your life goals and the financial goals you’ll need to achieve to make them happen.

For example, maybe you want to buy a house. A good goal could be to raise your credit score. Or if you want to start your own business, maybe you aim to have enough savings that you can quit your job.

2) Write 3-5 reasons why sticking to a budget is important to you

Why are you going to start budgeting in the first place? What hasn’t worked about the way you’ve been managing? Are you struggling to pay off debt? Do you want to save money so you can invest for the future? Do you want greater financial security?

Writing down the reasons why sticking to a budget is important to you will help you stay excited and inspired to stick to your budget.

You should also review those reasons regularly, but I’ll talk a lot more about that in tip #5 .

3) Define your values

Most free spirits don’t care that much about money for money’s sake. Money is important because of what it makes possible. The more closely you can see the ties between money and what is important to you, the easier it becomes to take care of it.

So, what are your core values in life?

Maybe you value things like freedom, creativity, or adventure.

Once you’ve determined your values, it becomes easier to NOT spend your money on things that don’t align with your values and you start to spend better - by eliminating spending that wasn’t honoring your values

For example, if you value creativity and you want to buy a new camera lens for your photography, then it’ll be easy to put aside money for that instead spending it on new Airpods because you lost one ear bud. Again.

4) Figure out where you can cut costs

Now, it’s time to figure out what doesn’t align with your values and isn’t pushing you toward your goals and what costs you can eliminate.

Do you have any subscription services that you don’t use? Or is eating out really worth the cost?

Go through your bills and figure out how you can clean up your monthly expenses.

Actually, you should do this regularly, which brings me to…

5) Track your spending regularly

The key to sticking to a budget or not overspending is keeping track of how much money is coming in and out of your account every week.

Decide on a day and time every single week where you can commit to spending a full hour reviewing your bank statements and bills and managing your money. That way, you make sure you aren’t spending more than you should be

You should also review your reasons for sticking to a budget so you stay motivated.

And I know that sounds about as much fun as a weekly dental filling, but it doesn’t have to be boring and stressful. Find ways to make it enjoyable – maybe play music or light candles or do it in your favorite park.

Remember, managing your money is a form of self-care – in fact, I would say it’s the highest form of self-care – and it should feel just as pleasant.

6) Create a budget that allows for freedom and spontaneity

The problem with most budgets is that they’re too complicated. There are too many different categories and things to track. It’s difficult to use and easy to lose motivation.

The other problem is that they’re unrealistically restrictive. There are some people who are naturally inclined to save money. Others believe that money exists to spend on things that bring you joy.

There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t compromise your financial security.

As a fellow free spirit, I recommend the 50/30/20 budget.

The 50/30/20 budget is a simple budgeting method that makes sure you’re staying within your means and saving for the future while giving you freedom to enjoy life right now.

Basically, you spend 50% of your monthly income on needs – things that you need to stay healthy and employed, like housing, food, and transportation.

30% of your monthly income goes toward wants – things that make life fun right now. You can do whatever you want with this money.

Finally, you should save at least 20% to take care of future you.

You don’t have to get any more specific than that. These large bucket categories allow you to stay on track with financial goals and still have flexibility in how you spend your money over the course of the month.

To make it extra easy to stick to your budget, set up your bank account so 20% of your paycheck automatically goes into savings.


A budget doesn’t have to be restrictive. In fact, it’s extremely empowering. It’s like a protective fence that keeps you from wandering into financial trouble so you can afford the things and experiences that mean the most to you.

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