Screen Shot

Source: LaurMG, via Wikimedia Commons. 

"If only I could get myself to use a reliable budget planner, my money problems would be solved!"

Raise your hand if you've said, thought, or heard this general idea from someone before.

Though I doubt you actually raised your hand, I bet a memory flashed into your head of a time or place where you've encountered this thinking.

To be clear, budget planners certainly work for some portion of society. For those people, you can stop reading now. This article is for the rest of us who think budgeting is more of a hassle and a reminder of sacrifice than as a tool for financial freedom. For some, they are constant reminders of what we're giving up.

But there are other, far simpler, more effective and emotionally positive ways to help bring your spending to a healthy level. Read on to find out three different strategies, and how they can be good not only for your wallet, but your mind and heart as well. Plus, they're far easier to follow through on and there's almost no paperwork involved.

For the advanced budget planner, don't forget about taxes
Thanks to a 2013 law called the American Taxpayer Relief Act, or ATRA, some Americans will be paying more in taxes than they have in years past.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool recently uncovered an arsenal of little-known loopholes to protect yourself from ATRA and help keep the taxman at bay when he inevitably comes calling. We reveal them all in a brand-new special report. Simply click the following link for instant, 100% free access.

Protect my hard-earned wealth from Uncle Sam


Sources: Whole Foods, Steve Evans, F. Kessilring, FatCow Webhosting, philosphias via Wikimedia Commons/  

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Compare Brokers