There’s no doubt that talking about money, especially when you don’t feel like you have as much as everyone else, can feel pretty uncomfortable. While it’s not logical, it can feel as though American culture revolves around author Ronald Wright’s observation that we generally “see [ourselves] not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” It’s embarrassing to admit just how far away we are from that cultural ideal.

When over 60 percent of Americans can’t cover an unexpected expense of $400 or more, I know that better budgeting isn’t always the solution, but it can help. If you are having challenges with your budget or just need some direction on where to begin, here are the links to a four types of budgets that can get you started or keep you moving toward your personal financial goals:

1. The 50/30/20 Budget method

2. The Envelope Method

Related: Money Hacks and the Envelope System: Making Your Budget Work for You

3. Zero-Based Budgeting

4. A Spending Ceiling

My cohost, Cheyenne, and I break all of these budget types down on our podcast What the Finance, so if you’re an auditory learner I’d encourage you to check it out! So many of us grew up without learning anything about money, and we live in a culture that simultaneously expects us to never fail and also doesn’t give us the tools to succeed. That dichotomy can be hard to identify, let alone talk about. I am thrilled to be having the conversation with you here and to provide clarity on the show.

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Rachel Hanson

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