For those of us that aren’t numbers-minded, creating a monthly budget can seem like the ultimate chore. Not only may it confirm your fears about your finances, but it can also seem downright complicated. Yet budgets are essential to keep on track with your monthly income. While it’s not always fun (although for some people it is!) budgeting doesn’t have to be as scary as you think. And if you love budgeting there are a variety of ways to do it depending on your style. Let’s check out some of the best ways…
Budget Apps – In a world full of apps, there’s a plethora that cater to budgeting. One of the downsides to apps is finding the right one since there are so many! If you’re the type of person who prefers being hands-off, you’ll want to find one that automatically syncs to your bank accounts, like Mint. However, one of the set backs is that often you’ll need to go in on a regular basis to make sure each purchase has the right category assigned to it, which can be cumbersome. And sometimes the bank-to-app syncs stop working for whatever reason. Apps are great if you really intend to spend a lot of time on them on a regular basis to make sure your finances are in tip top shape. Best for those that love to budget and check their finances regularly.
Apple Numbers – If you have a Mac, your computer will automatically come with a budgeting software called Numbers. It’s a very straightforward view of your budget. Just enter your monthly income and expenses, and Numbers will automatically show you how much you’re over or under on your budget. Best for those looking for a very simple solution.
Writing Your Budget Out – For those of us that are old school, sometimes just writing out your bills every month and how much your expected income is will do the trick. You can either do this on paper or within Notes on a Mac computer. Don’t have a Mac? Check out this article for alternative note taking software. Best for those that don’t particularly like technology.
Excel – This is an excellent way to keep track of your budget, especially if you know how to create formulas. If you don’t, we recommend sticking with an app or simplified note taking. If you’re an Excel expert, though, this will allow you to take complete control of your budget in ways that an app or other software can’t. Best for those that love numbers and math.
Banking Perks – Some online banking now comes with budgeting applications, although customization may be limited. For instance, you may be able to create categories for your budget, but you may not be able to change the category that your bank assigns to your purchases, which means your budget isn’t entirely accurate. With that being said, it just depends on your bank and may be worth looking into. Best for those that want all of their finances in one place.