I feel like one of the biggest goals with my blog is to be open and honest about a lot of my life because I want to share with others how they aren't alone in the world. In 2015 I want to get back to being more open about my thoughts and my life & post less filler stuff. Post more important things, you know? The real life things that may be hard or normal that a lot of others keep quite on their blogs. So today I want to talk to you about finances. In 2015 I have a few things I'd like to do to keep track of what I'm spending.
A while ago I shared a Budgeting Printable here on the blog. I've been kind of using it. I found that I didn't really turn to it as often as I should have but it was a great way to keep track of big monthly payment type of things. For example, I budget out home expenses, car payments, loan payments, desposits into savings, and what was left over, etc but it wasn't too great for my fun money expenses because I couldn't really see where it was all going. It was too much to pull out my big binder and write everything down, and lets be real...I didn't do it at home either. (We're getting to the solution to that problem shortly). I also plan on using the horizontal bills tracker & the no spend tracker in that set again becaue I feel those two are the most helpful for me!
Smart Phone Apps/Websites
I have been testing out a few different budgeting apps to see which ones I like. So far I have to say that I really like both Cash-Strapped ($0.99) and Well Spent ($1.99, but free version is here). I used to use Mint Personal Finance (free) but now that I use my credit card for nearly everything (for points and to build up my credit) and Mint only worked to track my debit card. If I want to do that, my bank has an app where I can see all my spending. I also have my credit card website saved on my phone so I can see pending transactions and pay my bill there. I need an app where I can just enter my daily spending to keep track of my fun money not really for the big things like bills, since I have a different system for that.
However, if you are the bill payer in your household (or need an all inclusive app) try Mint Personal Finance to keep track of your spending/bank account/budget. Mint does have it all in one but you can't track your credit card...at least I can't. Also Mint Bills & Money lets you pay bills straight from your phone...which would be great but I have a lot of my bills set up on auto pay online.
No Buy/Low Buy Periods
This might not be for everyone but I do like to shop and doing a No Buy in November 2014 really helped me out. I purchase a lot of crafty things, a lot of planner things, and a lot of beauty things. No Buys helped me save my money & helped me realize what I already have. If you are creative person or someone with any hobby that you feel you might buy too much for, a no buy can force you to be more creative with the things you already have. At least that is what I found for myself. If you feel you just can't do a no buy, try a low buy where you limit yourself to a dollar or product amount.
Everyone has their own unique needs when it comes to budgeting. Zach & I do things a little bit differently - but doesn't everyone? So if you've got a budgeting tip, please let me know!
How do you budget? What is your favorite tip?