How To Create a Budget That Works (and stick to it!)February 6, 2017
This post is sponsored by EveryDollar. All opinions are mine alone.
When it comes to managing money and budgeting, it can be difficult to find a system that works. I have struggled for years trying to find a budgeting system that is easy & effective, but with EveryDollar, I have finally been able to manage my money. Today, I am going to share my experience with this app & how to use it for maximum benefit!
I have always considered myself financially savvy. I have always tried to make smart financial decisions… you know, putting money into savings, paying off the credit card each month, etc. However, one thing that I never really figured out a great solution to is creating a budget that works. In the past, I have used spreadsheets that I created to list all of our family’s income and expenses. It was not a horrible solution, but it definitely had many drawbacks.
- It was very tedious and time-consuming to enter in data every month. If I tried to sit down and enter the whole month’s worth of numbers, it would probably take about an hour!
- It was difficult to see trends over time. Is our spending on dining increasing or decreasing? Are we putting more money into savings than we were six months ago?
- It was extremely problematic to use the spreadsheet to create an actual budget for our family. How would I find the right numbers that made sense for us financially?
Since the spreadsheet system did not meet my needs, I knew there had to be a better solution out there. With a budget system, I wanted something that was easy to operate. I wanted a budgeting system that made data entry quick & simple. I wanted to be able to even automate some data entry tasks, if possible. I wanted a system that allowed me to divide my spending into logical categories: housing, food, transportation, and so on. I recently discovered EveryDollar system and it works very well!
What is EveryDollar? It’s a financial app that makes budgeting fun and easy. It only takes about 10 minutes to create your first budget. You can create a budget that takes into account every dollar that you earn. By being one individual app that tracks your income and your spending, it helps you manage your money in a convenient way. You can report your purchases on the app while on the go! I love that I can connect various devices (iOS, Android, computer) to my EveryDollar account, so my husband and I can stay informed of our financial status at any given time.
10 minutes to a better budget
I also love that EveryDollar PLUS is a premium upgrade (with a yearly fee) that allows you to connect your bank accounts to the app. This means that your financial data will be synced automatically, and you can evaluate your budget in real time. You can even view your account balances within the EveryDollar app! Plus, you can create unlimited budgets! How convenient is this?!
It’s so easy to set up a budget using this app. Here are some example numbers of how this app works. When you first download and install the app, the first thing to do is to enter in your income. If you have more than one job, you can enter in more than paycheck. Here are some example numbers. This is your planned income.
Next, you can allocate specific numbers to the different categories of spending in a typical month: transportation, food, utilities, debt, housing, and so on. These are your planned expenses. Here is an example of how housing is broken up into individual expenses.
Here is how lifestyle is broken up into individual expenses.
As time elapses in a given month, you can enter in the various paychecks you have received, as well as the various expenses that have been incurred. The app automatically calculates the remaining budgets available in each category.
So if you’ve allocated $500/month toward food, for example, and you’ve only spent $300 with one week left in the month, then you’re ahead of the game- and doing well with your budget. I love that it’s so easy with this app to look at your numbers at a glance and get an idea of your financial status at any point in time.
With our budget in place, we can feel confident that we are working toward our future financial goals. For us, we are hoping to take a sizable family vacation during the summer to Europe for a few weeks! We are trying to save up now so we will have enough to make this trip a reality! What are you saving for?
- Are you planning your own dream vacation?
- Trying to save for that upcoming retirement?
- Maybe the kid’s college education is at the top of your mind?
Whatever you’re saving for, find out how EveryDollar can help you better manage your money today!
With the EveryDollar method of budgeting, find out how you will win with money! What are your future financial goals? How do you set a budget for yourself each month?