Are you tired of overspending and are looking for a way to more responsibly allocate your money? If so, then it may be time to create and stick to a monthly budget. While figuring out a budget that works for you can take some time and patience, and having your usual spending habits limited by one can take some getting use to, the fact remains that this is a great way to save money and live a more responsible lifestyle. Fortunately, there are a lot of great technological resources that make budgeting easier than ever.
If you have a computer or laptop at home, you can use a spreadsheet on a program such as Microsoft Excel or Macintosh Numbers to create a monthly budget and track your spending. Simply create columns for each category of your spending such as rent/mortgage, groceries, utilities, and other recurring monthly expenses. Subtract all of these from your monthly income, and the remainder is how much you have to save or spend. If saving money is a main goal, be sure to allocate a certain percentage of your leftover money each month to that purpose.
There are also a number of great smartphone apps out there these days that allow you to track your spending and monitor your budgeting while you are on the go. The website Mint.com, for example, has its own free app that is available for download on both the Apple Store and Google Play for the Android market. This app can sync with your bank accounts and monitor your spending, allowing you to set monthly limits for different categories of your budget. The app will then alert you if you spend over your limit or if your account balance gets low. This is a great way to monitor spending while on the go without necessarily having to carry around a ledger book.
Of course, most banks these days also have apps for those who have online banking accounts. This is also helpful for those who spend a lot of time on the go and do not necessarily have the time to keep a ledger or to get on their computers to check their account balances. Some of these apps even have built in budgeting tools included and allow you to transfer funds between your bank accounts with ease, which makes saving money through transferring funds from your checking to savings account easier than ever.
Reaching Financial Goals
Whether your financial goal is to simply spend less or to save up for a particular cause such as retirement, a down payment on a home, or an education, using these great budgeting tools can be a great way to get started.
By creating and sticking to a monthly budget, you can work towards your financial goals and enjoy less stress in your life. So if you have not already begun on your budget plan, be sure to use some of the tools listed above to get started.