- Jenn Steliga
New Year's Resolution: Budgeting
Ready to get on a budget?
Maybe you’ve never budgeted before but have decided this is your New Year’s Resolution! Start considering your options now, that way when January 1st hits you’re ready to go (better yet, just start budgeting now)! Below is a quick review of three options you may want to consider for your budgeting needs.
Best for making sure every dollar has a job. When you spend all of your money on purpose, on paper (or in this case, on the app) before you actually hand it over, you’ll actually know where all of your money goes. And, you’ll be more likely to send your money exactly where you want it to go.
There’s a free and paid version. The paid version allows you to connect your bank account and download transactions. You need to move the transactions manually to their appropriate category … and this step is where the magic happens. I know you might be thinking this is just one extra step that you don’t have time for, but trust me … you have time for this. Make time for this.
The simple act of dragging a transaction and dropping it into it’s appropriate category will begin to create a pathway in your brain that links the impact of those dollars going out to the benefit (or negative impact) you received of making that purchase. If you start to feel uncomfortable every time you drag another transaction to the “Dining Out” category, it could be an indicator that you’re spending too much in this category, while your “Saving for this summer’s vacation” category is sitting empty and lonely. You get to choose where your dollars go; just start to pay attention to where they are going and see if you want to make adjustments to meet your goals.
You Need A Budget
This program is also good for making sure every dollar has a job. It has reporting features that EveryDollar doesn’t have which is fun for those of us that like reports. Although I’d argue it’s not a necessary feature, especially when you’re just learning to budget. There’s a little more to learn here, which again might be a hinderance to anyone just getting started. It reminds me a bit of Quicken, though on the lighter side. There’s great customer support and community that helps you get in the mindset of budgeting.
You can sign up for a free month’s trial which is a great way to try it on for size and see if it fits. You can link your bank account.
Quicken is great for advanced reporting and for anyone who likes A LOT of detail. This would not be my go-to selection for first time budgeters, unless you have prior experience with it, own it already, and don’t mind the challenge of getting it started. If budgeting is going smoothly for you and you truly know where every dollar is going (because you’re telling every dollar where to go, not because you’re watching them leave) and are ready for more advanced features, Quicken might be worth a look. But, don’t get so wrapped up in the cool
reports that you forget the most important part of personal finance … the monthly budget.
Ready to budget but feeling a little overwhelmed by all the choices out there? Schedule a 15-minute call with me and together we'll decide if a coaching session would help you get on track.