I know, budgeting your money sounds like the most boring thing in the world to do.
If I had to guess, I would say most people who do it don’t enjoy it either but they see the benefit it provides in their financial life.
When I first started budgeting, I would manually enter every single transaction into an app to track my spending. This was helpful for me at the beginning so I could see exactly what money was being spent, but it did end up taking a lot more time than using an app that’ll do it automatically.
After a while, my spending was consistent and I no longer felt the need to enter every transaction because I knew what money I was going to be spending on groceries, shopping, rent, etc.
I still review my bank statements weekly to make sure there were no automatic charges I wasn’t aware of, but after some time budgeting - you might be able to transition away from the budget once you’re comfortable and see consistent spending.
While it’s not necessary to enter every transaction into an app like I did, here are 3 ways that you can help improve your budgeting experience:
Automate Your Bills
Once you automate your bills, a giant weight will be lifted from your financial shoulders. Automating your bills will not only make sure that they are getting paid on time, but it’ll help create consistency in your finances.
Once a budget has been created, you know exactly how much will be going towards each bill so there’s no need to waste your time either writing checks and mailing your bill payments or paying each one manually every month.
Use a Budgeting App
One of the easiest ways to keep a budget in today’s society is through a budgeting app. There are hundreds of budgeting apps out there, but Mint is one that stands out to me.
It’s not only easy to use, but the app feels very well put together.
And no, this post isn’t sponsored by Mint...
Using a budgeting app will help keep your finances in order because you can see exactly where your money is going each month. If you notice one category of spending is outweighing the rest, you might need to adjust your spending and assess your personal goals.
Pay Yourself First
This is one piece of advice that took me a while to grasp when I was younger but it’s been life changing for my financial picture.
A goal to shoot for may be to automate 10% of each paycheck into savings.
If you get paid $2,500/month, for this example you would put at least $250 (or $125 if you get paid every other week) into a savings account or investment account on the day you get paid.
Nowadays, most banks have apps that will let you set automatic transfers to make this even easier.
This will provide consistent savings and if possible, you can put even more into savings each month to help speed up the progression to your goals.
You might be aiming to pay down student loan or credit card debt or maybe you’re ready to start saving for retirement.
Having goals is a major factor in your success of saving money. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you most likely won’t get there.
If your goal is to save for a down payment on a house - research the houses you would like to live in, figure out how much the down payment would be, and then calculate how many months it would take saving a certain amount to reach that goal and adjust your spending to make it happen.
One of the best ways to reach your financial goals is to figure out what your goals are and then work backwards to determine what needs to be done in present time to achieve them.