Budgeting is a great way to plan your spending. It has become really important to me this summer because I am looking to gain residency in a new state for school and need to keep track of several finance items. Whether you need to start saving or just prevent yourself from having the "oh no when did I spend all of that?!" moment, these will be simple tips to start keeping track!
1. A spreadsheet
A monthly or yearly spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of several different items in the same place. It is also helpful because it can be adjusted easily, and does a lot of the math and calculations for you! I opt for Google Sheets spreadsheets because if I need to, I can check them on the go. It's really nice to constantly have the tab open on your computer, so you are always reminded to check in once in a while.
Spreadsheets are a fabulous option for those who constantly like to reorganize and also have several different options. They are very adaptable to any situation, so they can be good for weekly, monthly, or yearly budgeting, or all three if you would like! Having the ability to add any column you need and keep it nice and organized is a plus.
2. Bullet journal spreads
This has been my go-to because of my current situation. Over the summer, I must make a certain amount of money, and I need to make transactions every other day. This spread has become my favorite because it allows me to see the last time I bought something, how my income is growing, and when my next bills are due. It is a great visual representation that I can look at quickly. It does take some work to keep up with this method, but because every few days I am gaining income and also making purchases, it helps me stay on top of everything. Otherwise, I would just look at how the month turned out at the end instead of throughout.
Bullet journal spreads push me to be more creative as well, and so this option could be for those who need more fun in budgeting. I look forward to filling out this spread, and it feels like less of a chore than a normal spreadsheet. Who said budgeting had to be boring?!
Budgeting apps are a great way to take your budget on the go! Need to decide if that trip to Sonic will fit amidst the rest of the expenses you have? You can just check your phone really fast! My bank offers a budgeting section that I can customize within their app, so I really enjoy that particular app. Other ones that I have found I like include: Mint, Mobills Budget, and Money Manager Expense & Budget. These apps will help you set financial goals and savings plans, get visuals on your finances clearly, check your spending habits and even your credit score for free.
These are just a few ways that I have found to keep my finances more on track. A budget is a great way to get organized and can be tackled in any way! Attempt each of these strategies and see what works best for you as a starting place and go from there.