Budget. Did you just get cold chills reading that word? It’s not a popular word, and it’s certainly not a popular idea. Typically, the idea of a budget is enough to take away any sense of fun you have when thinking about spending your money.
But, it doesn’t have to be. There are several benefits to creating a monthly budget.
When you have a budget in place, you instantly:
- Make your money work for you
- Assign each dollar in your account a job
- Gives you 100% control of your money
- Allows you to track your expenses
- Relieves some of the stress that finances can bring
- Helps you create a “safety net”
There are obvious benefits to creating and maintaining a budget, and there are just as many tools to help you budget as there are benefits.
So, where do you start?
First, figure out how much you make each month. Then, figure out how much you spend. Once you figure out what you’re bringing in vs. what you’re spending, you can start creating specific categories for your money. This is where you get to tell your money what to do.
Now, you’ve got a basic budget in place. You know what you’re making, what you’re spending, and your money has a specific goal. But, how do you keep track of all that information in a manageable way?
Budget apps! The great thing about budget apps – not only do they keep track of your budget, but you can take it with you everywhere you go.
Check out some of the best budgeting apps for 2020.
- Wally — Get the intimate details of all your financial activity in an easy-to-digest template. Categorize spending destinations, set goals, and create charts. Wally provides you with the full picture of your account in a simple and colorful template. Easy to look at and easy to understand, Wally makes tracking and analyzing your financial habits easy.
- Acorns — You know how it’s hard to overcome the mental hump of setting money aside? Well, Acorn removes that struggle from the equation. By rounding up each of your transactions to the nearest dollar, it puts the funds into an investment portfolio. This app looks out for “future you” and makes sure you always have a few acorns hidden away for a rainy day.
- Mint – Create budgets, track bills and receive a free credit score when you use Mint. But, it’s the budgeting feature that really makes Mint shine. It allows you to link your credit union, loan and credit card accounts and then uses the information from those accounts to suggest budgets for you based on your spending. Mint takes it a step farther by breaking that spending down into categories like “entertainment,” “food and dining” and shopping. The best part? You’ll be able to see how much you can save by cutting back in each category.
- Mvelopes – A popular budgeting method is the envelope system, a style of budgeting, where you put cash in envelopes for different spending categories and when the envelope is empty, your budget category is spent for the month. This is great for people who mind a cash system, but for people who use credit and debit cards, this is challenging. Enter Mvelopes; an app that makes it easy to follow the cash style budgeting in a digital world.
Of course, while you’re downloading apps, make sure you’re using our app. At Sierra Pacific Federal Credit Union, our app allows you to check your balances, transfer money, check your spending and deposit checks remotely. Still have questions about budgeting and financial planning? Talk to one of our member service representatives and let us help get you on track.