As the new year approaches, I have been thinking about new budgeting methods. Any advice?
I've tried making my own spreadsheet before, but @Rob Loftus has a great site he shared for this too!
Melissa, check out my new blog, which I also transcribe here and see how I became debt free just this year AND live on 50% of my net income while making a mediocre $15/hr. Enjoy! http://www.fightforfinancialindependence.com
Over the past 40 years of adulthood, the budget method names have changed from "a day late and a dollar short" to "wiggle it and jiggle it" to our current "set it and forget it" plans. Everyone's actual mileage will vary and the names may be changed.
On Social Security my wife and I are paid monthly, same day. For the most part our bills are fixed and exist on an Excel spreadsheet. The bills are paid electronically once the pays post... mortgage, electric budget, car payment, insurances, condo maintenance and so forth. We fund an annual "gift account" as we would a monthly bill and we use this account for online purchases. Our food budget, gasoline (about $20/month... seriously) and personal allowances are taken out in cash and using paper money usually makes us think twice before going over budget. That's it... set it and forget it.
Every dime and dollar is assigned. We are targeting to car loan payoff in about six months and then the target will be the condo mortgage payoff that will reduce our expenses close to $600 per month for more play money, wants or needs.
We don't have much coming in or going out so we live beneath our means but we have no debts and no doubts.
I just started using Mint which gives you a breakdown of your budgets and multiple accounts. It's super helpful seeing all that info in one spot.
My family uses a tool called Tiller to bring our spending info from banks and credit cards into Google Sheets. We like it because we can customize the info and see it in the way that's most helpful for us. We've automated this as much as possible so updating it doesn't become a huge chore every month!
I use an app called Banktivity (previously iBank). It syncs fully with my financial institutions, allows you to add categories, which it memorizes for expenses automatically, and can easily present a budget and expenses per category. The desktop app works well and the best feature is an iPhone app that syncs all my transactions across devices!
@Melissa I use YNAB youneedabudget.com it is expensive at $80 a year or so but sooooo worth it, it uses the envelope method and its goal is to get you to save enough money to budget ahead with cash rather than a month to month, paycheck to paycheck budget like mint.
I use EveryDollar. It is free, easy to use and is from Dave Ramsey. I have used this budget tool since January of 2018 and it has helped me become DEBT FREE and help me to live on 50% of my NET income! I invest the rest!
I use a spreadsheet that I created in OneNote. The categories are monthly bills, income, savings, and spending. I am able to fill in the bills and income columns preemptively and that number shapes how much I allot myself to spend and how much I predict to save! Writing down every.single.thing. you buy is a huge wake up call. Brings self awareness and spending awareness! Sometimes I'll even add a personal "goal" section to the month and title it something like, "No Buying Clothes November".
I use an excel spreadsheet that I created myself years ago & just tweak it as I go. With my bank account, it is all held under one 'umbrella' account, so I can see my chequing, multiple savings accounts, GICs, etc all at a glance, then dig deeper down into them.
I've actually been using the 50/20/30 budget method for a while now and it really helped me get things in order. And I don't have to freak out with all the numbers. We actually did a video illustrating this!
But I've been toying with a method I came across called the 60/40 method! 60% goes to essential expenses (rent, food, utilities) and then 40% gets broken up into Retirement, Longterm / Short term Savings, and fun. The idea is split the 40% 4 ways across those for pillars but I've been modifying it slightly. We'll See how it goes!
We use Everydollar. For the most part, I do the debt snowball. Right now I have deviated from it because I have a car payment with a high payment. I have two debts that are right around the same amount. The difference is that they have $120 a month payments vs a $400 a month car payment.