What’s this budget app thing all about?

This is NOT a sponsored post.

I did not receive any compensation for this post (not that I would be adverse to it, hint, hint, Dave Ramsey). This is me sharing a new way of managing your money that I personally have been using to track my spending.

intro-screen

I finally broke down and decided to try technology. I admit, I love pen and paper. There is something so satisfying about writing something in ink, it’s so permanent and solid.

I have been using a paper budget book in my house to draw up a monthly budget. The problem is that I forget to update it. There are so many more fun things to do on a weeknight than update the budget. There’s cleaning the chicken coop, scrubbing grout, and my personal favorite mending/patching clothes (actually this is my favorite since I can watch BBC while sewing).

So, my budget is there, but is never up to date.

WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT

Keeping a budget up to date is very, very important.

I use the envelope system for cash purchases; groceries, gas, eating out, etc. The issue is that I forget my envelopes sometimes (cough, cough, all the time). I keep them in a safe space until it’s time to go grocery shopping, or get gas. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten to the register and realized that I forgot the  envelopes and have to use my card.

When I get home, I forget to balance my budget envelopes and take the money out. No wonder I have problems with my budget not always balancing. (I’m blaming my mother, I got my forgetfulness from her)

It’s rather frustrating to be in the store and not remember what you have left in the grocery budget. Sometimes it is the difference between being able to pay the electric bill or eating lots of PB&J sandwiches next week.

WHERE TO START

There are a lot of budgeting apps and websites out there. I mean hundreds (and those are only the ones I looked at personally). I was reading reviews from all sorts of websites and lists, until I found out that Dave Ramsey has an app.

That was the end of the search for me.

I use Dave’s envelope system (sort of) and love his financial principles. So I headed over to EveryDollar.com and signed up for an account.

set-up

After the usual rigmarole of verifying my email and adding my info, I clicked on the “Let’s get started” button.

Tutorial? Psaw, I don’t need no stinking tutorial.

Which actually, I didn’t. It was very easy to just start clicking on different categories and entering the information. Housing? Check. Lifestyle? Check. Savings? Double check.

budgeting-every-dollar

A SIMPLE LAYOUT

After I had quickly entered in a rough draft, I looked over and there was a handy-dandy little recap on the right side. It even has a circle graph to show what percentage of my income goes to which category. I learned that my lifestyle section takes up almost half of my income (because it includes my childcare costs).start-page-every-dollar

Keeping up with the budget

I really like this app because you download the app to your phone and can update the amounts at the store right after spending. So if I spend $23 dollars on groceries, I can enter it right there and see what is left in that category. Instead of entering in all my receipts on my paper budget every week, I do this in a few seconds at the register.

TRACKING

I can look back and see which areas of my budget are constantly going over the set amount or coming in under so I can adjust each month. I make sure to adjust the budget each month rather than just going off a generic catch all each month.

When I have to go in and change the amounts or tweak certain areas it keeps the budget in the front of my mind. When I created a new month’s budget, it automatically brought the amounts from the last month over. I just had to go through and tweak any amounts that I knew were going to differ.

Do you use a budget app? Which one?