Budgeting is one of those things that is SUPER important. It is also one of those things that we tend to put off also, because let’s face it getting a budget figured out is not one of those fun things to do. However once you get the budget done it is sooo freeing! I tell you this from experience, things were stressful in our house before we had a set budget.
Many years ago Tom and I sat down and put together our budget together. We got all of our bills out and sat down at the kitchen table. We got a notebook and wrote down every expense that we had and how much it cost us each month. Then we wrote on another piece of paper the “fun stuff” that we were spending money on. We printed out bank statements for the previous 6 months to make sure that we were not missing anything. Once we saw where all of our money was going it was easy to figure out a plan. We knew what the monthly income was each month and we knew where we could slow down our spending.
Having all of our incoming money and outgoing money written on paper gave us a visual that we could look at and actually see the money coming in and the money we were putting out. This helped us greatly to make Budgeting Second Nature.
From there we just made sure to stick with our budget and to change the budget as we needed to in life. Life changes so at times so does the budget. But now that we know what we are doing it makes it really easy for us to budget all the time and for us to stick to the budget.
I am not going to say that budgeting is easy, because it is not until you get your budgeting to be second nature.
For many of us, budgeting is one of those tasks we always say we’ll get around to doing — after all, we know it’s important to keep tabs on our money and plan for the future. But amid the busy pace of daily life, it can be tough to track and manage the flow of our money without an easy system to help.
Thankfully, digital tools can make the job a lot simpler. Many of today’s mobile banking apps are built with human psychology in mind — in other words, they can help us harness the power of habit to make smarter spending choices. Here’s how to make these tools work for you:
- Start with a plan. Our brains are wired to seek pleasure from achievement. One surefire way to reap the rewards: setting and establishing concrete goals. Saving for a house, car, vacation, or just a rainy-day fund? Make a game out of reaching key milestones along the way. Axiom Bank’s AxiomGO app has an integrated My $ Manager tool that allows you to input your target goals and keep track of progress.
- Get a big-picture perspective. Many of us have a fragmented view of our finances. Look for an app that brings together all your accounts, so you know what’s happening across your entire financial life in real time. With the My $ Manager tool in AxiomGO, you can aggregate checking, savings, loans, 401ks, IRAs and other income streams as well as your debt in one place, without having to sign in to multiple apps or use a complicated spreadsheet. Now, that’s taking control of your financial destiny.
- Keep a lid on expenses. While ignorance can be bliss, it doesn’t help you reach your financial goals. Many folks spend a lot more than they realize on entertainment and convenience options, such as eating out. AxiomGO allows you to cap spending in certain categories, then automatically pulls your debit card transactions into the relevant buckets. For instance, gas purchases come out of your transportation budget. It’s a simple way to analyze spending patterns and make sure you’re on target.
- Take advantage of downtime. Most of us are glued to our phones anyway, so why not use that to your advantage? Spend a few moments in the doctor’s waiting room or in line at the grocery store to review recent spending alerts and track your overall cash flow. It’s an easy way to redeem the time and adopt smart financial practices.
With the freedom and flexibility of today’s mobile banking apps, budgeting doesn’t have to be a laborious or time-consuming challenge. It’s all in finding the right tools and making the power of habit work for you.
More Budgeting tips to check out!
- 20 Things you are Forgetting to put in your Budget
- 5 Tips for putting more money in your Savings account
- How to get $1000 in Your Savings Account in a Year
- How to Stop living above your Means
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AXIOM BANK. All opinions are 100% my own.