“ Are people overlooking simple household budget tools that can help them organize their finances. Sometime when faced with financial problems, simple methods can be the most effective.
Understanding why we budget.
The five benefits to using a household budget planner.
Getting started is figuring out which budget planner works best for you
By: Allan R Kirby
Budgeting is a way to manage your household finances by tracking your income and expenditures. It helps you get an idea on your financial situation and provides a way to plan for things such as vacations, buying a home and even retirement. Although budgeting is critical in helping you manage your money, it's not a focus in most education systems. As a result most people never really learn to build a monthly budget. Because of this millions of people either do not know how to budget or struggle when they do try to manage their finance.
So if we know that budgeting is critical to our financial success, the question then becomes what is the best approach to take. Do we use budget apps or do we use budget planners and journals to do our budgets?
Are monthly budget apps really the key?
Today there are no shortages of budget apps available. Some are free while others others are for purchase. They all have been designed to help manage your finances more easily and efficiently. The key to many of these apps is the ability to link your accounts and track your spending habits with limited effort on your part. In fact some budget apps can even keep track your investments and help you understand your net worth. One common argument for using these budget apps is the ability to keep track of everything without having the burden of using a pen and paper.
“It can be time consuming and frustrating setting up and using budget apps no matter how simple they claim to be. ”
However, the reality is that there can be pitfalls of using budget apps. The biggest is the time it takes to set up your budget app to link to your banking accounts. No matter how seamless the app is supposed to be, there will be limitations. This is more common for people who do not use the big banks. When problems arise people tend to end up being frustrated before they even start learning to budget. This is a key issue; I have known so many people who have quit before they really got started because of budget software. It's why I think a simple budget planner will do the trick to get you started on a monthly budget.
A budget planner is a simple paper journal that allows you to get down to what you need to do; Building a weekly or monthly budget with minimal time. Some budget planners even come with sleeves to store your bills, receipts and banking statements.
Using a traditional budget planner can outweigh the benefits of using a budget apps. Some of the benefits of having a monthly budget planner or journal can include:
Helps keep your physical bills and receipts organized.
Gives you a digital break and keeps your finances simple and easy to follow.
Gives you flexibility to develop your own money management system.
An incredible selection of affordable budget planners that you can find to meet your needs.
Writing down your spending will make you think before you spend.
Selecting a Monthly budget planner to use:
Budget planners come in various sizes and planning sheets which track the following:
House Income such as:
Small business and gig income.
Investments and savings
Interest and dividend payments
Investment income (rentals).
Annuities and other allowances.
Household expenses such as:
Rent or Mortgage payments
Visa / Mastercard payments
Retail Credit Cards
Insurance and medical premiums.
Property and school taxes.
Electricity, gas and water bills.
Spending such as:
The key is how you want to track your income and expenses as well as the level of details. You have flexibility to develop your own method that works best to meet your needs in a simplified way. This is key to the success of budgeting: Making it easy to understand and follow.
“If you spend hours just trying to get started with a budget app, then maybe try a budget planner or household budget organizer.”
The toughest part on getting started is figuring out which budget planner works best for you. They do come in various sizes and complexity as well as:
Some budget planners come with some instructions kits to help you get started.
Some come with sleeves and other pockets to store your billes and statement.
Some are a little more fancy by coming leather bound
Some are weekly while others are monthly planners.
Some provide you just the basic information allowing you to determine if you want to do weekly, bi-weekly and monthly planning.
One thing I have found is that higher priced planners do not translate into a better budget planner. Ultimately you do need to decide which budget planner will work for you. My only suggestion is to take the time and read reviews on the journals and budget planners. This is one of the best ways in deciding which budget planner to buy.
Budgeting is important to managing your money and helping you succeed financially. Unfortunately getting started can be the toughest part of budgeting. Some people will attempt to try a budget app but quit after a short time due to technical problems. The simplest solution is a budget planner. An inexpensive tool to help you with your household budgeting.
Disclosure: mysmallbank.com and the author will not endorse or receive any compensation for any single product or service, if mentioned in our article. The article is our opinion only and is written to help readers learn more about personal finance and budgeting.