BudgetingBudgeting doesn't have to suck. It's just a way to make a plan so your money goes where you want it to go.
Budgeting has a horrible reputation.
Usually, “I’m on a budget” is a phrase that implies you’re not spending any money, and definitely not on anything fun. However, that’s missing the whole point of a budget.
When used correctly, your budget should make it easier for you to spend money on the things you love, and remove all of the guilt involved in that spending. It’ll also make sure that at the same time, you’re putting money away for the goals that matter most to you, on a timeline that makes sense for your life.
That sounds much better than your typical view of being “on a budget,” right?
Best budgeting tools out there
Connect your accounts to Mint, build a budget based on spending categories, and get notifications when you go over budget in a specific category. An easy, automated option for beginners.
Keep yourself on budget by loading money onto a prepaid KOHO card that tracks your spending automatically. Earn an extra 1% cashback for 90 days with code HALFBANKED when you sign up.
Get more nuanced control of your money and lessons to help guide your budgeting approach with You Need a Budget, a paid option that connects with your accounts.
Build a budget in under a minute
The One Minute Budget is a (free!) spreadsheet that helps calculate how much you should spend on major budget categories—all you need to know is your income.
There’s one key step most people (myself very much included) skip when it comes to budgeting, and it’s a crucial one.
Back when I still did spending recaps, this was a look at how one month (specifically, February) went in terms of my spending and saving.
These are the strategies that helped me do exactly that. It’s not easy, but it is definitely possible.
If you aren’t tracking your spending, I’d bet there’s a lot of spending that goes unnoticed for you – and it’s not your fault. It’s literally just how our brains work.
This one time, I decided to stop being “anonymous” on the blog—because I wasn’t very good at it. This is that announcement post, plus a now-cringeworthy video.
This is a quick review of Cait Flander’s Mindful Budgeting Program, which I bought when I was starting to tackle my money—but you can now get it for free!
While I was trying hard to find new ways to save, I made sure to be extra-frugal about everything – including festival attendance. Here’s everything I did to make it happen.
This system works whether you’re sharing all your food 50/50 with a partner, or just splitting staples with your roommates. Put it to work to help simplify your sharing, sans joint accounts.
There was a very good reason I bought my first car in cash, and to be honest, it wasn’t that I was really adamantly against debt. It was much more boring and practical.
This is the post that started a big part of what I believe is the most powerful thing you can do for your money: it’s the first month I ever tracked my spending.
If you’re worried about how to bring up your budget when friends suggest expensive plans? Right this way, pals. I am a master of this awkward convo.
You’ve heard about regular FOMO, but what about financial FOMO? It’s why I’m saving so much of my income, and this is a breakdown of exactly why.