I do not care if you have a budget or not, you are already managing your cash flow. You have income coming in and you are spending some or all of that. A budget simply adds intentionality to your income and expenses.
I don’t meet many people who enjoy creating and managing a budget. I do meet A LOT of people who see the value of a budget but are scared away by it’s complexity and/or their past experiences. Being a nerdy financial planner, I have tried many different budgeting tools. I’m only going to talk about ONE.
Here are 3 tips to keep in mind:
- There are a total of ZERO budgeting tools that will do this job for you 100%. It takes some effort to create and manage a budget no matter how slick the software is.
- Automate EVERYTHING possible (utilities, mortgage, bills, lumpy expenses, etc)
- Like other important areas of life, this is a habit that will need to be established
The tool I recommend is EveryDollar. Here’s why:
- It’s simple
- You set up a budget
- Throughout the month, you DRAG your expenses into the appropriate categories (extremely easy)
- You can always see where you stand
- There is a free version but I highly recommend EveryDollar Plus which costs $100 / year. The Plus version links to your bank account and automatically downloads your transactions.
Whether you make $50,000 or $500,000, telling your money where to go is step 1 to every financial plan.