So we’ve been doing this budget thing for ooh, a month or so? I know I have mentioned a few websites or apps before, like Learnvest, etc. But what if you need help on the go? Deciding how you’re going to track your budget is critical to your success. A budget is entirely useless unless you can keep up with it 24/7. Without some vigilance on your part, no matter your intentions and how fancy or great you planned the budget, it will become useless. You must keep track of all new charges all the time…that’s where on the go apps come into play.
The most important thing to remember always is that the BEST budgeting system is the one you ACTUALLY use! If you have to use whiteboard walls, post it notes and flashing lights – if you don’t use it, you lose. So let’s talk about what would make an app ideal for YOU and your lifestyle. My perfect budgeting app would have the following features:
- Add bank transactions automatically for me.
- Remember repeat purchases (i.e., Morning coffee runs or weekly petrol)
- MUST BE USER-FRIENDLY! (I’m a techno-idiot.)
- Has a section for notes (so I can remember what and where I spent).
- Reliability Factor. (I NEED to know that if the system fails, customer service is on it, ready for my issues and that months of budgeting won’t get lost).
- Anything that makes it fun, like a section to track my goal saving for a vacation, big ticket items, etc.
- Tracks cash purchases without affecting bank balance.
- Cost efficient (I’m willing to pay if it saves me time and makes updating easy, but it HAS to be reasonable. It’s money well spent).
- Allows me to run custom reports (so I can see where I need work and where I have improved my habits).
- Saves all my info & lets me download to my computer.
My favorite app is free, and it’s great because it is geared towards people with no real idea of a budget. Calendar Budget is for people living paycheck to paycheck, or for freelancers with a variable income. It’s an online software that helps you make sound financial decisions by tracking your spending against your budget. It lets you see your monthly income and plan your expenses on a calendar. It’s a great visual tool, and did I mention it’s FREE?! The customer service is outstanding. I sent in a simple inquiry and heard back almost immediately. Bonus points peeps. The downside? There’s no app .. yet. Note to self – the full site works much better the mobile one.
The next site that I found was quite by accident. I typed incorrectly and ended up at youneedabudget.com. You can get there by typing YNAB.com (my mistake, I was actually heading to MYOB….do not even ask) Anyway, they have a blog with tips as well, not that I want you to leave MBB … I’m keeping it real peeps! This site is $60 smackeroos for a lifetime download (or until they go bust?), but FREE to college students (of which I have 2, so “na na na kish koosh”) and it’s for peeps who absolutely, positively HATE budgeting. It’s for folks who are new to it and looking for a little hand holding to set it up and keep it moving in the right direction. Ideal for those new lettermen at University. This site consists of webinars that teach you how to make a budget and make it work for you. It emphatically reminds you that yesterday happened, and you need to start with what you have in your bank accounts today. It’s mindful (lol). No bells and whistles and you do need to sync and upload, but there is a user-friendly app to go alongside the desktop site.
Now if you haven’t been paying attention to the MBB Budgeting 101 series, and you don’t WANT to set up a budgeting plan, then you need to check out Digit. This will help you SAVE money, and it may encourage you to start keeping a better eye on those extravagant habits. How does it work? First, you need to connect your checking account. Digit then analyzes your income and spending and finds money set aside safely for you. No worries, they use 128-bit bank-level security and don’t store your bank login info. Every day, Digit tries to find a little extra money to move to a savings account for yo without worrying about overdraft. As a matter of fact, they have a NO OVERDRAFT GUARANTEE. “How ‘bout them apples?” You can access the savings at any time, just send Digit a text, and they’ll transfer the moolah to your checking account on the next business day. No account minimums, unlimited transfer – kind of cool, right? There is a 100 day FREE trial period, and if you love it, budget in the monthly $2.99 fee from there on. Good luck.
OK peeps. Now it is up to you to go forth and create that budget plan. A little tougher in the summer with all those awesome things to do, but there’s loads of cheap and free stuff out there for your summer pleasures.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕