Budgets rarely work. We all know that. Anyone who has tried to budget, and account for every little expense in a dairy, excel or other budgeting software will know what I am talking about.
You keep it up for a few days or weeks, then start to forget… recommit for another couple of days… and then ultimately-you’re back to undisciplined spending… sound familiar?
I too have tried to reel in spending in the past, but- the process of logging personal expenses was too much of a pain.
I wanted this time to be a success, so if I was going to try to keep track, it had to be near effortless to do so… perhaps even fun!
Help From Apps
I downloaded about 5 or 6 budgeting apps- didn’t like any of them. They were either too complicated (I.E. you need to figure out if your purchase fits into their categories before you to track your spending.. Or they wanted access to your bank account- a non-starter for me.
Then I found an app called Unspent. Costs $1.39 to download.
I have to say that I love t app. It has a very clean design, and it’s incredibly easy to use. It doesn’t come pre-loaded with any categories: you need to make your own, which is better. I wanted to track weekly spending on personal items- gas, groceries, entertainment, etc… Not recurring bills.
So, to make it easy, I just log every purchase under a category called “Week of September 30th”
First step, type in the maximum that you want to spend for the week. Then as you make purchases, just whip out your phone, and key in the dollar amount and type in what you bought.
- $3 Coffee
- $90 Gas
For the first few days, just spend like you normally would- I can almost guarantee that by mid week, with only a quarter of your budget left, you will start to change your spending habits for the better.