So we’ve talked about budgeting before and its importance. But let’s take it one step further and actually look at some tools to help you get started. If you’re like me and grew up in the tech savvy age, you might be inclined to use something digital that has a good user interface, an app, and that’s easy to set up. My first suggestion, Mint.com, has it all. I used it for some time and I was actually overwhelmed with all the ways you can track you spending habits, your debts, your bills, and all sorts of things. But it’s a great tool that’s been highly used, reviewed, and there’s a ton of support around the product.
Bill Tracker & Debt Tracker Pro are two great apps that do exactly what their names in tell. The first will give you updates and help track bills from the monthly rent & energy Bills to infrequent bills like Car Insurance. I personally use my phones calendar, but this takes it one step further. Debt Tracker Pro is great at showing you a visual picture of your debts. Sometimes that’s the extra motivation you need to keep pounding away toward being debt free. For school Loans, car Loans, mortgages; it gives you great details on your overall debt situation so you can assess your plans and progress.
My wife and I have been very good so far at what I like to call the “Paper & Pencil & Phone Camera” method. After doing our monthly budget, we take a picture with our camera phone and use that to refer back to during the month. But I’ve recently discovered the Goodbudget app and I believe we will make the switch to using this instead, at least for reference purposes. It’s able to sync across multiple devices to help with family budgeting. It’s also based on the envelope budgeting method which we learned in our Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class. The app gives you reports on your budget and helps you track the money you’ve designated for each line item on your budget. Best of all its free, ad-free, and highly praised at helping people live within their means.
I challenge you all to find one app that looks appeasing and try it out for 90 days. The worse that can happen is you don’t like it and you delete it. On the other end, it could change your outlook on the way you handle money drastically, and improve your habits for the better…I think that’s worth the risk.