Chapter 5: Helpful Budgeting Tools
Much like anything else in the real world, there's no perfect tool to budget. The reality is you have to test different things to find what works for you.
In this chapter, we review various budgeting tools that may or may not work for you. Listen to the conversation and download the Money Management for Couples Worksheet to help you see the benefits these tools could offer.
This or that?
From new apps to pen and paper, choosing a system that works is a decision only you and your partner can make. Be willing to compromise or split duties if you can't come to a shared conclusion. The goal is to figure out what works together.
Take a chance on these.
There are a few money management systems that have generally worked well for people. We think these are worth your time and energy to attempt.
The video and Money Management for Couples Worksheet explain these in more detail, but here's a quick look at them:
- Cash Envelopes
Use cash for certain budget items, like personal spending, to prevent from overdrawing your accounts. Simply put cash in labeled envelopes for the month and only use that money for what it's assigned to. Once the cash is gone, you're done spending on that item until the next month.
Make a spreadsheet - free tools online could help here - to build out the categories of your budget and align money accordingly. Electronic spreadsheets are easy to build and adjust. You can also set up equations to help you tally totals and keep your money balanced.
Allowances help us all stay within the limits of our budget. Give you and your partner an allowance to spend or save as you wish. It's a healthy way to treat yourselves while also protecting your budget.
Refine as you go.
Every six months, do a complete overview of your budget with your partner. Check out your goals and progress. From there, make necessary adjustments to keep you both on track.
Your Chapter 2 Checklist:
- Watch the Helpful Budgeting Tools video
- Download the Money Management for Couples Worksheet
- Choose a few different budgeting tools to try this month
- Check out the other Let's Start Today courses to help reach your goals