Budgeting apps are the future. Actually, they’re the NOW!
Quick survey: how many budgets have you drafted? Maybe you’re a fan of the work sheet. Who doesn’t love to play with a good work sheet? Maybe it was on real paper. Maybe a napkin. Second question: how’s that going for you? Sticking to a budget seems way easier for people writing about budgeting than for your average housewife. Don’t worry, we’ve all gone through our horrendous debt phase.
I am the queen of budgets, worksheets, planning and outlining my future, and if I could ever wear out the buttons of my smart phone calculator they would be shiny stubs of what they once were. However, I am also the duchess of failure and giving up.
The Most Important Thing About Budgeting
Budgeting is easy. I should say creating a budget is easy. All you need to know is how to read the numbers on your paycheck and you also have to be able to read the numbers in bold at the end of your electric and gas bills, etc. It’s followthrough that’s the stuff of superman paired with a will of iron. So, I will not promise that what I am about to share with you will keep you on budget. I can tell you that there is only one person who can keep you on track and even get you out of debt. This person is powerful, amazing and has a foundation of biblical principles to keep you inspired: this person is you.
Staying on budget and tracking spending is what has totally kicked my butt. You know what really hurts the most? That I’m smart enough to know that I need to track our spending as we go, but I insist that my memory is the stuff of legends and go a week or two confidently thinking, “I’ll write it down later.” Are you relating to any of this?
I want you to have the best life possible.
Debt and careless spending do not help you get there. I am here to tell you about a couple of tools that I’ve come to know and love; I like to call them my bootstraps. You know, because we pull ourselves up by them. They also cater to my lazy nature because I don’t have to do a whole lot but if I stick to it, it sure seems like I know what I’m doing! If you download these apps and let them gather virtual dust, that is your prerogative.
I have been doing some digging, researching and some hard core investigative work to find out about 4 applications for people like me: simple people with no time to learn the equations for aerodynamic chemistry (yes, I realize that’s not a thing). Budgeting. Frugality. This lifestyle was literally meant for geniuses, and I’m clever, maybe even intuitive. Probably not a genius. I mean I haven’t taken any tests to prove otherwise.
There is nothing like a novelty to jumpstart your resolve. Evernote is what it sounds like, for taking notes, but in terms of life improvement, this app is Dr. Phil. Top three reasons Evernote is awesome for budgeting:
Everything in one place.
Evernote can become useless if you only use if for certain things and not for others. Make this app your headquarters for your budget information.
Create a notebook called “Budget.” You’ll never be messing around with the rabbit hole of searching for files within files. The search option makes it virtually indispensable to your budgeting sanity. Let’s say you made a note months ago about the price of pork chops. You’re at the meat market and you’d love to compare those prices Type “pork chop” in the search field of your Evernote app and you’re on your way to the best deal on pork chops.
Track your cash spending.
This is simple, create a new note for each pay period with the title “Spending Tracker [Month] [Year].” The glory of Evernote is that you can literally create thousands of notes without ever going mad looking for any particular one.
Did you forget what you spent $7 dollars on 5 months ago? Search for your note called “Spending Tracker March 2017,” and badda bing badda boom, you have the memory of a dolphin, or is it elephants?
Never pay too much again.
I’m a freak about getting the best deal and I will chew on the idea of new pillows for weeks before I buy. Imagine you’re in a store thinking you may have found a great deal on pillows. Just whip out your Evernote, create a note called “pillows” in your notebook handily titled “Shopping for Deals.” Snap a photo of this super pillow and note the price and the store.
Then, later that week you’ll be on Amazon and wonder if these pillows are any better. Use the web clipper in Evernote to attach the Amazon pillows link to your pillow note. You might be looking for anything from curtains to clothespins. This trick scored me a 90% off deal on bulk laundry detergent last week!
Skeptical at first because of some reviews, while I’ve been using the app I have yet to run across the problems described. If you’re not a stock broker, this free app and website will do everything you need. There are maybe 12 other reasons this app is pretty cool, but I will list the top three in order of wow.
Syncing to all your accounts.
Mint lets you connect to your checking and savings accounts, all your credit cards and any loans to help you stay on track. I love love love this because everything is in one place. There are complaints about the app “unsyncing” but I’ve already figured out that it probably has to do with your bank’s website configuration which is set to time out if you are not using it for several minutes. A bit of a hassle, but worth it to keep the app secure. Maybe they’ll figure out a way around it (a background refresh of some sort).
Mint outlines the 6 factors affecting your credit score, which is helpful when you are trying to figure out how you can raise it!
Setting and sticking to your goals.
We all daydream about what our retirement income will look like, or about our dream home or that long-overdue vacation. This will help you make your dreams a reality by adding it to your monthly budget.
Go for It
Download these apps, or if you have already USE THEM to their full potential. When you do, you’ll be the queen of your finances. If you are serious about budgeting and making your dreams a reality, you have no excuse. Get on it. Be the woman you know you already are. Ambitious. Tenacious. Fierce.