Phyllis Shallman – How To Create A Simple Budget

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Budgeting is essential. But what if you don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re new to the world of budgets or you just want some help, this article will get you started on the right foot. There’s no one way that works for everyone, but these different methods can give you an idea of where to begin.

Method 1: The old fashioned way.

First, write down your total monthly take home pay. Next, break down your monthly spending into categories and write down how much you spend on each. Add those numbers together. Then, subtract that number from your take home pay.

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The advantage of this method is that it’s rewarding. You get to see your budget grow from the ground up. It connects you to your money like few other projects will.

It can, however, be frustrating. You’ll run into snags, miscalculations, and old fashioned human error. And that can nip your budget in the bud.

Method 2: Pre-made spreadsheets.

This is an easy way to create a customized budget. There are countless templates from Google Drive, Microsoft Office, the Federal Trade Commission, Nerdwallet, and more!

Unfortunately, they still require some legwork. You may need to customize your budget to your specific needs. And they don’t sync with your bank account, meaning you’ll need to manually input your monthly spending.

Method 3: Budget apps.

They come in a variety of different flavors, but they all serve a common purpose—make budgeting as simple as possible.

Typically, these apps handle the categorizing and all the math. You simply enter your monthly income, log your spending into categories, and let the app work its magic.

Not all budgeting apps are the same. Some require you to manually enter your spending, while others sync with your bank accounts. Some are free. Some cost money.

Here are a few of the most popular budgeting apps to investigate…

Mint – most popular

YNAB (You Need a Budget) – syncs with accounts, costs $84/year

PocketGuard – designed for overspenders

Honeydue – designed for couples

There’s not one particular way to begin budgeting. It all depends on your personal needs and what you’re comfortable with.

With so many options, you should be able to find the perfect method for you.

What do you think? Do you have a simple budget? How did you start it?

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