Creating a monthly budget doesn’t have to be hard work and it’ll give you confidence in your spending. So, when the Playstation 5 finally hits stores, you’ll know you can afford it.
This article will help you understand what a monthly budget is, why you need one, and a few apps that can help along the way.
What a monthly budget is
A monthly budget is how much money you make, how much you spend, and how much you have left over. Simple as that.
You can track this in an Excel sheet or a notebook, but it’s important you know how much money you have and where it goes. Split where it goes into necessities (e.g. rent, bills, loan payments) and wants (e.g. new clothes, furniture, a camera).
Why you need a monthly budget
The point of a budget is to know exactly how much money you have, so you can cover the important stuff. Last thing you want is to be short on rent, because you ordered takeout a few too many times.
Once your important expenses are covered, you can decide what to put towards your wants and savings.
7 apps that can help you budget
Budgeting used to be difficult and tedious, but technology has made it easier and easier.
Here are seven of our favorite apps that can help you better budget your spending.
What it’s good for: Simple investing.
You can connect any card and turn on Round-Ups, which rounds up each purchase to the nearest dollar. The app takes this extra money and invests it in an account set up for you.
Cost: $1 to $3 per month.
What it’s good for: Simple budgeting.
The app helps you create a budget in under 10 minutes. It helps plan and track expenses, but you can only connect your accounts when you sign up for the paid version, EveryDollar Plus.
Cost: Free, unless you upgrade to EveryDollar Plus which costs $129.99 per year.
What it’s good for: Virtual envelope budgeting.
Some people take their paycheck and put the cash they need for bills in envelopes, which is called envelope budgeting. This app lets you do that digitally. It helps create household budgets, save for expenses, and pay down debt.
Cost: Free, but Goodbudget Plus starts at $7 per month.
What it’s good for: All-in-one budgeting.
This is the most well-known app on the list. You can connect all your accounts to the Mint app to see a breakdown of where your money goes. You can see real-time transactions, create goals, and check out your Equifax credit score.
What it’s good for: Letting the internet do it for you.
With this app, you connect all of your income and spending accounts, and it creates a budget for you. The app uses internet magic to calculate how much you’ll have left over (called In My Pocket money) after you pay your bills.
Cost: Free, but the extra-feature PocketGuard Plus starts at $4.99 per month
What it’s good for: Budgeting on an iPhone.
The Wally app is only available on the iPhone, but you can get another version called Wally+ on Android. With it, you can track expenses, set goals, save pictures of receipts, and set up budgets in any currency.
What it’s good for: Budgeting for every dollar.
This app uses the budgeting concept called budgeting to zero that accounts for every dollar in your bank account. It requires more work than the other budgeting apps, but many people swear by it.
Cost: $11.99 per month.
Starting your budget is usually the hardest part, but these apps are here to help. Have a quick sit down, set some goals, and every dollar will be accounted for in no time.