Ever since I started earning my first income, I thought of budgeting as a restriction. Budgeting would be keeping me from using my hard-earned money when I wanted. This is a misconception that I have finally gotten over (well, sort of).
“Why should I budget my income? I deserve to spend it as I see fit.”
While I do think that we all should be able to spend our hard-earned money as we see fit, I don’t always agree with what we see fit. Since meeting the love of my life, and creating the other, I view my finances quite a bit differently than when I was single (or even before I was a parent).
My future… Our future depends my financial actions in the present. So I finally put on my grown-up pants and looked into ways of tracking our spending so that we could create a budget plan. I found that a balance between my bank’s website statements, along with Mint.com worked pretty well for tracking my finances.
Though, due to split costs on receipts, and general categories, they didn’t quite meet my needs. We are now trying a simpler method, which is to simply save ALL of our receipts as we go so that we are able to place where money is spent. From there, we plan to create a budget using this free budgeting planner.
It seems that a more physical approach works better for us thus far. Though, I’ve heard plenty of success stories from people using online budget trackers like the Mint.com website I listed above.
How do you control your budget? Do you budget? Have tips for how we can improve our budgeting system?