How To Budget Money And The Best Budget App
Why Should I Budget?
Budgeting is a critical part of getting ahead financially. Yet so many ignore this idea out of indifference or lack of know-how. But budgeting is a discipline and a skill. It takes foresight, restraint, and attention to detail which is why many do not do it.
But by not doing it, you’re sacrificing your future. Many people claim they simply do not have enough money to budget and invest. That’s simply not the case. There is always something to cut back on so you can get ahead. Eating out is one thing that really gets many people, especially those who have to work 2-3 jobs. Many are just too tired and as a result, pay for very overpriced and expensive food delivery services and lose any headway that could have been made.
So everyone can cut back somewhere.
Budgeting and tracking your expenditures will crystalize how much money you actually waste over the course of your life. Part of the reason why people avoid it is because seeing how much money that is wasted is a scary sight.
It’s time to face your fears…
Check out How To Prepare For A Recession
How To Budget Money
Tracking all expenditures and all income is how you budget. After you track all of this information you must set limits and goals. Outstanding credit card debt? Focus on paying that down with a financial target. $50 a month, $100 a month or whatever you have to do to pay the debt off. If you have to change your cell phone plan or cable tv plan to move money around, that’s what has to be done.
Chances are you’re not watching all the tv channels in your cable plan. Maybe switch to internet TV that’s less expensive and take that difference and put it towards your credit card or auto loan.
This brings me to another point of just basic financial literacy… Do Not Take Out An Auto Loan.
If you have to drive a 2005 Honda Civic instead of that 2016 BMW to avoid it then that’s what you must do.
More money towards assets, less towards liabilities.
The Best Budget And Personal Finance App
I decided to not make a list but to choose the very best app (in my view) to budget and set financial goals. It came down to Mint and YNAB. I chose YNAB
The main reason being that Mint while robust, has a number of major problems for me. One is that it is free. Because it is free it heavily data mines your information. There is ad spam that tries to sell you products and services while you’re trying to actually budget money. Kind of hypocritical if you ask me. Mint also attempts to upsell you consumer deals, 1% discounts for this, cashback for that.
Another issue Mint has is synchronization issues. At times it can report incorrect data. You might see money show up that you don’t have and wonder if you had missing money somewhere. You may also find money missing. Both problems can result in wasting your time because chances are you’re going to call your bank or credit card company asking why there’s a discrepancy.
I rather just avoid all of that, which is why I use YNAB. YNAB does cost about $6 a month, but has pretty much all of the same features aside from credit score monitoring.
With YNAB, you gain most of the great features of MINT, such as budget targets, categorizing your expenditures. Setting savings goals, and more at the expense of things like credit score tracking. But none of the data mining, ads, much better syncing and consistent innovation. New features are constantly added.
If you really need a free app Mint is where to go. But try YNAB and you’ll see why it’s far superior.
Inexpensive and robust budgeting and personal finance app. Not as feature-rich as mint but more functional.