How to Manage your Budget from Square One

If you are not budgeting your money, you’re allowing unnecessary debt into your life and making it next to impossible to save for the future. But how can we effectively budget to cover all of our costs while still saving? What technology is available to help us along the way? Follow these steps to make a budget and control your spending habits.

Keep your Budget on you

Unless you have a remarkable memory, you will need to carry a hard copy of your budget with you. What better resource to have than your smartphone? Create a new note and keep your budget with you in a device you already use on a daily basis. That way, when that new graphics card or tablet is calling your name, you will be able to refer directly to your budget to see what you might be able to move around to make the purchase. If you can make a sacrifice the following month to make your purchase now, perhaps you can pull the purchase off. It will be your decision to make, but you’ll be able to make the best decision possible having your budget at your fingertips.


Just as important as having your budget on hand, you need to use a calculator when out shopping. Luckily, your smartphone doubles as a calculator, so you don’t need to make an additional purchase. Your daily errands, such as dry cleaning and grocery shopping, can derail your budgeting plans quickly if you do not keep them in check. As you move throughout the store, keep a cumulative total of the cost of your items. If you exceed your weekly budget, you’ll know pretty quickly. It’s perfectly acceptable to purchase more one week if you’re taking advantage of sale prices, but you must document the additional purchases so as to not go off budget the following week.

There’s an App for That

Whether you’re one of the Apple-faithful, or live and die by the Droid, there are personal finance apps available for you to utilize. These intuitive applications can do almost all of your budgeting for you. Most require you to input your bank account information to their secured application, which then tracks every purchase made through the specific account. These apps even allow you to create sub-categories to help you better organize the types of purchases you are making. Install the right personal finance app for you and begin planning for your future.

Budget Weekly

It will be imperative that you read through your budget every week. You need to make decisions as to whether or not your budget is realistic. If you exceed your limits in one category on a regular basis, you may need to readjust the amount you’ve budgeted for that area. Unless you anticipate your income adjusting to meet the difference, you will have to make sacrifices in other areas to cover your spending.

Plan Ahead, Budget Accordingly

Go through your calendar for the upcoming month and take note of any special events you have planned. Dinner with your spouse, a concert, and any other pre-planned event should be added to your budget for the month. If you know you have an event coming up beyond the current month, reduce your monthly spending for the event. You can plan for vacations, home improvement projects, and landscaping projects simply by planning for the future.

Fall-back Funds

Lastly, begin preparing for unexpected expenses. You never know when you’ll need to dip into your funds for an emergency room visit, new car windshield, or personal computer. Start by saving up at least $1,000, and build from there. Unfortunately, we cannot predict the future, and the only way to help yourself with those unforeseen expenses is to prepare for the unknown.

About the author:
Melanie Gomez is a Staff Writer for TechBreach

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