In a nutshell, budgeting helps you see the difference between how much money comes in, and how much money goes out. The goal of creating a budget is to know IN ADVANCE how every penny will be spent within a certain time frame (weekly, monthly, etc) so that you can pay all of your financial obligations. Wouldn’t it be nice to get to the end of the month, have all your bills paid, and still have some money in your pocket? That’s what budgeting is all about! Once you master that, you can begin working other goals into your budget, such as saving for emergencies, vacations, retirement, or any other future goals/expenses you may have.
There is a lot of fantastic technology out there to help you in creating a budget, and some of them will pull your financial information all together – credit cards, loans, utilities, etc. — they track it all! With such ease and simplicity, there’s no reason not to budget!
Here are some of the most popular sites to create your budget and track your total finances:
Trouble deciding which program to use? Here’s a useful comparison from mybanktracker.com.
Not sure how to start? Start small, by taking a look at your “spending leaks.” These are the seemingly small things that can really cost quite a lot, added up over the course of the month or year. Use this spending leak calculator to see how much that coffee/soda/lunch/other daily craving is costing you.