All About Budgets!
In my growing-up years, when it came to money, my parents were frugal. Many of their ways were passed down to me: Use coupons; shop for the best price; shop sales; save for what you want; ask yourself, “is this a want or a need?”
Over the years I met other smart people who shared more advice, such as “Know and plan where every dollar goes;” “Start saving for your next car just after you purchase your current one;” “Pay with cash! You’ll see that the money is gone;” and–this is a big one–”Pay yourself first!” (Which means, save.)
When you understand where your money is going, you have control over how you spend it. But how do you get started? In today’s Financial Literacy Month blog, we are going to look at one of the best tools to keep finances under control–budgeting!
Learn about budgets:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers some simple ways to help you create your own budget. Their article Budgeting: How to Create a Budget and Stick with It helps you work through a 4-step plan to create a budget. In this article, CFPB includes some worksheets you can print and use to work through the plan.
CFPB also suggests that, as part of your budget plan, you also set goals—something to work towards.
It shows you how to create SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Or learn budgeting by email!
Would you like to learn how to pay down your debt, create a budget, and track your spending? CFPB also has an email course that can help! You can get a handle on your finances by signing up for their course here: Get a Handle on Debt Boot Camp!
York County Libraries wishes to thank the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for allowing us to share their information with our community.
Apps to help with Budgeting
After creating a budget, you can get help keeping track of your money by using an app. We’ve suggested some safe, secure options below.
Mint–you link all your financial accounts and it helps you figure out where your money is going/needs to go.
YNAB (You Need A Budget) –requires that you account for every single dollar you have so there’s no wiggle room. Good for first time budgeters!
Good Budget–virtual “Envelope system” but without literal envelopes of cash. You can link multiple family members so the whole family is working with live information on, for example, where the monthly groceries budget stands at that moment.
Honeydue–This app is good for couples combining finances. You link all credit cards, bank accounts, etc. for a full picture of your shared finances. Then the app lets you know how you, as a couple, stand with working on debt, what’s left in the utilities budget, whether the rent was paid yet, and more. There’s a built in communication tool so you can send your partner a quick message or question right in the app.
And… Just a reminder:
You can also borrow books about budgeting from your local library! Check out some that York County Libraries are offering here.
Don’t forget: Money Smart Week is hosting several webinars focusing on a variety of topics from April 10-17, 2021. When you register for a webinar, you can include questions for the presenters. These webinars will be recorded and archived so that they can be watched at a later date.