I have never been really good at budgeting. I always thought budgeting was hard and got frustrated with trying to figure out how to portion out my money.
I have tried several money management programs through the years including Microsoft money when it first came out years ago.
Back then everything had to be put in manually and I would always end up forgetting to put something in and get confused when nothing matched. Or I would just get frustrated with tying to set it up so I could actually see where it was going.
I tried a couple of other programs last year and though they have improved a great deal in the last few years (you can now download all your bank info) they still seem too confusing to me.
I could figure out how to track my checking pretty easy with all of those programs. Unfortunately figuring out how to get all the other accounts (savings, credit cards, cash) on there so I knew where all my money was and what it should be used for was just frustrating and I gave up.
But then I saw a post about the You Need A Budget software. I downloaded the free 34 day free trial and got it all set up within an hour or so. It only took that long because of putting in ALL my accounts at one time. I wanted to get it all done and over with.
What I really really like about this program is that it has a separate budget section. The program allows you to set accounts as being either on the budget or off the budget. If it is on the budget then it shows on your budget page. If the account is off budget it doesn’t show on your budget page and you manage it separately.
So I can see everything that affects my budget in one place. I have it set up with master categories for things that have to be paid each month (mortgage, water bill, electric), things that are optional (cable, phone), things that need to be paid quarterly or yearly (insurance, taxes), and things that we are saving up for (new car, emergencies).
One of the best things about this program is that you are NOT supposed to budget any money until you actually have that money in your hand (or account). At that time you add the income to the program and figure out what you need(or want) to use the money for. I have a category for dinners out…just because I like eating out occasionally and I would feel deprived if I couldn’t do that at all.
That makes it much easier to figure out how much money you can spend or if you even have any discretionary money. One of my problems always was forgetting what needed to be paid and spending too much on something else.
Now I can set up the budget and see exactly how much is needed where. I am loving this program and I went on and bought my very own copy. You can use the program on multiple computers or on a mobile device as long as all of those are for your own use. So if you are out shopping you could check your budget to see if you have money while you are in the store.
You can download a 34 day free trial of the software here if you would like to try it out yourself. If you decide you like the program and decide to buy it (like I did) you can get a discount by coming back here and using this $6 off link.
Their website has some really good tutorials that walk you through just about everything you might want to do with it. And a great support section too.