BudgetingBudgeting doesn't have to suck. It's just a way to make a plan so your money goes where you want it to go.
Budgeting has a horrible reputation.
Usually, “I’m on a budget” is a phrase that implies you’re not spending any money, and definitely not on anything fun. However, that’s missing the whole point of a budget.
When used correctly, your budget should make it easier for you to spend money on the things you love, and remove all of the guilt involved in that spending. It’ll also make sure that at the same time, you’re putting money away for the goals that matter most to you, on a timeline that makes sense for your life.
That sounds much better than your typical view of being “on a budget,” right?
Best budgeting tools out there
Connect your accounts to Mint, build a budget based on spending categories, and get notifications when you go over budget in a specific category. An easy, automated option for beginners.
Keep yourself on budget by loading money onto a prepaid KOHO card that tracks your spending automatically. Earn an extra 1% cashback for 90 days with code HALFBANKED when you sign up.
Get more nuanced control of your money and lessons to help guide your budgeting approach with You Need a Budget, a paid option that connects with your accounts.
Build a budget in under a minute
The One Minute Budget is a (free!) spreadsheet that helps calculate how much you should spend on major budget categories—all you need to know is your income.
This post is sponsored by Alterna Bank, but all opinions and stories are my own. When I was a student, I was not reading personal finance blogs—let’s just make that clear right now. I wasn’t terrible with money as a student in the grand scheme of things, but I...read more
Wondering how you can plan for a holiday budget that actually works? (And doesn’t totally forget how much you spend on things like new shoes for the holiday party?) I got you fam, with a downloadable worksheet and everything.read more
Last summer, on the same day we took possession of our new house, The Boyfriend became The Fiance, and we got engaged. Which was, let's be real, the easiest part of planning our wedding, at least for me. All I had to do was say yes. I'm definitely excited to be...read more
When was the last time you learned something new? (Are you learning about money right now, and that’s why you’re here? High heckin’ fives.) If it’s not literally happening right now, it’s easy to forget how scary and intimidating it can feel to step into something as...read more
There’s a time and a place for full-on budgets, for sure. But if you’re a pro who’s tired of allocating $13 a month to “shampoo” in your budget, this will help you drastically simplify your budgeting efforts.read more
2017 was a year of hustle, and because that was my focus, it got done. This year is all about finding a balance, especially because last year, I burnt out hard. This is how I’m coming back from it.read more
Can new technology help you save more money? With this new offering from RBC, the answer is definitely yes – and you don’t need to download an app or give away your banking login to make it happen.read more
When I look back at my time as a student, I realize my budget (or lack thereof) was best defined as “dumb luck.” It all worked out, sure, but not because of any kind of system. Here’s what I wish I had done instead.read more
There is a lot of hype around how eating less meat, or no meat, can save you a lot of money. Here is a real-life look at how much I have saved on our grocery bill by cutting meat out of my diet for the past few months.read more
There is sooooo much talk about joint accounts between couples—but trust me, you don’t actually need one. If you want to start sharing a few things with a partner, there’s an easier (and more effective) way to do it.read more
One of my most “controversial” opinions is that you should treat your house as a place you live, not an investment… because it’s not. That doesn’t mean you can’t buy a house if you want one, though. You just need to do these things first.read more
Planning out a wedding budget isn’t all that different than planning out your regular budget—so whether or not you’re engaged, this post has solid money advice you can apply to your money.read more
If you want to scale down your spending and find more money in your budget, there’s no need to get extreme about it. This simple step will help you make manageable, do-able progress towards your money goals.read more
It’s so easy to feel guilty spending on things that feel luxurious—but sometimes that guilt is totally unnecessary. Here’s how you can figure out whether you can afford to spend on that luxury thing, guilt-free.read more
You can try to squeeze more into your budget, or you can try to squeeze more out of your budget. Here’s which one is best, and how it’ll make you way happier than the other (and less stressed, too).read more
Groceries and restaurants can be two of the biggest budget line items in anyone’s budget (after housing, of course). Scaling back on them isn’t easy, because you need to eat, but these four tips will help you do it sans giving up the stuff you love to eat.read more
We bought a lot of things when we moved into our new house. Like… a LOT of things. Here’s everything that was definitely worth it, and that we’d buy again, and what we’d skip if we had a do-over.read more
There’s a specific kind of financial advice that drives me batty. It’s when people advise you to just stop spending money on something they consider frivolous—even if it’s something you love. It’s bad advice for a number of reasons, and the first one is that is just doesn’t work.read more
Listen, planning to give up all the stuff you like, FOREVER, just to afford a house is a bad plan. You will cave eventually, and you will be miserable in the meantime. Here is how to balance your budget for both—your house and the stuff you love.read more
If you’re buying a home (in Canada), you’ll need to be really careful about planning for CMHC and other closing costs. I mean, you’ll have closing costs anywhere, sure, but these ones are what you need to watch out for here!read more