Budgeting

Budgeting 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.

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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.

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Four Real-Life Ways You Can Save Money on Food

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.

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“You Should Care Less” Is Terrible Money Advice

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.

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