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. Get $20 free 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.
Whether your side hustle is a few bucks here and there, or a more structured, consistent source of income, you need to manage it (and you definitely need to track it for tax time!). Here’s a system I use to do exactly that.read more
If you’re looking for a book designed to help you get your financial life together, look no further! This is a review of Broke Millennial, by Erin Lowry, which shot to the top of my book-recommendation list when it came out.read more
What’s a “magic money number”? And how can you find out what it is for you? (It’s different for everyone, FYI.) This guest post from Alyssa at Mixed Up Money breaks it all down for you.read more
Not all the budgeting advice out there is worth listening too, for two major reasons. Here’s how to work around them, and figure out what actually works for your life.read more
Wondering how you can build a budget that works for real life? Here’s what baking The Hardest Cookies Known To Man (in skill, not consistency) taught me, and how the heck that all applies to money.read more
This is not some “The Secret” post about how if you just think magically, money will show up in your life. Nope, it’s much more focused on how to make choices and think of options you had never considered—especially not when every piece of standard wisdom says you can’t do this stuff.read more
There will be months – possibly many of them – where try as hard as you might, you go way the heck over budget. This is how I handle it, and how you can make sure it ends up being a productive thing for you and your money (and hey, it happens!)read more
Yes, I started this blog to try to save half my income. Yes, I got there (eventually). But there’s more to the story than that, which is why I’m pulling back the curtain with some real-talk about how it happened.read more
Trust me, everyone has weird spending patterns—and it actually makes you better at money. Here’s how.read more
While I’m not usually a fan of things you “have” to do…. this is a list of the ones I 100% stand behind. (And they’re not all that hard!)read more
Not sure where to begin when it comes to creating a plan to manage your money? Start here, with these four steps that are totally do-able for beginners and pros alike.read more
You don’t have to give up your lattes (or those other things you like) to be “good at money”. You just have to be intentional about spending on the things that matter to you.read more
We spent ten days travelling in the Rockies, and this is everything we did (plus how much it costs!)read more
Even when you know what the right thing to do IS, that doesn’t mean that you know how to do it.read more
No matter what your goals are, or how tight money is, you have to allocate at least something to spend on things you like—no matter how little it is, it’ll save your budget. Seriously.read more
These pieces of advice were hard lessons to learn when I was a new grad, and they’re the things I’d tell myself if I could go back to that time.read more
You don’t have to commit tons of time to make a big impact on your money. Here are five quick wins you can score in under an hour.read more
I don’t do regular updates anymore, but when I did, this was a big one: I finally managed to save half my income. Here’s how I did it, and what I spent money on.read more
There’s one key step most people (myself very much included) skip when it comes to budgeting, and it’s a crucial one.read more
Back when I still did spending recaps, this was a look at how one month (specifically, February) went in terms of my spending and saving.read more