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.

Or, And, If: Three Magic Words for Your Budget

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.

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In Defense of the Fun Budget

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.

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