Budgets Come in all Different Shapes and Sizes.

by J. Money on Friday, June 19, 2009

Budget Your WayIf there’s one thing I like more than beer and sex (just being honest!), it’s clever budgeting. And just like there’s all sorts of ways to have a good time, there are all sorts of ways to manage your cash flow.

Personally, I use google docs to stay on top of my financial snapshot. I can budget from it, track my savings goals, my paycheck breakdowns, and most importantly my net worth (so I know overall how I’m doing that month). It’s a little too bright and all over the place for some people, but it’s perfect for me. You can download the budget template in excel if you wanna check it out.

Another way you can do it is via Word, shown below. It’s clean, simple, and to the point. And most of all, it WORKS for the reader who emailed it over to me. As you can see, he has listed out all his bills, deadlines, savings, and retirement contributions – along with a few goals and “leftover amounts”. Basically, his financial snapshot:

Financial Snapshot - Reader

These are just 2 of the 10,934 ways you can do it. You’ve also got places online like Mint.com, YouNeedABudget.com, or even going old school and hitting up the envelope method! It doesn’t really matter what you use, so long as you USE it and get something out of it. If it keeps your finances in check so you can frolic around with the more exciting parts of your life, you’re doing things right.

PS: Some of my favorite tools:
personal capital Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review
digit.co Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review
acorns Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review

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