Sunday, July 27, 2014

Get Your Life Together

A few week ago I posted about the downfalls of being an adult. One thing I'm super conscious of in my adult life is that money doesn't grow on trees who knew!? I wasn't spoiled as a kid, however, I didn't want. More than that if I was told no it was okay. 

Now as an adult I'm in charge of buying things I want... and telling myself no. But here's the thing, I'm not cool with being homeless.

Enter the dreaded world of budgeting, and the hero of SinplePlanning. It can be a process, but in the long run it's worth it. 

For the longest time I did my budgeting with pen and paper the day before payday. I was super on top of what bills were getting paid when and how much. One of my favorite features with Simple Planning is that once you've added all your figures into the Quick Budget it tells you via pie chart how much of your money is going where.

What I wasn't on top of was the money that was leaking out of my bank account to God knows where. A quick trip to DD or Starbucks; lunch at the Morgan Stanley cafe. A splurge at Hale & Hearty.... it adds up faster than we realize. 

Hands down my favorite thing about this program is that it runs on Excel. You don't need to download a bunch of special programs and software. You simply download the worksheets and you're good to go. Save them anywhere, send or share them. It's completely customizable for your needs.

One of the other awesome things about this budgeting program is that there's a Tracking tab to keep track of the spending you're actually doing in each category. Hop on over to Comparison and it will show you what you budgeted compared to what you actually spent. Here's where my eye openers were. 

This is only a small guesstimation of my comparison as I haven't fully reconciled yet. I know my food budget gets out of hand, especially for those random lunches or dinners out, but $38 in just a week isn't a good thing. I plan on using these tools to help rein it in and keep it within reason. 

As if that weren't enough you can always use the Spending Analyzer to show you where your money budget traps are and how you can correct them.

The analyzer which break down which categories you go over budget most often, by how much, and what percent of your monthly income that category takes. They always say your cost of living (rent/mortgage) should be no more than 30% of your monthly income. That may or may not have changed since I read that years ago. with this program you can keep track of your percentages. 

Although I've only been using SimplePlanning for a short time I know it's going to help me stay on top of my finances, help me pay down my upcoming student loans, save money, and still go out for those impromptu lunches! 

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