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Budget: Creating/Living With

Step 7. Give The Budget A Trial Period By Using Apps Or An Envelope To Help Keep Track

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Try to stick to your budget for a trial period -- say a few weeks to a few months.

One way to keep track is with an app on your phone. For instance, the following apps are budget trackers:

  • Ace Budget offsite link - record transactions yourself and chart your progress.
  • offsite link - a streamlined budgeting app. It even allows you to track expenses by item such as coffee and gas. Your informatoin in encrypted.
  • offsite link - grabs spending information from your credit card and bank accounts and categories them

Don't become discouraged if it takes time to change your behavior to meet your new plan. Think of it like dieting. It takes time to change your eating habits and lose weight permanently. It takes time to develop new spending habits that let you stick to your budget every period.

If it helps, consider becoming disciplined by making spending less convenient. For instance, each time period (week, month etc.), put cash equal to what you can spend on a subject during that time period in an envelope. When the cash is gone, you can't spend more on that item until the next time period. An app, Easy Envelope Budget Aid offsite link is a digital version of the envelope method of budgeting.  You set up virtual envelopes on  your smartphone. The app also allows the data that you input to sync with the smartphones 

If credit cards are the lure to spend more, leave them home, or freeze most of the m in a block of ice in your freezer. To learn more, see How To Keep From Overusing Your Credit Cards.

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