Knowing how to effectively and efficiently track your expenses and stay within your budget is a life skill that many of us have to learn. After all, this is one of the main factors that help you set yourself up for stability and success.
Thankfully, there are various options for the best way to track a budget. Plus, once you get the hang of it and establish a budget, keeping up with this is not hard at all. Whether you are saving for school or a house, you need to track.
If you are interested in taking on a more active role when it comes to your finances, knowing what you are spending and where you are spending it is essential. Below are our top picks for the best way to track a budget, read on to learn more.
The Best Way to Track Budget: Using an App
Before you protest, hear us out. Almost everyone has a smartphone today, so having this device work for you instead of the other way around is certainly the way to go.
A dedicated budget app that you can have with you wherever you go will make your budgeting and tracking habit loads easier.
A budgeting app is a dedicated program or software that allows you to manage your finances directly from your phone. There are various types available on the market with each one having its own unique set of features and offerings.
Benefits of Using an App
This type of application is widely preferred these days. It’s not only because of the convenience it offers but also because it allows your bank accounts to be linked, thereby streamlining your whole budget tracking approach.
These make it easier for you to stick towards your budget and your tracking as a whole. What’s more, these apps allow you to be more mindful of what you spend your money on and how you spend it.
Some of the more popular ones are You Need a Budget (YNAB) and Mint. Both of these work by giving you the chance to allocate part of your income towards your budget.
All you need to do is key in your expenses for the week or the time period and repeat, so be consistent.
Other Ways to Track a Budget
Apart from using a dedicated budgeting app, you can also turn to other worthy contenders to make it easier for you. If using your phone is not ideal, you can go with the following methods below:
Go Traditional with Pen and Paper
You can create your own ledger (or even use a pre-made one) and write your expenses in that notebook. You can start by dividing your page into columns and write each expense or budget category at the top of each column. Record the assigned budget beside it.
List down all your essential categories such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and the like. Then, proceed by tracking your expenses throughout the day, week, or month. The important thing is to track as you go.
Use a Template
If you want to use a more detailed approach, you can use a spreadsheet on your computer or even on your mobile device. There are ready-to-download budget templates available online. All you need to do is download these and make them work for your budgeting needs and lifestyle.
The Bottom Line
There is no one way to go about budgeting. However, with these various methods, you might just be able to find the best way to track the budget and stick with it no matter what.