When I first started budgeting, I wanted to do everything electronically. I tried Mint, but wasn't a big fan because it didn't capture the envelope budgeting method well (see here for a quick explanation of the envelope budgeting method). I also tried a couple other applications, but finally found GoodBudget. Honestly, GoodBudget could be a lot better than it is. I would recommend it, but mostly because I haven't been able to find something better to use.
Something I didn't like about GoodBudget at first is that I had to manually record every transaction. If I got behind on my budget, it would sometimes take over an hour to get things aligned again. For a new budgeter, this is enough to get them to quit all together. For me, I just got frustrated. I constantly looked for different applications that I could use. I wanted one that I could link my bank accounts to sync the transactions automatically, but I never found one that I was happy with.
My search for a better application has led me to begin to develop my own, based on my budgeting methodology. But, I wasn't sure if I wanted it to be connected to bank accounts. Setting aside privacy and security concerns, only recently did I think this might not be the best route. Only within the last week, did my opinion change on budgeting apps being connected to accounts to sync transactions automatically.
I think there's a lot of value to manually maintaining the transactions of a budget. For instance, you have to know exactly what you bought for every transaction. What did I buy at Walmart? Why did I get charged twice for that? Where did my money go? These are just a few things that you could miss if things were done all automatically for you. I also consider that it creates conversations with my wife. When I ask her what a purchase was for, we're both doing the finances now, instead of just me.
It also causes you to keep a closer eye on your finances. You're responsible for your budget to align with your accounts. So, if it doesn't align, it means you missed something. What I found is that something I missed is often just a couple dollar transaction, but because I was trying not to miss anything, I had a higher quality budget. It's true, it's very annoying to keep up with a budget sometimes. But, it literally has a financial reward. The better you are with your budget, the more money you will have. It's indirectly paying you when you closely manage your budget.
Maybe you found a better way to manage your budget. If so, let me know. I think manually doing it is the best way for now. If you do it often, you can get your budget done in 15 minutes every couple days. That's about how often I do it. Sometimes I do it daily, but it's rare it takes me more than 15 minutes to do. If it takes you longer, that could also indicate you have too many transactions and you're spending too much. Again, this is something you would only pick up on if you were manually managing your transactions and keeping your budget and accounts in sync.
As always, thanks for reading the Better Budget Blog! I hope you enjoyed and this makes your personal finances even better. If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask. I really want to help you with your budget and personal finances. Lastly, please subscribe to the right (or below if you're on mobile) to not miss a post!
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My name is Corey and I have a passion for budgets and personal financing. I can talk about it for days (weirdly enough). Hope you enjoy the blog!
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