A budget is telling your money what to do rather than wondering where it went. —John Maxwell
Great tools to get control over your finances
Create a new budget each month
Your money is always changing. Your situations, needs, or goals may change. Don't settle for a static yearly plan. Copy last month's budget and make adjustments so you can flow with life's changes.
Make a plan for every dollar
You want to have a plan for every dollar of your monthly income becuase we all know what happens to money without a plan - it just goes. Steam Engine Budget will let you know now much of your income remains to be planned.
Get agreement with your spouse
If you're married, you need to be in agreement with your spouse on your spending. How often have we created a plan, but didn't have the spouses agreement to the plan? How well does this work? In my experience, it doesn't work at all.
Your spending plans in Steam Engine Budget are meant to be shared with and talked about with your spouse. You can each have your own login to view and update your monthly plan.
Use cash envelopes
Even though there are good intentions, many people have a hard time sticking to their plan simply becuase the situatuation is working against them. We believe that using cash envelopes for a few of your monthly categories sufficiently changes the situation where it is much easier to stick to your plan.
You won't need to use cash for all of your categories. We recommend using envelopes primarily for your shopping, for example, groceries, dinning out, and gas for your car (just to name a few). If you decide to use cash envelopes, you will probably end up with about 3-5 envelopes and continue to pay your bills the way you have always done.
Steam Engine Budget lets you indicate the categories for which you'd like to use cash envelopes. Steam Engine Budget will then help you determine what denominations to get from the bank. Steam Engine Budget will also record the cash transaction, splitting the amount among the categories for the envelopes.
One of the major areas that trip people up is they don't keep track of the money they're saving.
Here's one example how this scenario might play out. Perhaps you're saving up for the expensive winter and summer electric bills. By the end of the spring you have this nice sum of cash in your account. At this point your spouse notices this money and seizes an opportunity to buy something. Then the winter elecric bill comes and and this money you were saving is now gone. Now you get to have another fight with your spouse over money.
There are quite a few things you should be saving for such as:
We recommend that you set up a separate savings account just for these items. Steam Engine Budget provides a way to keep track of these amount for which you are saving. Steam Engine Budget will also help you determine how much money you should transfer to this itemized savings account.
By keeping track of your savings, you can stick to your plan eaiser by preventing you from accidentally spending money that was meant for something else. This may also reduce many of the financial crisis you experience.