There are so many budgeting tools out there, it can be intimidating. Families Who Save Together use a range of budgeting strategies from online* tools to a cash-only envelope system. We are a fan of most budgeting tool as long as your family is using one–studies show it’s almost impossible to have success in Savings until you have a budget you follow.
The point is to just get started! We’ve provided an Excel spreadsheet here for you to download. Filling in this spreadsheet will help you identify your monthly expenses and it is formatted to do the math for you!
In addition, there is a great website called www.mymoney.gov that provides numerous easy-to-use budgeting tools and quick-to-read articles about personal finances.
If you’ve never followed a budget before, we encourage you to just track your expenses for a month. If you use a debit card, it’s easy to track by looking at your bank statement or looking at your online banking account. If you use cash, keep the cash in a paper envelope in your wallet and then write down transactions and/or put receipts in the envelope at the time of purchase.
Finally, if your family is struggling with debt, there are effective (and affordable) debt management services available in every community.