This post originally appeared in my former blog, Make Little Joys.
Budgeting was a challenge when I first started. It was painful realizing that, for the first time in my life, I won’t be able to enjoy my whole paycheck on leisurely things like makeup, Michaels shopping sprees, and food. Bills and savings were looming over my paycheck like an impending storm waiting to rain on my parade.
But, alas, I must budget if I want to survive so I did. It was easy enough to set aside money for savings and specific amounts for certain expenses like grocery and the car insurance. What’s hard was keeping track of all of it.
The Budget Envelopes app (free trial and $2.99 on iTunes) helped with that. It’s a user-friendly app that allows me to visualize my budget. After entering the set amount for each expense category, it lets me itemize my expenses for that specific category and show me in a simple bar graph how much I have left. It became so easy to tell myself to chill out while shopping for groceries when I’m looking at a mostly red graph.
It also lets me set a budget cycle for repeating expenses like my train ticket and the electricity bills which takes even more work out of budgeting every month.
The other features come in handy, too, like the Income tab which allows users to keep track of money coming in. The Budget Envelopes app uses that information to compose reports that show how money is used over time. In the Reports tab, it offers different report options like Expense vs. Income Graphs, Day/Week/Month/Year Reports and even Expense Reports per category. This feature makes it so much easier to observe spending habits!
This Budget Envelopes app was a crucial tool for me when I first started having financial responsibilities. It helps me make better short term and long term choices when it comes to spending without doing anything more complicated than typing in what I bought. And for someone as forgetful as I am, it’s nice to always have an answer to, “Where did all my money go?“