Budgeting, saving money

Budgeting: How I keep track of all those numbers.

I talk a lot about budgets on this blog, so I thought it only fitting to show you how I actually budget and the tools I use to stay on track.  Hopefully they will be helpful for you too.

I utilize three ways to budget:  A Budgeting App, Excel Spreadsheets and, my personal favorite, paper & pen (and a few markers).

accounting apps bookkeeper business
Photo by Pixabay


Yep, I’m a YNABer.  It stands for You Need A Budget, and it’s the best tracking budget software I’ve ever used.  Its basic concept, budgeting just the money you have right now and getting one month ahead is game changing.  I’ve been able to save so much money just by using this program.

If you want to see YNAB in action,  Connie Porter, a YouTuber and friend, has great videos on how she tracks her own budget using this software. Free video training can be found here as well.

If you want to see if it can work for your budget, you can try it out for 34 days free here.

{Full disclosure:  if you click on the links here, and sign up, I will earn a free month.}


Yearly planning has become very important to me as well.  I absolutely love having my year all mapped out and focusing on my yearly goals.  It’s very motivating to see how much I can save, but also eye opening seeing the absorbent amount I spend on my mortgage. 🙁  Planning out a whole year can be a daunting task, but Kelly from Freedom in a Budget, has taken most of the work out of it and created a yearly budget template  It is $5 (less than a Starbucks coffee) and it has saved me hours of figuring out formulas and set up.

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If you are a spreadsheet nerd, you might also like her monthly zero based budget.  You can download her monthly budget template ($5) as well.  This is a great way to track your income/spending for the month.  And, once you download her templates, you can copy it over and over, year after year.

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{Full Disclosure: non sponsored or affiliated.  Just a cool product to share…}

Paper & Pen (and markers and planners, oh my!)

Yep, I’m a planner girl, and I also have a specific planner for my budget.  I love taking time to plan out a month of expenses and tracking my individual spending with colorful stickers and markers.  What can I say?  I’ve made budgeting a creative outlet for me. 🙂

Erin Condren Monthly Planner
I find my inspiration here.  I like tracking my spending and certain categories each month that I tend to overspend in (i.e. personal spending, groceries, misc. spending).  This is just a creative way for me to track and make it fun, if budgets can be fun. 🙂

So there you have it.  My three ways of tracking my numbers and budget.  If you don’t have a budget, what are you waiting for?  If you do, please share how you track your numbers! 🙂


8 thoughts on “Budgeting: How I keep track of all those numbers.”

  1. Most of my bills are the same each and every month i..e. electricity, cable, cell phone, insurance…….I’m a fan of balanced billing. My adjustables, such as groceries, travel & entertainment, clothing, gas, repair & maintenance, go on a spreadsheet. I update them as soon as I spend in any of those categories. At the top of each column I have the dollar amount I can send in each category for the month. As soon as I see myself nearing the budget cut off, I stop all spending in that category. Or I borrow from another category because at the end of the month, all will be the same. It’s all about how much I spend!
    This has been working out for me for like forever. Don’t see any need to change.

    1. Sounds like you have it down to a science! 🙂 I’m loving YNAB because my husband can record his spending without having to give me a receipt. He can see the budget and what’s left, and I can see it. I do the other stuff ‘for fun’ so to speak because I’m a nerd like that. LOL

      1. Nick leaves his receipts on my desk. He has no interest or cares on the status of anything financial. I just verbally tell him what’s going on. If something ever happened to me he’d be lost. No clue. Not a good place to be.
        He’ll wake up soon enough.

      2. Yes! Joe used to forget to give me receipts, etc. But now since having this program, he can add straight on his phone.

  2. I love all three of these as well! However, I haven’t used a spreadsheet in a while. I love my Erin Condren “bullet journal” for a creative debt tracking system. BUT nothing will top YNAB!

  3. I’ve tried multiple online budgeting software. Somehow I still come right back to using my Mead organizher. This is my third year using these, and I like them so much, I stocked up on a couple extras which were on a super clearance.

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