How To Use Your Budget Planner App For A Solid Financial Foundation
You’ve decided to get your financial planning off to a great start by using budget planner apps, congratulations! You’re already further down the road to financial stability and long-term success than a lot of people. The right budget planner app can help you see both where you are and where you’re going while foreseeing potential problems on the road ahead.
However, you need to keep up with your budget. Frequent budget reviews help you stick to your budget and give you time to make adjustments. Here are a few tips.
Three Ways to Stick to Your Budget & Financial Planning
1. Stay Up to Date with Quarterly Budget Reviews
It’s a sound financial practice to have an overall review of your budget to know how well things are going every three months or so. That might not seem like a very long time, but that’s how successful businesses also review their finances – every quarter.
Also, review your goals. Are you hitting your spending and saving targets? Have you successfully passed any milestones you were looking forward to, such as saving for a specific purchase? Are there any goals you should put off until later when you can pay cash or debit, avoiding using credit?
2. Categorize Your Spending for Easy Review
The best budget planner apps aren’t merely spreadsheets – they are specifically designed to simplify the process of making budgets you can understand at a glance. For example, categorization. You can create multiple categories for spending or saving, such as “groceries,” “children,” “house down payment,” “insurance,” or any other category that seems relevant to you and your lifestyle.
Color-coding your categories makes it far easier for you to look at specific areas of concern or aspects of your spending that you want to review. We’d also suggest using similar color-coding to show priority. For example, must-pay obligations such as utility bills and mortgage payments might be color-coded using reds and oranges, while optional items such as entertainment could use lighter colors such as blues.
3. Make Adjustments When Needed
In general, you should stick to your budget – but don’t be afraid to make adjustments when needed. For example, if you get a little extra money, consider using it to pay down existing debt. Or, if you miss a financial goal, review why you missed it. Some of your earning or spending assumptions may have been wrong. Frequent tweaks and adjustments to your budget will significantly improve your financial success.
Eric Poulin is a Co-Founder of CalendarBudget. With a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 20 years of software development experience and owner of 2 businesses, Eric created CalendarBudget shortly after being married to help plan his family's finances. Now, as a husband and father of 5 teenage girls, Eric helps others get their finances in control.