On Life and Love

Budgeting tools

Continuing with last week’s post dishing up the skinny on my budgeting past, I wanted to write just a bit this week about the budgeting tool I’m using now, per Better Budget Challenge # 2: Choose your budgeting tool.

I mentioned back at the beginning of the month that I was using PearBudget. That wasn’t a good fit for me. A week of that showed that. I couldn’t easily see my spending the way I wanted to. So I downloaded the old spreadsheet form of PearBudget and have been using it. I like it.

As I put in my spending, I can see through simple columns and rows how much I’ve used in each category and how much I have left in each category. Visually, I can get all the information I need in a glance. I like that.

It wasn’t hard to set up, but it can be hard making sure you’ve brainstormed all the categories you need. Dollar amounts may cause some trouble as I experiment. Right now, I’m following the advice to mostly just track my spending. I have to know how much of my money actually goes away to different categories before I can know where and how I can cut.

That aside, it probably took me 45 minutes to get the spreadsheet set up the way I wanted. I also had a week’s worth of expenses to put in, so that added about 2 minutes.

I don’t know if I can recommend this spreadsheet to a particular group of people, but I will say that I have a thing for spreadsheets and find this one sexy. You might, too. It’s a classy, simple, and square without being clunky.

I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and it’s working pretty well for me.