Managing money is an on-going necessity. Not only is it necessary for taking care of regular bills, ensuring that there are enough funds for the occasional night out, but to allow for bigger purchases such as a new flat screen television, a car, or a special holiday.
At one point developing and sticking to a budget was a fairly tedious process. Thanks to technology the entire budget process from designing it to implementing it is fairly easy.
Why you need a budget
The first step is to look at the main reasons for making a budget.
- To reach financial goals. Whether you have short or long terms goals, or both, making a budget is the first step.
- To prioritise spending. Even if you are not facing a cash problem right before each payday, seeing how you spend money will result in savings and more efficient spending. Seeing where you spend money is more important when you are trying to pay off a debt.
- Building savings and wealth. Unexpected expenses arise all the time. Having some money in savings can turn these events into inconveniences rather than problems.
- Building peace of mind. Personal finances are one of the most common causes of stress.
- Building for retirement. While retirement is probably decades away, the time to plan is now. Most of the expats that you will find living on the Mediterranean coastlines will probably have had budgets.
Tools to develop a budget
At one point developing a budget required the gathering of lots of receipts, bills, and bank and credit card statements. Fortunately there are a number of apps that help develop and track your budget.
- The Mint. This secure app is linked to your bank account and shows how you spend your money at a glance. The app will also sent alerts for unusual account activity. You also can see your credit score and receive tips that are customised for you to help save on fees and products.
- PocketGuard. This is another hap that directly connects to your bank account allowing you to have your financial information at hand anytime. The layout is easy to understand and shows the money on hand, your income and how you spend at a glance. The app shows the total amount of recurring charges and helps identify ways you can save.
- Wally.The budget app lets you easily track your expenses and spending and helps you set up a budget. Expenses can be logged manually or by simply taking a picture of the receipt. If you enable the app’s location services, it can even log some of the information for you. Wally also sends payment reminders and tracks any financial goals you may have.
- Level Money. This app shows the amount you spend daily, weekly and monthly and is very helpful in setting up a budget. The app detects your income and spending and then displays how you spend. Level Money has a tool to show how to reduce debt and to save for big purchases.
- BUDGT. This is an iPhone only app that tracks your recurring expenses against your income and provides a clear overview of spending. The app also tracks daily spending and shows how much money you have left. The app delivers a personal budget and daily tracking, sends reminders, and makes some financial projections.