Keep Your Life Simple With a Budget/Cash Flow
There are certain types of budgets for certain types of situations and people. Not every budget fits every person. It depends mostly on your personality type and also the amount of money you are earning. If you are struggling paycheck-to-paycheck you would use a different budget than someone who has a comfortable amount of income coming in. We will start with the most common first.
Paycheck-to-Paycheck - http://www.mishell.ca/
A paycheck-to-paycheck type budget is actually called a "Cash Flow." There are many apps that allow you to track your money via a cash flow system. If you are using a computer I would suggest Budget on a Calendar. This program helps a person to visualize when they will be out of money on a Calendar.
You put in when you will get paid with the amounts, when each bill is due with the amounts, and assign them with icons. You put your paycheck in and the amount and then it carries over each day and deducts the amounts that you spend each day. This is helpful because you will know exactly how long your paycheck will last. You can know how much you have to spend for other things besides bills and keep better track of your money.
If you are having problems with your budget and are not tech savvy then you may want to try the old fashioned way of using envelopes. This system works by using cash. You deposit your check into the bank and immediately take out the money as cash. You have a separate envelope for each bill or expense for the month. Right away you put your money in the most important envelopes first, rent, car payment, insurances and the like. The easiest way to do it is put the money in the envelopes that have a fixed amount first. The ones that are more flexible or that change can have money put into the envelopes after the fixed ones. That way if you need to cut back then you can cut back with the expenses that are flexible.
Make sure each bill or expense is in a separate envelope and you can mark on it how much is supposed to go where. Then if later in the money you need to spend money on something unexpected you will have to take it from another envelope. This is a good visual since it makes more of an impact that when you spend money outside of your budget that it takes the money away from something else. This can help those that are really struggling with sticking to a budget or are constantly in debt.
Online Budget Connected With Your Accounts - https://www.mint.com/
Mint is a good budget program that works online, on your phone with an app, or even on your tablet. Mint syncs with all your devices and you can share it with your spouse so they can follow and adjust the budget also. This program gives you the option to connect your bank accounts, credit cards and even long term savings accounts. This type of budget is not for those who need a cash flow system. It does, however, help with those who have a little more money but would still like to know where their money is going.
With this type of budget program you can create a budget and then over the period of a month, if chosen, you can see where you are at. The program is very visual and shows you if you are within budget, green, if you are getting close to your cap, yellow, or over your budget, red. Mint automatically determines what expense goes to which category, however, allowing you to adjust it if need be, and learns from what you decide the expense is going to tagged as. This makes it easy so you don't have to type in each expense you make during the month.
Hope this helps, stay tuned for more ways to keep your life simple!