You pay your bills on time and totally restrained yourself from buying those amazing Miu Miu smoking slippers. So how come you have no idea where your money goes?
Enter You Need a Budget, a super-easy personal-finance system for tracking and managing your cash.
To get started, download YNAB?s app and spreadsheet software ($60) or try the free demo. Enter your checking-account balance, then click to assign dollars to customizable categories like restaurants, bills and weekly yoga. Also, we know it?s boring, but you really should set aside some dough in a rainy-day fund.
Every time you spend, add the transaction on your phone or computer, and the funds will be deducted automatically from the appropriate category.
The software is designed so that you can adjust your budget from month to month, and it will even reallocate dollars if you overspend in the clothing category and don?t have money left for groceries. The idea is that having a record of last month?s spending will give you a better notion of how to plan for the month ahead--and maybe inspire you to give up a few of those $4 lattes in the name of the bathroom-renovation fund.