Taming my cashflow

Budget For as long as I can remember I had a lot of trouble staying in control of my cash, my budget, my payments, my debts. I was never sure how loose or how tight I was with the single number my bank account gave me.

So I started looking around for a solution. Friends showed me their systems (or lack of) and I set up a budget in Excel. I could see on paper that I should have no problem. My income more than matched my expenses. Of course I never opened the file again. And kept fighting with my money.

More than a year ago I asked my friend Google and it suggested a nice app called Budget (available for Windows too), which I downloaded and set up. It seemed to me to be a good solution, I loved the interface and the way you had a lot of control on things. But I didn’t keep it up-to-date. I soon fell back to my default non-system.

Two months ago I re-opened it, spent a lot more time reading the manual and set it up all over again. This time it stuck. I was saved. It’s almost fun to visit it every couple of days and input my latest expenses. It allows me to know exactly where my money will be going. And adjust everything as I go along. It gives me the discipline to cut back on some expenses, like coffee and restaurants.

The learning curve is definitely there, you have a lot of decisions to make while setting it up. But the documentation is clear and well organized.

I suggest it to anyone who think his system could be a bit more efficient. And definitely to anyone who doesn’t have a real system in place. It’s nice to use something that is both reliable and easily adaptable. And it’s only around 40 bucks.

(La traduction française est excellente aussi.)