Depending on your bank, you may not have the ability to sync your accounts with Mint, however there are plenty of free budgeting tools and apps out there for you to try.
Of course, a low-tech way to get a handle on your finances would be the envelope method.
You simply take envelopes and write “groceries” on one, “utilities” on another, “walking around money” on a third. There should be a separate envelope for each part of your life that requires money.
I often tell couples to do this particular method of budgeting to keep them on the same page throughout the month.
I once sat down with a couple that had more than $30,000 in credit card debt. We came up with a 30-month plan for them to get out of debt that involved the envelope method. They didn’t think it would work, but they extinguished their credit card debt in 21 months.
Debit cards and credit cards can be the Bermuda Triangle of your wallet because it’s so easy to lose track of your finances when you use them. A study done by Dun & Bradstreet found that people spend 12-18 percent more at fast-food restaurants when they use plastic instead of cash.
That’s why I recommend that on payday, you take out the dollar amount you need until next pay period and split it up among your envelopes. When one envelope empties, you either take money from another envelope or you do without until next payday.
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