As the old saying goes “What gets measured gets managed.” If you are serious about managing your money, you need to start measuring where each and every dollar goes. It can seem overwhelming at first glance, and that is enough to stop many people from even starting to budget. Luckily, technology is here to help.
Two of the most popular ways to budget are Mint or You Need A Budget (YNAB). Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Mint is easy and free, just connect your bank, credit cards, loans or other accounts. This allows the website to automatically track your spending and assign it to your different budget categories. The problem with using Mint is when a single transaction falls under multiple areas of your budget. For example, say you shop at Walmart where you buy clothes and groceries in one visit – there is no way to split that transaction into two categories.
YNAB is a budgeting software in which you enter your data manually. This allows for much closer tracking of your money. Manual data entry will take more time though. If you don’t like the idea of connecting all your financial information to one website, YNAB is perfect.