Simplify Your Life With A Simple Monthly Budget

Simplify Your Life With A Simple Monthly Budget

Many people pride themselves on being "good with money," and it is something to be proud of. But just being good with money won't serve your financial interests optimally. No matter how hard you try to simplify life, there's no way to mentally track every financial transaction in today's busy world.

If you believe you're good with money, why not take that skill to an even higher level by creating a monthly budget? You're bound to see instances where you could have made better choices, and you get the joy of watching yourself get closer to those big financial goals like a down payment on a house or six months' living expenses set aside for emergencies. Here are some ways creating a monthly budget simplifies your life.

Know Where You Stand

Before you can make positive changes to your financial habits, you need to know where you stand. Most people think they mentally track expenses well because they remember picking up dinner last Tuesday when nodiv got home in time to cook. But there are countless other little drains on finances that are all too easy to forget.

Setting up a monthly budget forces you to examine your finances - good, bad, and ugly. It may not be easy to admit to yourself that you spend $100 a month on premium coffee, but once you do you can begin to realign your priorities and break out of expensive habits that don't add that much to your life.

Next step: Get budgeting software from Mint to help you create your own customized monthly budget. Click to get started.

Never Forget to Pay a Bill Again

Even the most conscientious person forgets to pay a bill now and then. Maybe you had houseguests the week you normally take care of the electric and phone bills and you completely forgot. Or maybe you think you paid the gas bill because you don't see the bill on your desk, when in fact it's buried underneath a stack of mail.

But when you set up your monthly budget with an app like Mint that links your various accounts to your home computer and your mobile devices, you can set up text reminders that let you know a bill is due in a few days. You can specify how far in advance you want to be notified to suit your bill-paying habits.

Watch Your Emergency Savings Grow

It's not easy to set aside three to six months' worth of living expenses, and when it seems impossible, you might wonder why you bother trying. But when your monthly budget app can tell you at a glance how much your emergency savings account has grown in the past few months, you can recognize your progress and be less tempted to splurge on "retail therapy" you don't really need.

Saving for emergencies is simplest when you have money directly deposited from each paycheck into your emergency account. It saves trips to the bank or having to make deliberate online transfers, and maximizes chances of your achieving your emergency savings goal.

Track Investments in an Instant

Your monthly budget may include money set aside for investment, or in an IRA or 401K. When you can track these investments, revisit your asset allocation, and compare your investments to market benchmarks, you can make any necessary adjustments as expediently as possible.

A great monthly budget app like Mint even gives you tools that are right for your particular investment style, whether you are a more active investor or try to keep your hands off most of the time. Mint can tell you what you're paying in fees that are often hidden in the fine print of your investment documents - a huge time saver when you want to reevaluate your investment strategy.

Let Your Budgeting App Look Out for Your Interests

Have you ever been in a store, seen something you love and wondered if you could afford it? With a monthly budget app that goes with you on your smartphone, you can find out right then. Sometimes we need a little reality check before spending, and a monthly budget app that gives you the information you need anytime, anywhere can help you look out for your financial best interests. And you can set up automated alerts for when you approach the limit on your credit card and avoid over-the-limit fees. Think of all the hassle you avoid when you have your financial information at your fingertips!

Next step: Get budgeting software from Mint to help you create your own customized monthly budget. Click to get started.