Do You Keep Track of Your Budget?

Now, more than ever it is extremely important to keep track of your budget. Additionally a check register is a must. Yes I said CHECK REGISTER! What do you think is the best/easiest computer software for creating and keeping track of your budget/check register? I use a few tools that work for different purposes.

Excel - For budgeting it is easy and you can save them all for future reference if you want. Anyone can use it and it is on virtually everyone's computer.

Quicken/YNAB/or Mint - For tracking your spending and keeping a check register these tools do the trick simply and easily. You can download your bank transactions and keep the records for years if you want to. You can also monitor your spending for certain categories like groceries, dining out, clothing etc, and you can keep tabs on multiple accounts.

I don't like the budgeting tools for any of these software packages because they assumes your budget is the same every single month. You are not allowed to keep last month's budget. Also, when I budget I make sure to break down my spending by pay period. These programs do not allow that flexibility. Therefore I use it only as a check register and spending history.

If you aren’t savvy with the computer then use a simple check register from your bank to easily keep track of your daily bank balance. We know this might be a bit old-fashioned these days, but keep it with you at all times and immediately record any transactions into your check register, so you are always up to date of how much money is left in your account. When relying on online banking, some transaction post later and if you are not aware of them, your account is easily overdrawn resulting in additional fees.

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