Great job creating that budget rough draft last week! Planning before you spend money is the best way to make sure there’s money set aside for necessities and savings, while still giving yourself room for other things, like fun and generosity.
This week we’ll walk through adding money to our Envelopes and tracking our expenses. Later on, we’ll spend some time reflecting on how things went. Let’s get started!
- To get started, we recommend setting up a few more things in Goodbudget. First, add the Account you plan to track — we recommend adding your primary checking account so you can budget with money you currently have. This video also shows you how to create Debt Accounts that link to the payment Envelopes you made last week. Next, add your income.
- Start filling your Envelopes. When you fill your Envelopes, you’re setting aside the money you need for the items you plan to spend on or save for. That way, as you go throughout the month, you’ll be able to buy groceries as needed without having to worry about dipping into your Rent or Savings Envelopes. It also means that when the car breaks down, which it will, it’ll be no more than a minor inconvenience because you’ll have already saved up for car repairs. How great is that?!
- Now that you’ve filled your Envelopes, spend some time reflecting on when you’ll pause before spending. In what situations might you want to pause for 24 hours before you spend? What’s the dollar amount for those kind of transactions? In what situations would you check in with your partner before spending?
- Did you notice anything surprising when you reflected on the above? Comment below and let us know.
Note for couples: Decide together about when to check in with each other before spending. A lot of couples like to choose an amount that’s okay to spend in one shot. Then, before any single expense that’s higher than that amount, they check with each other first. This gives each of you freedom to do what you need to do, while also making sure you’re on the same page about the big stuff. And of course, you’ll still be able to see everybody’s spending after the fact since Goodbudget syncs between your phones and makes it easy to share.
That’s all for today! Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to become more aware of our spending. See ya then.
-The Goodbudget Team