Back when I was teaching and the sole supporter putting my husband through vet school, we were very cautious with our finances. It was pretty easy to manage, because we just didn’t have much at all. We kept a budget, used cash and checks, and didn’t have many extras (besides those given to us by our parents).
The year after my husband started a new job, I loosened up a little bit. Not that I went overboard, but I didn’t worry so much about following a strict budget. I started using credit cards and debit cards more frequently. We always had the money in the bank to pay for them, but it was a lot easier to spend here and there and not worry about it.
Then, I had a realization that I didn’t actually know where all the money was going, and I didn’t like it. So, I found some budgeting software and started again. I liked it okay and used it for several years, but I still felt there must be something better out there.
I looked over the Budget software and knew it was what I’d been looking for! I’ve been using it now for about a year, and I love it. I still use my debit card, but this makes me keep careful track of what I’ve spent.
Quick Budget Software from Snowmint Review
I set up a quick account, so I could quickly show you the basics of the software, and why I love it! I just randomly put amounts in the envelopes, so please don’t take this as an accurate budget!
First of all, you can have several accounts, but I just set up a checking account for this example. You add an envelope for each category of your budget. When you deposit your monthly (or weekly or semi-weekly) pay, you can allocate a specific amount for each envelope. Then, it puts the amount you’ve chosen right into your envelope.
For example, you can see I added $300 in the grocery envelope. This is the amount you have to spend until the next paycheck.
Now, when I use my debit card or pay a bill online, I go into the Budget software and enter my debit. Let’s say I bought $36.72 worth of groceries at my local grocery store, so I go in and deduct that from the grocery envelope.
You can see the groceries have been deducted from the grocery envelope. Now, there is just $263.28 left to buy groceries for the rest of the month.
That’s basically how it works. The site offers a much more indepth tutorial and will guide you completely through the set-up.
There are three reasons why I believe this works so well for me and our family.
1) Instead of importing all the debits from my bank account (which I think you can do), I make myself enter every single debit and check manually. This does take more time than a cash system, but it really keeps me accountable and helps me visually see how much is left in each envelope at all times.
2) I buy less because I don’t want to record it! There are lots of times I’m just lazy and don’t want to have to enter something into the computer. Plus, it just makes me stop and think — do I really want to see that envelope get closer to zero?
3) I’m very visual, but the pie charts and graphs of my other software weren’t working for me. I’m not sure why, but it really registers with my brain to see it in this envelope format. I can glance at the envelopes and know where we stand and how much I have left to spend until our next paycheck.
I really think Budget Software is a bargain for $39.95. Keep in mind that this is a one-time purchase, and you can use it forever. There is no yearly fee and you get free unlimited updates when they make changes to the program.
Please feel free to ask me any questions. Also be sure to check out the site if you have specific questions about certain features of the program, you may find answers there! Also, you can try Budget from Snowmint for free if you just want to see what it’s like.