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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Budgeting 101: My Secret Weapon


STOP: If you are reading my blog for the first time you probably want to back-track and read part 1 of this series first! It's linked! ---> Budgeting 101: Getting Started

So what is it?

Goodbudget is an EASY way to create a budget and hold yourself accountable. Want to know my favorite part?! It is FREE! You know I'm cheap so free is pretty much my FAV word in the dictionary!

To get started you will use this link: Goodbudget

Side Note: I get absolutely nothing for referring you to Goodbudget. They do not have a referral program that I am aware of and I am in no way affiliated with their company other than holding an account. I find things I LOVE and that work for us and want to share them with you guys!

How does it work?

Setting up an account with Goodbudget is super simple, and you aren't required to enter your actual bank account information if you don't feel comfortable. We will have been using Goodbudget a year as of June 1st and we have not linked it to our bank account. You create an account just like you would any other website, it requires you to create a username and password. You will need to provide your email  address. Make sure you select the FREE option. They will not spam you with emails.

Here is what is offered with the free version:


Free Forever
  • 10 Regular Envelopes
  • 10 More Envelopes
  • 1 Account
  • 2 Devices
  • 1 Year of History

There is a more advanced option available that is $5 a month or $45 a year. Personally, we have been making it work with the free version just fine.

You will want to do the initial set-up on your laptop or desktop, it makes the set-up a lot easier. Next you will need to download the Goodbudget app on your smartphone. This allows you to enter your transactions as they occur, kind of like a virtual check register. I love this option for Daddy D. Previously he was shoving receipts in to the center console of his truck and I would have to go dig for them to write them down in our check register, it may be two weeks after the actual transaction took place. Then I would have to try to go back and reconcile to our bank statement. This was time consuming, and really just a pain. Now he can enter his purchases the minute he makes them. He can also pull up the budget app and see what is left in each envelope for the month on real time. This really holds both of us accountable. There are no secrets. He can clearly see where I am spending money, and I can see the same with him.

Keeping secrets about money is pretty much a bad idea. If you are in this boat you might want to jump on over and read this: Marriage, It's a Team Thing

With the free option you can link up to two devices on the account. We actually have more than one bank account, but for the purposes of budgeting we keep an "operating account." All of our monthly expenses come out of this account. When we opened our account with Goodbudget I entered our account balance in to the account tab without actually linking it to the bank. As you enter transactions throughout the month you will pull money from this account. You should be able to pull your bank account information up online at any time and reconcile back to the balance. If you can't someone forgot to enter something, there is something outstanding on your bank account that you aren't taking in to consideration (it was entered on your Goodbudget, but hasn't hit the bank yet), or someone has hacked your account. Let's hope the latter isn't the case!

Helpful Tip: When entering your account balance the first time make sure you have reconciled the account to-date. Be sure you have taken in to consideration all outstanding transactions, income and/or expenses. It's best to start this at the beginning of the month. If you are reading this now you can try to start in June.

At this point you should have your FREE Goodbudget account set-up, your average monthly income figured out, and your expenses summarized. During Part 3 of this series I will talk about creating your budget and sorting your expenses in to envelopes! Much Love, Misti

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