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Does tracking every dollar to make a budget sound daunting to you?

It did to me, too. I found a way to get around that feeling yet still be in control of my money.

Here’s a little back story. Don’t get me wrong, I am a number lover. This number loving comes in the form of watching debt go down and investments increase. These are the fun parts of tracking your numbers.

But to properly budget you need to know how much you are spending on your daily expenses too. So when your spouse spends more than you it can put a strain on your mental health and relationship if you are tracking every penny spent.

We’ve tried several different ways of budgeting, I started on paper, got a planner, tried a couple apps. What we’ve settled on is a spreadsheet that I developed, through lots of trial and error. This is the same spreadsheet I give to my clients. It is adaptable for many types of budgeting, using cash, credit or debit cards. If you are working on paying off debt, saving, or both. If you want to track every penny spent or if you want freedom in your spending.

For us we do a combination of tracking every penny and having freedom to spend using savings accounts and cash. It provides me the knowledge of knowing where our money is going, how much we are saving, and how much we spend. This makes me feel in control of our money. But it also gives us the freedom to spend the money that we have saved or set aside without need to track every penny in those categories.

We have many sinking funds including personal ones, travel, holiday/gifts, outdoors, home repair, car repair, and more. We also pull out cash for our regular monthly spending of groceries, eating out, fuel, dog care, and household. This is what works for us. We’ve been budgeting since October 2018 and I will say that it took a lot of trial and error for us to dial in our spending. Having those buckets of spending money planned has helped a lot.