Do a monthly budget – July 2016 monthly money challenge

monthly money challenge how do i money

I started a monthly money challenge in the How Do I Money Facebook group. (You should join us and participate!)

Like most things here at HDIM we keep it simple and basic. And for a good reason! The way money works is actually very straight forward. But that doesn’t mean managing your money is going to always be easy. The tools are simple and the methods are simple but they only work if you actually dig in and do the work. That’s the hard part, digging in.

July’s challenge was to do a monthly budget.

I decided to kick off the monthly challenges with a budget because I believe doing a monthly budget is the most important and helpful thing you can do for your financial life. It doesn’t matter how much money you earn, have, or owe… a monthly budget is a must.

Income, spending, debt, giving, net worth, bills, investing, saving…. everything runs through your budget.

When Carrie and I did our first budget it was a huge eye opener. I couldn’t believe where our money was going. We talk about how doing a budget changed our life in this episode of our podcast.

Working a budget for the first time is usually the thing that will get your attention and will get you to start paying better attention to your money. It’s everything, really it is!!!

So just because it’s too late to participate in the July money challenge with the rest of us in the Facebook group doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do a budget. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first budget or if you’ve been budgeting for years, everyone should be budgeting.

So again, join the Facebook group and look for the most recent monthly money challenge. (If it’s not right at the top, search “<CURRENT MONTH> 2016 MONEY CHALLENGE” and you should be able to find it.

Here’s a few resources for monthly budgets

  • Tiller – Tiller automatically downloads your banking transactions daily and puts them into a Google Sheet. Then you can easily categorize each transaction. I’m in the process of moving away from the Google Sheet I created myself (see below) and using Tiller instead. *Affiliate link
  • YNAB – Tons of people swear by YNAB. It’s the budgeting program that gets brought up most often when I ask people about budgeting software.
  • Mint – Mint is an old standard that lots of people love too.
  • Everydollar – A new one from Dave Ramsey. People are digging it.
  • Dollar Bird – Don’t know about this one, but someone in the Facebook group mentioned that they use it so I thought I would include it here.
  • Google Sheet (I made this one!) – I still love this spreadsheet, it works great. But I like how Tiller automatically pulls transactions.
  • Pencil and Paper – Yup. You can absolutely use pencil and paper to work a budget. Carrie and I used pencil and paper for about six months to work our budget when we first started. There’s a part of me that will always want to return to this method but I’m happy with the blend of a spreadsheet with a little more punch.

Whatever works for you!

Use the budgeting method that works for you. I’m not gonna push you one way or another. I just want you to pick and program and stick to it.

Alrighty then, join the FB group and lets have some fun.

See all the monthly money challenges.

Go get ’em tiger!


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