This week we thought we’d check out how your budgeting skills are coming along.
For those of you that have managed to follow and stick to a budget, that’s great no doubt you will be feeling less stressed about your money worries. For those of you that have good intentions but just never seem to get around to doing it, we thought we would share with you a couple of ideas to get you started.

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Envelope Budget

This is a great way to only spend what you can afford and works particularly well if you stick to cash payments.
What you’ll need:
  • Cash
  • Envelopes
  1. Get cash out at the start of the week (and put your cards away where you won’t be tempted to use them).
  2. Decide how much you’re going to allow yourself to spend on clothing (or whatever). Add that much cash into one envelope and write on the back the amount and what it’s for.
  3. Whenever you need to buy something from that envelope’s allowance, take the money out, note the amount on the back and adjust the total.
  4. Keep going until the money’s finished or the end of the week. Aim only to spend what you’ve allowed yourself – don’t keep topping up!
  5. Siphon-off anything you don’t spend during the week into your savings account, treat fund or investment pot.
Money Dashboard – Mobile phone App 
If an envelope budget is too old-school (I mean, who has envelopes right?), try using the Money Dashboard app. Money Dashboard shows all your account balances in one place.  You need to enter your bank login details for the software to read your bank statements and although this may make you feel uncomfortable, it’s worth knowing the application is read-only. So basically, no payments, withdrawals or transfers can be made from your accounts.
Once each account is linked to Money Dashboard your transaction types will be automatically grouped and categorised into various tags, such as electricity and food. If you can see at a glance how, when and where you’re spending your money you’ll be in a better position to organise and budget your finances more effectively.
Money Dashboard is free and available for Android and iOS.
Visit our shuspace page or our blog to get involved in our Money Skills project.