Best Budgeting Apps Of September 2022 – Forbes Advisor

Creating and managing a successful monthly budget is all about knowing how much money you bring in and how you actually spend it. So the two key parts of any standard budget are your income and expenses.

Begin by calculating your total monthly income, including your salary, wages, tips, interest, child support, alimony and any passive income. Then list your essential monthly expenses. This could include costs like housing, insurance, utilities, bank fees and minimum credit card payments.

Next, list nonessential expenses, such as monthly subscriptions, streaming services, your average dining and entertainment costs and anything else you regularly spend money on but could live without. Look to past credit card and bank statements to ensure you’re not missing anything. Add your necessary expenses to your nonessential expenses to determine your total monthly expenses.

Is your income greater than your expenses? If so, that’s a great start. But if your balance isn’t where you want it to be, it’s time to create a budget. Understanding your goals will help you choose the best budgeting app for your needs.

Why Is Budgeting Important?

With more than half of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, according to multiple surveys, budgeting is critical to helping people break free from financial struggle and create financial stability. The U.S. has seen a rapid escalation in housing and health care costs over the last 30 years, leaving less money to put toward savings and retirement.

Having no financial plan or budget in place can cause stress and overwhelm you, leading to increased spending, living beyond one’s means and perpetuating destructive cycles. But having a solid budget in place as part of your overall money mindfulness can make a huge difference—not only by helping you achieve your financial goals but also by reducing stress and anxiety and improving your overall quality of life.

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