A few months ago, I started to feel like we needed a system to keep track of what we were spending on (and saving for!). We settled on You Need a Budget (not sponsored! We just love it!), which is a web-based service that lets us map it all out.
Basically, before Y-NAB, we were saving for our wedding and looking at ways we could decrease our spending. But, with two of us and multiple accounts, it started to get a little… fuzzy. Exactly how much had we spent on groceries/transportation/eating out?
Y-NAB lets you either link your accounts for automatic updates, or upload a file that’s downloaded from the bank. We’ve avoided linking our accounts to maximize security, but the upload is easy and we add new transactions every 1-2 weeks. Usually we do this sitting together, and while at first I was a little squirmy (it is hard to look back at your Starbucks habit!) it started to feel good to know exactly where everything is going.
From there, we can label every transaction with a category- things like gifts, household spending, future savings, etc. The software then lets you allocate $$ to a future budget, but we don’t really do this. For us, just tracking what we have spent and saved has really opened our eyes to our overall financial picture.
I often feel that there isn’t as much Canadian financial advice as I’d like to have out on the internet, so over the next few Mondays I’ll try to give an overview of some strategies we use to save half our income- up next, some thoughts on how we save money, and a few of my favourite (Canadian) financial resources!
Top image via @youneedabudget on Instagram