Budgeting is boring! How many times have you said that in your mind when you’re grumbling about doing your budget? Nobody likes calculating the way their hard-earned income will be distributed to other people and businesses, but creating a budget doesn’t have to be drudgery.
The problem is, if you’re bored or frustrated with budgeting, you’re likely to make mistakes and oversights that can cost you big bucks.
Regardless of why you’re struggling to create your budget, these cutting-edge strategies can help.
1. Use a budgeting app powered by artificial intelligence (AI)
If your budgeting app doesn’t use artificial intelligence to make suggestions for how you should (and shouldn’t) spend your money, you’re behind the times. Budgeting apps powered by artificial intelligence can give you budgeting advice you won’t get from standard apps. For instance, the AI-powered budgeting app Cleo will give you customized spending advice based on your income, bills, and necessary expenses.
Why choose an AI-powered budgeting app?
While some standard budgeting apps are better than others, most apps crunch your numbers the same way. If you put your numbers into ten different apps, you’ll get the same output. The user interfaces and aesthetics will differ, but the number-crunching will generally be identical.
Standard budgeting apps can tell you how much money you’ll have after your expected expenses, but they can’t say if all your expenses are justified.
With an AI-powered budgeting app like Cleo, you’ll get the customized suggestions you need to make smarter budgeting choices.
2. Adopt a mindset of gratitude for services received
Does anyone really like paying bills? If you’re like most people, you scoff at the cost of rent, web servers, software, electricity, internet, and phone services for your business. Why can’t necessary services be cheaper?
Instead of being annoyed that your expenses diminish your profits, adopt a different mindset. Be grateful for the services you receive in exchange for your payments. For example, when the internet bill comes, take a moment to feel gratitude for the internet service that powers your daily operations and makes ecommerce sales possible. Consider that your internet company employs a bunch of people who need the work.
Embracing an attitude of gratitude will shift the way you budget
Approaching your bills with an attitude of gratitude won’t get you discounted services, but it will greatly reduce the amount of stress you feel when paying those bills. Maintaining a relaxed state of mind when dealing with expenses will ultimately reduce the potential for making budgeting and payment mistakes.
3. Be frugal so you can invest in your own company
Ideally, you’d have enough outside funding to run your business. However, that’s not always the case. If you’re struggling to work necessary expenses into your budget, consider being frugal in your personal life in order to invest in your business.
Whether you need $500 to get some ergonomic office furniture or $5,000 to fund custom software development, being frugal will help you save the money you need.
4. Revisit your priorities
Needs and wants are vastly different, although many wants can feel like needs. If you think you’re only spending money on required expenses, revisit your priorities again. You’ll be surprised at the amount of unnecessary expenses you can cull with fresh eyes.
5. Track your expenses and income daily
Have you ever spent an entire day doing your budget, only to discover you overspent and you’re going to be in the red for a week or two? When you track your expenses and income on a daily basis, you don’t need to worry about unknowingly overspending.
Tracking your income daily takes between 5-10 minutes, and you’ll never have to sit down to do your budget all day ever again.
What to track daily
Create a spreadsheet with a section for income and one for expenses that also incorporates a column for the date of each expense and source of income. Add a section to enter your current bank balance. In a separate area, create a vertical series of numbers from 1-31 to represent each day of the month.
Program your spreadsheet to automatically calculate your projected income on a daily basis, based on your daily income and expenses you input into the sheet. If you don’t know Excel well enough to program the formulas, you can always hire someone to make it for you.
When a strategy fails, try something new
If you find a budgeting strategy that doesn’t work, try something new. Some strategies require time to master, but some are duds. Keep testing strategies to find what works for you.