My life is about to change. I’m getting married this year. Besides everything, what’s the biggest change I’ll face? Money. I’m really good at spending. Budgeting? Not so much.
So, for a few weeks I’ve been trying out various and sundry Mac money management apps. From Quicken (ugh) to Checkbook (nice) and half a dozen in between. What I settled on was envelope budgeting.
Manage Money With Envelopes
The envelope budgeting method has probably been around since, well, envelopes. The premise is simple. Grab a bunch of envelopes. Mark them according to what you plan to pay.
One envelope for rent, one for car payment, one for school loan, one for savings, one for food.
You get the idea. Simple, right? Have cash, will stuff. But the days of cash are gone for many of us.
Budget is a Mac app that uses the envelope method to manage your money. A personal budget is set up with onscreen envelopes. Title each envelope and determine the monthly amount. Then assign money from your checking account to pay the envelope.
Simple enough, right? There’s actually more going on behind the envelopes.
The Budget concept is actually rather simple.
Set up accounts—checkbook, savings, credit cards, etc. Then set up expenses in each envelope. The whole process is visual and on a single screen.
Your accounts will display individual balances and totals. All your budgeted envelope items will be tabulated against your monthly income so you can see whether you have enough money to pay bills or not.
Transactions—actual payments or deposits—are also on the main screen.
So are the details of an envelope entry. Click the appropriate envelope and view the details below. There’s even a line chart so you can get a quick visual of how you’re doing. Green is good. Red is not.
Budget records your check transactions, deposit transactions, gives you balance totals, even handles recurring expenses and income.
This handy Mac app has an iPhone counterpart, imports most Quicken and bank data and makes money management simple. If you don’t have much, simple is better.