Would it surprise you to hear that nearly half of all Americans do not use a budget? Any guesses why that is the case? Certainly there is a % that make enough money that they never have to worry about there being enough income to cover the monthly expenditures. Of course, even those lucky so-n-so’s would benefit from one. But what are you doing spending your time reading an article about why people hate budgeting? That is about as compelling as reading an expose’ on why water is wet. Budgeting is a boring activity that makes us feel hand-cuffed and poor. And if that’s not enough, let’s not forget that it is also a gargantuan pain in the butt.
But get on to the good stuff already. What can be done? Well, where do we turn whenever we want our life to be easier?
Now there’s a gripping expose’. What has technology brought to the table to make budgeting easier?
Oh ho, my friend. You just snuggle right back into your favorite reading chair and sip on a cup of hot chocolate while I regale you with the tail of how technology made the big, bad budget man go away.
Blow to budgeting #1 – Adding Excitement to Boring
Alright, so it’s never going to be your favorite activity, but many of these web 2.0 type home budget software packages have really got some zing. What would you rather look at? A black n white data filled spreadsheet or a colorful chart that is display some pretty cool stats? There is a lot to be said for graphics. And being able to navigate your finances primary via point n’ click beats the tar out of using those stupid arrow keys on the keyboard. When it comes to a subject like budgeting, we need every leg up we can get and the technology employed in today’s home budget software tools helps change how you feel about busting open your budget.
Blow to budgeting #2 – Hand-cuffed and poor
No, today’s home budget software does not currently offer printing money function. Nor does it allow you to type whatever number you want into your Wells Fargo account. But what it does do is change your perception of money management. When you log in, the best financial software products will have baked into their displays ways to inspire you to do better. Things like “% towards accomplishing your saving goal” or trend lines on bar graphs that give you a little shot of endorphins that make you want more. It’s a countermeasure that can go a long ways towards replacing the endorphin shot you feel when you buy something. And the very best products will eliminate that “feeling poor” aspect as they move you through their methodology that leads you to financial security.
Blow to budgeting #3 – Gargantuan pain in the butt
Now here’s where home budget software really shines. It saves you time. Many have mobile apps that enable you to enter input instantly. Many interface directly with your bank or allow you to easily upload transactions into the register. Many reduce stress by making it so you don’t have to remember when bills are do – much less write a check and stick it in an envelope (please tell me you aren’t still doing that). Eliminating the “pain in the butt” factor is what home budget software is all about.
Don’t give up on budgeting – give up on budgeting the old school way. Like a person who doesn’t take medication to treat an ailment, if you aren’t using home budget software right now, you might as well be living in the dark ages. But don’t worry. You can fix it about as fast as it takes to suck down a pill. Go look at the list of software tools currently available and pick the one that you feel best meets your needs- many are free and the one’s that charge typically offer a free trial period AND a 30 day money back guarantee. That could provide you with up to 2 months to test it out. You’ll be shocked at just how quickly you’ll be up and running….. and feeling better. And you won’t even have to get up from that comfy chair to make it happen.