Managing your finances can be like learning a whole new language, especially if it’s not something you’re used to doing.
There are plenty of reasons you might not have budgeted before. And it’s not necessarily because you’re super privileged. Sometimes, if money is a super stressful force in your life, it can feel overwhelming to think about it any more than absolutely necessary.
The good news is that a solid budget does the work for you. And the more you get into the flow with budgeting, the more financial freedom you’re rewarded with.
So in this blog posts we have some budgeting tips that can be used alongside our super smart, and may we just say, free, AI budgeting app. Because it’s not 2010 anymore. We need to culturally move away from Excel spreadsheets.
7 Budgeting Tips to Help You Stay on Track
Budgeting tip #1: Set Realistic Goals
Setting your financial goals is the first step to successful budgeting. It’s the motivation behind cutting back a little on unnecessary expenses. And eventually, meeting your financial goals is the reward for your hard work.
And just because we said realistic goals, that’s not to say you can’t dream big. It just means that if you have a number for how much you want to save, or how much you want to pay off, you can make a realistic plan to get there with a budget.
Whether it is saving for a vacation, buying a new car or home, or paying off debt, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will help you to stay motivated and focused on achieving your goals.
Budgeting tip #2: Track Your Spending
If your money situation has so far felt like riding a roller coaster in the dark, take a deep breath. Tracking your spending means taking a look at your financial situation as a whole, month on month. So you can see exactly where your money is escaping to.
Once you know where your money is escaping to, you can start redirecting it towards, say, your savings account, and away from the good people of Uber Eats.
Cleo makes this bit easy. So after you’ve downloaded Cleo for free, all you have to do is connect Cleo to your main checking account. Then, our super smart AI will use this information to track your expenses and give you a picture of what your money gets up to when you’re not looking.
Budgeting tip #3: Set Spend Limits
Another step in the process that Cleo makes easy. Once she’s tracked your spending, she’ll sort it into categories for you, that you can go back and amend. This includes your essential spending, like rent and bills, and non-essential or variable spending, like retail and grocery shopping.
At this point, you can set spend limits for each category, and Cleo will let you know when you’re about to hit once.
Budgeting tip #4: Cut Back on Unnecessary Expenses
As we said, you set the limits, and Cleo will tell you when you’re about to hit them. The great thing is, on top of spend limits, you can already cut down on unexpected expenses by simply tracking your spending in the first place - you might discover a couple subscription services you forgot you’d subscribed to. That’s a few more dollars per month towards your savings.
And if you’re struggling to stay motivated, type “roast me” into the chat with Cleo. We dare you.
Budgeting tip #5: Automate Your Savings
Automating your savings takes the choice between spending or saving away. So all you have to do is sit back and watch your savings build.
With Autosave, Cleo automatically stashes small amounts away for you each week so you don't even have to think about it. Then before you know it, you have hundreds saved up in your Cleo Wallet 💰
Cleo offers four different savehacks to help you save:
- Set & Forget: Pick an amount up to $24 and Cleo will set it aside each week for you
- Round Up: Cleo rounds up and sets aside the change from your spends each week
- Smart Save: Cleo uses magical algorithms to set aside money each week
- Swear Jar: Get "fined" when you spend at selected retailers (the fine goes into your Cleo Wallet each week)
To get started just type "autosave" to Cleo in the app.
Budgeting tip #6: Review Your Budget Regularly
It’s time for a little ✨ self-reflection ✨
Once you’ve stuck to your budget for a month, you can get a feel for if it’s working for you. Maybe you actually need to spend a little more on groceries than you thought, because you’re cutting back on eating out. Maybe you could actually be putting aside a little more towards your savings each month. Be realistic, keep that self-discipline up, and be flexible.
Budgeting tip #7: Congratulate yourself
Fixing your financial health can be super challenging, but ultimately really rewarding work.
Budgeting isn’t a one-time event but a continuous process that requires discipline, patience, and perseverance. Don’t wait until you meet your financial goals to tell yourself how great you’re doing.
If you need a little help with the self-love, type “hype me” into the chat with Cleo. See what happens.
Budgeting tips to help you stay on track: The summary
Budgeting can be challenging, but it’s the building block of financial planning. By following these budgeting tips, you’re on track to achieve your financial goals.
To really confirm the “I’m in my budgeting era” vibe, in addition to using Cleo, you can also take advantage of other resources to help you stay on track with your budget: read personal finance blogs, listen to personal finance podcasts, and join online personal finance communities.
You’ve got this.
Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. Big love. Cleo 💙