Why “Simple Budget”?
Simple Budget was created out of a frustration of trying to find a simple “envelope” method budgeting program that would carry over from month to month. From simple to elaborate, I could not find something that suits my needs so I created this simple program.
What Simple Budget won’t do:
Simple Budget is not a replacement for your banking program. It won’t let you download your bank statement and import it into the budget. It doesn’t have a smartphone app, it is not on-line. It is a simple stand-alone budgeting program that will help you control your monthly spending and save up for more expensive payments that require you to save several months.
The “Envelope” method explained:
Simple Budget uses the “Envelope” method of budgeting. The “Envelope” method simplified, is just the use of envelopes that you mark with a certain spending category that you want to control, put cash into the envelopes, and spend the cash out of the envelopes. Here is an example: Let’s say you want to control how much you spend on entertainment every month. Take an envelope and mark “Entertainment” on it. Then, let’s say you decide you want to limit your entertainment spending to $100 each month. Take $100 cash and put it in your “Entertainment” envelope. Now, let’s say you want to go to a movie. Take money out of your “Entertainment” envelope and go to the movie. And, when you are done, put the change back into the envelope. Let’s say the movie and goodies cost you $40. Now, you have $60 left in your “Entertainment” envelope to last you for the rest of the month. Now, let’s say you want to go to dinner. Dinner cost you $60. You now have no money left in the “Entertainment” envelope and you know you have to limit the entertainment activities for the rest of the month. You might make different choices and do activities that don’t cost money.
Another example of the “Envelope” method: Now, let’s say you want to save up each month so you have enough cash to do Christmas shopping without going into debt. Let’s say you decide to limit your Christmas spending to $1200. At the beginning of the year, get an envelope and mark it “Christmas”. Then decide to put $100 into the envelope each month. By the following December, you will have the $1200 you need for your gift giving. Now, let’s say in October, you come across a great sale for a nice gift for one of the people you want to buy a Christmas gift for. By October, you should have $1000. Let’s say the gift cost $100. Take $100 out of the “Christmas” envelope and purchase the gift. You will now have $900 in the envelope and you will continue to add to it for the next two months.
This can be used for any type of non-monthly expenses, like car insurance, property taxes, vacations, etc. Just take your yearly amount you will need and divide that into the appropriate amount of months to save for it. This does require discipline. Simple Budget helps you do this without having actual envelopes and cash. Budget your expenses, and enter them all into Simple Budget. An idea to help save, is to have more than one bank account. Use one main account for all your monthly expenses, and have a separate account that you can deposit money into that is to be saved for future expenses. This will help it to be “Out of site, Out of mind”. That is simple with Simple Budget as you can create any number of accounts for spending funds. It also allows you to “Transfer” money between Funds or Accounts.
Enjoy saving with Simple Budget. Go to the “Overview” page for an overview of Simple Budget.
May God bless you as you strive to be a good steward of His resources. -John.