Your budget is your roadmap to a successful allocation of funds, especially if more than one person is involved. Without one, mistakes and misunderstandings are more likely to happen simply because the human mind isn’t built like a computer that can keep a strict log of everything. Spoken words can pass through the listener’s ears and even be forgotten, but numbers written down will leave no room for errors.
All you need to make your budget become reality is the proper tool to do so. While everyone has their preference, no one can deny the effectiveness of the following budgeting tools - one can even argue that they’re the best.
1. Simple pen and paper
In modern times, we can send vast amounts of information across the globe in the blink of an eye - and yet, the paper remains as effective a tool as ever. While there are signs that paper is declining in use—due mostly to the strong movement against environmental destruction—it allows for completely personalised budgeting systems. You can jot your numbers down in the way that makes the most sense to you.
Notebooks, folders, and even envelopes are some of the many forms your budgeting can take. Like any file or book, it can all be easily organised with your own form of system.
2. Excel, Google Sheets, or any other spreadsheet program
Offering the (somewhat reduced ) personalisation of paper without the downsides, a spreadsheet program can get the job done with the added bonus of being able to program individual cells to do specific commands and calculations. The result will automatically be displayed, so you don’t have to constantly write down or calculate the same thing over and over again. It may take a while at first to set the format and commands in place, but it will be a breeze once you get the hang of it.
There’s also the added benefit of these programs being free (most of them, at least). Microsoft Excel is found in most offices, and Google Sheets only requires an internet connection and an account to keep everything organised.
3. Financing Apps
Full-blown programs focused on helping you keep track of your budget. They also offer the capability to receive input and display results, as well as compatibility with outside entities. For example, the app could connect directly to your bank account for live data collection. Here are a few examples of these financing apps:
GnuCash. A program praised for its compatibility with multiple platforms, you’ll be sure to find a version that you can use. You can manually type in your details or create Quicken files (QIF) and Open Financial Exchange files (OFX), which are both used by many banks today.
Pocketbook. This app takes away the manual input and automatically tracks the data for you. You simply need to connect it to your accounts (bank, credit, etc.) access valuable information via your dashboard.
Xero. A software program that goes beyond tracking your expenses, encompassing every detail of your business. Inventory, sales tax, fixed assets, and more are managed by a single program at the tap of your phone. Click here to learn more about Xero.
With the right tool, you can create a budget that ensures your business’s future will be a successful one. There's always more to learn, especially if you want your business to start as a huge success. We have a white paper that can help you learn more about your start up and how to leverage closer to your goals.