The Simple Way to Budget Without Sharing Your Bank Passwords

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If you want to save more and spend less, money expert Clark Howard says that keeping a budget is essential!

Free online tools such as Mint and Personal Capital help you create a budget, see your expenses by category, pay your bills on time and even track your net worth.

But you don’t have to download another app to manage your money. There are other ways.

Don’t Want to Download a Budgeting App? Here’s an Easy Way to Manage Your Money Without One!

Clark frequently hears from people who want to know if Mint and other budgeting tools are safe to use. He says there’s no such thing as a hack-proof website, but he’s still a fan of Mint.com:

“I’m asked repeatedly about Mint, how safe is it? We live in an era where no matter what encryption level people are using, whatever security, there are vulnerabilities in the system. That’s possible. But what I know is that the power of these tools to help you get your spending under control is so great that I think that power outweighs the risk of the potential vulnerabilities of any financial tool or any site or any app.”

No matter what Clark or Mint.com say about the security of online money management tools, some people just don’t feel comfortable sharing their bank usernames and passwords — and that’s OK!

After all, businesses and individuals have been budgeting for a lot longer than those online products have existed.

Chelsea, a member of Team Clark, shared the simple Excel spreadsheet that she uses to stay on budget.

She gave Team Clark permission to share it with you (dollar amounts excluded) to demonstrate how easy budgeting can be!

Monthly

Off-Cycle

Weekly 

Savings

Chelsea says she sits down after every payday to go through the four separate spreadsheets that she created: monthly, off-cycle, weekly and savings.

When bills are paid or money is transferred to savings, she puts an “X” in the appropriate column.

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Chelsea previously managed her budget with the help of a dry-erase board but switched to Excel spreadsheets to make sure she didn’t forget about off-cycle (irregular) expenses: trash, pest control, lawn care, etc.

She says this budgeting system has helped her stay accountable for every dollar she spends and saves.

Simple enough, right? The key to budgeting is to find what works for you, and Chelsea has done that. If you don’t want to bother with another app on your phone, a simple budgeting spreadsheet is a great alternative.

Do you budget with the help of Excel or Google spreadsheets? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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