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Every Dollar...to the Rescue
Money. Not having enough, not knowing what to do with it, not knowing how to spend it are all big stressors in life. Money and mental health are inseparable; if you don’t have enough it can make your mental health worse, if you’re struggling with your mental health it’s hard to go to work or get jobs. That’s why I think it’s so important to talk about money and how to deal with it!
After doing a lot of research it seems like one of the most beneficial things you can do to start a budget and track your spending. Knowing how much you are making, how much you are spending and if you have any left over is important! It can seem like a hard and boring task but I found a free app (available for iOS, Android and on the computer) to help make it less lame, it’s called Every Dollar.
I really like this app because it gives you a budget template to use but then you can customize it to fit your life. The belief behind this budgeting app is that you need to give every dollar a job. It encourages you to assign every dollar of your income to a category so no dollar is left unaccounted for, this is easy to do because it has categories for debt repayment as well as savings.
Once you’ve assigned every dollar a job it’s time to track your expenses. You have to track each transaction manually, unlike other money apps that are connected to your credit/debit card. Some people might find that annoying but I actually like this feature because it makes you more conscious of your spending. I just try to do this at some point each day so that I don’t get behind.
The great thing about the app is that it’s totally customizable and flexible. I’ve been using this for the past few months and had to make changes to my expenses as I go along, it not hard to tweak things. The other thing that I really like about this app is that it has pie charts to show you how much you plan to spend in each category, how much you’ve actually spent and how much you have left to spend.
Budgeting and tracking your spending are really great ideas but it can also be discouraging if you don’t have a stable income or a lot of money. Even if you don’t have a consistent income this is still something to get in the habit of doing. It might give you ideas of where you can trim your expenses and if nothing else it is a good idea to get in the habit in preparation for the day you do have a stable income. Money can be a stressful and overwhelming, just try to improve your situation one step at a time and be kind to yourself !
If you want to learn more about money, try Bringing Home the Bacon.
Kathryn is a former mindyourmind staff and continues to work in the youth & community development sectors. In her spare time, she is a proud plant parent, home chef and avid volunteer.
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