Save Our Money
Taking a break from Westminster updates, at least for one post: I've got something happier to tell you about.
First, you should know that I'm not very good at sticking with resolutions, and I'm not much good at making and keeping a budget. Mel's better at budgeting, but not perfect. We know that we SHOULD do it, and that it would help us save money or to spend what we do have more wisely, but it usually seems too intimidating, or time-consuming, or just too much of a hassle. So we've sort of been hit-or-miss about our budgeting, knowing generally what we have and generally what we're spending, and that fuzziness has probably cost us more than we'd like to admit.
...Which explains just how thrilled I've been with a new program called Pearbudget. The whole point of Pearbudget, as its friendly website will tell you, is "Really Simple Budgeting." It's the most intuitive computer program i've ever had the pleasure--yes, pleasure--of interacting with.
Mel and I have been using it for a couple of months now, and already it's saved us money and changed the way we think about our finances. Mostly it's made the process smoother, easier, and less scary. But in addition, because it involves inputting your receipts at the end of each month, it's made us more thoughtful about our spending...especially on items that don't seem like much at the time ("whoa, did we REALLY spend that much on soda this month?" "What in the world is 'ten dollars for breath mint expenses'?" etc).
And Pearbudget only costs 3 dollars a month. Three dollars. I bet it'll save you more than that in the first month you're using it. Try out their 30-day free trial and see. If you don't want to take my word for it, peruse the testimonials on their front page, or read some of the rave reviews it's getting from financial bloggers like Squawkfox: (she says that Pearbudget's simplicity and money-saving ability are "sexy," which wasn't the adjective that first leaped to MY mind, but whatever).
Full disclosure: I know the folks who invented Pearbudget, but they haven't asked me to post this. The service has been quite helpful to us, and the fact that it's run by friends is a nice bonus.