I will always remember the first time I read “The Millionaire Next Door.” It was life changing. The written description of savers and spenders would bring people to my mind that I knew and in some cases admired. The book helped me determine what path I would take toward self reliance.
One of the main themes of the book is summarized neatly in this quote:
“The foundation stone of wealth accumulation is defense, and this defense should be anchored by budgeting and planning.”Thomas J. Stanley
I have always believed that keeping a budget is about more than saving money. Budgeting is a practice of self control. It can increase humility and offers a sense of accomplishment. Keeping a budget will help you determine which purchases bring real joy and what ends up a waste of money.
I have written before about a template for making a simple budget. I recommend that simple and free process for everyone.
With the budget set, how do you keep track of your progress? I use CoPilot. It’s an iPhone app that tracks all of your spending and saving.
- It requires a little effort to setup but is mostly automated after that. It will sync your online accounts and also your expenses.
- Support is superb. It’s all in-app and incredibly quick and friendly.
- One of the useful things for me was identifying price creep on Internet service, car insurance, cell phone, etc. These services tend to inch up a dollar here and ten dollars here. That was always hard for me to track before.
- It’s like Mint, but private. And ad free.
Copilot is $9 per month. You can use code 7QJWJG for one free month to be sure it works for your situation. This is especially helpful because the app will go through past expenses and help you identify recurring charges to start your budget. Give it a few days to do it’s work thoroughly. Even if you don’t keep the service, you will get a good look at the way you spend your money.