How I learned to save money

4 min read

For 10 years I was trying different methods: Excel templates, learn business finance, read books about finance and how to get rich, use a lot of different apps. It always end up in the long list of categories and necessity to track all expenses. At some point I was getting tired and it never worked for me. There was always something unplanned. The more I budgeted, the more dept I was ending up in. Especially it was getting worse when I was in relationship. And I was never sure if I can buy new jeans.

Half a year ago I discovered magic! That totally changed my mindset about personal finance! It is more forgiving method, simple and easy. Using it I was finally able to pay off all my depts and saved almost 2 salaries! And any moment I can certainly answer questions like:

  • Can I buy this jeans?
  • Can we have a coffee?
  • Can I meet friends in restaurant?
  • When can we buy a new TV?

Here is set of rules that distilled for me during this whole process:

  1. Plan your income. Once you got money, doesn't matter if it is $1 or $100K, budget it. Split into 3 chunks:
    • 10-20% for Savings - transfer it right away to separate account
    • 50% for Needs - for regular payments, groceries, medicine and all essentials you need to survive.
    • Wants - everything else like going out, shopping, etc.
  2. Save daily. Define daily limit and keep into this limit. If you didn't spend it today - you will have it tomorrow. So all costly purchases move to end of the month. By this time you save enough with daily limits. And you'll get soon salary so all unexpected expenses will be covered easier.
  3. Simplify. Don't budget per category, you'll need only 4 for envelopes for daily life: Needs, Wants, Culture, Extra. And there is no need to track all your expenses, track only irregular so you can reveal your spending habits and change them. Identify those expenses and assign them a category so you have control over them.
  4. Stay positive. If messed up - re-plan and keep going. Don't let plans stress you out. If forgot to track some expenses - count how much money left and adjust. Overspent one day - try to back off next day. Stay alert, not anxious.

I created an App, that can help you integrated this method into your life and might get better results for you than any other app for expenses tracking and budgeting - MoneyDo.

Benefits of the app are:

  • it helps you setup a budget with recommendations
  • it calculates limits for you (it has budget, that most expense tracking apps luck)
  • the fastest way to add expense: click-type-click (most of expenses trackers require lots of clicks and lots of required fields)
  • easy to re-adjust budget: drag-type-click to move an amount, change budget dates, create multiple budgets for same dates (other apps would take it more steps or is not even possible)
  • works on desktop and mobile, offline, less than 1 MB installation in 10 seconds (other apps ~30MB and 2-5 minutes to install)
  • localised in 4 languages (English, German, Spanish, Russian) and more coming soon (not all other apps have proper localisations)
  • is cheaper - only 3 EUR per month (for comparison YNAB - $11.99, Toshl - $4.99)

It won't not work for you if you want to use classical budgeting per category, but if you give it a chance and try to learn this method than it might work for you no matter if you are freelancer, or if you get paid daily, or if you have irregular income, or if you have a regular salary.

We grow together. You get 1 month for free to try and additionally I will give you 1 month per each invited user. I am using this app myself, so share your feedback with me: what works for you and what doesn't and we will find solution together.