An earlier version of this post appeared in 2022. As families look to keep up with rising costs this year, we’re sharing it again!
Growing up, we went through periods when we didn’t have a lot. It made me very aware of making the most of what we had. Overspending in one area often meant sacrificing in another. In college, I learned how to budget so my part-time job making lattes would pay my rent and provide groceries. Eventually, I graduated with my MBA and $75k of student loans to pay off. My husband and I needed to get very serious about our budget to pay off those loans, and we did it.
Now that I’m a mom, we have different financial goals. Emergency savings, a college fund, family trips, and hopefully creating a financially comfortable life for our daughter. And who knew one child could come with so many new expenses?! Between the diapers, clothes, car seats, and doctor’s bills, she quickly became her own category in our budget. My budgeting goal for our family is to financially prepare us for the expected and the unexpected. Eventually, I want to teach my daughter how to do the same for her future.
Starting to budget can feel overwhelming. There are so many directions to go, different systems, different accounts, and how do you know how much you’re actually spending on groceries? At the most basic level, I think of budgeting as understanding how much money is coming in and how it’s being spent.
Thanks to the Internet, if you’re feeling overwhelmed about budgeting or finances there are some great Instagram accounts, podcasts, and apps that can help. These are some of the financial resources that I look to the most, I hope that you find something to learn from, too!
The Financial Diet Instagram account is focused on helping women comfortably talk about money. I love this account because makes often intimidating topics, like investing, budgeting, and financial decisions, conversational and comfortable.
Kumiko Love, aka The Budget Mom, was a struggling single mom, and through budgeting and financial literacy became a money expert. I find her suggestions of setting small savings goals very approachable and encouraging.
Dasha is a financial activist who is passionate about empowering women to be financially independent. She’s all about financial independence and is all for the occasional splurge on a great set of PJs.
The Finance Bar is an educational Instagram account that shares financial tips and reminders to help you learn healthy financial habits. They offer great suggestions for quick exercises to stay on track like reviewing bank statements at the beginning of the month or listing out known future expenses to plan accordingly.
Laura Adams’, aka the Money Girl, podcast super helpful in learning about a range of financial topics. I find the podcast medium helps me grasp the concepts that might be more complex for me like 401k, retirement accounts, how buying a house works, or how to prioritize debt vs investing. The episodes are usually around 20 minutes which is the perfect length for them to stay approachable and not overwhelming.
This podcast by Jeff Rose covers a host of topics. Jeff discusses some big-time financial ventures, like how his blog has generated over $10 million dollars. While I can’t exactly relate to that, he speaks a lot about how to create a family culture of financial success and include your children in financial decisions, which I enjoy learning about.
Mint is a free budgeting app that helps you create and track your finances in one place. It connects your accounts and cards and categorizes your spending so you can always know where you stand. I’ve used this app in the past and really like that it is easy to set up and intuitive to use.
Simplifi is the app that I use for our family’s budgeting and tracking. This app costs $40/year but with that, there aren’t any ads in the app or pop-ups about new credit cards that you will find in most other apps. I think it has some of the best organizing and categorization which is why we’ve been using it for the last year!
Wherever you are on your budgeting journey, I’m cheering you on! Learning about our finances makes them easier to talk about and easier to tackle. Don’t be afraid to roll your sleeves up and look at those bank and credit card statements!