Should you plan your budget on paper or digitally?

Should you plan your budget on paper or digitally?

Should you plan your budget on paper or digitally?

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You need a budget. There is no doubt about that. Now you need to figure out where to plan your budget. Should it be on paper or the computer?

Budgeting is an essential life skill. It helps you figure out where your money is going, makes sure you’re saving for the future, and helps you plan for the unexpected. Whether you’re living paycheck to paycheck or you have excess money, you need to budget*.

Now it comes to how to plan your budget. There are two main options. You can do it all on paper, or you can opt for a digital budget.

Plan your budget in a way that works for you

There isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to budgeting. Some people do better with a paper budget, and if that’s you, then please work with that. If you prefer to have everything online, work with that.

You need to do what is best for your brain. I hate people who tell others that they’re doing something wrong, and this happens a lot in finances. I mean, sure, going over your budget is wrong and you should avoid doing that. The whole point of having a budget is to figure out how to save money and get ahead financially.

What I hate is when people say their way is the best. I’ve had arguments with people telling me that I’m wrong for recommending the snowball method to people when the avalanche method would save money in the long-run. The avalanche method doesn’t work for a lot of people because some need to see that the debt repayment method is actually working to clear off credit cards. The avalanche method never worked for me because that’s not how my brain works.

So, I will always say to work the way that your brain works. If that means you plan your budget on paper* so that you see it clearly, then work with that. People will say “but with digital, you have it wherever you are,” and that’s great, but not if you need it written down.

MORE: 5 signs your personal budget isn’t right for you

Writing it down can help it set in your mind better

I’m one of those who still needs paper planners. I prefer my budget to be on paper. The process of writing something helps it to stick in my mind.

Sure, I’m writing this, but I’m not putting pen to paper. I’m typing on a keyboard, and I can guarantee that I’ll forget some of what I’ve written here by next year. When I write something down on paper, I am more likely to retain the information better.

So, when I write a budget down on paper, I keep those numbers in mind better. They feel real to me. They are something tangible that I can hold onto. I’m more likely to think of my budget whenever it comes to spending money.

Plan your budget and update on the go

You can still update your physical budget* when you’re on the go. Make sure your budget is done in a small folder or notebook that you can put in your purse. Take it with you and write things as you can.

If you don’t have your notebook with you, you’ll need to keep your receipts. Then you’ll need to make sure you do the update as soon as you get back home. If you forget, you run the risk of not updating everything and overspending.

However, a digital budget is easier to do that. You can have it all connected to your phone. What if you don’t have internet, though? Well, you could use Google Sheets, where you can do things offline, and everything will sync when you get the internet back.

The dangers of the cloud is that anyone could end up with your budget. There may be little that people can do with the numbers that you have, but people can see just how much you have coming in and where you spend that money if it ends up in the wrong hands.

There are pros and cons to both forms of budget planning. It’s not the pros and cons that are going to affect whether you do it one way or another, though. It’s going to be all about how your brain works. If the digital budget is something you forget about but the physical one is always with you and helps you stick to the budget, I think you know which one is the right one to use for you.

MORE: You can only cut back on your budget by so much

How do you like to plan a budget? Let me know in the comments below.

Alexandria Ingham is a professional writer. She predominately ghost-writes in various niches, including fitness, finance and technology Everything is fully researched and well-written. Under her own name, she writes in the technology, business, history and weight loss niches

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