“I was tired of living paycheck to paycheck.”
“Baby number two is on the way, and we’re saving up to build a new house.”
“I had no idea where my paycheck was going every week.”
“I decided to quit my job and go to grad school.”
“I was fresh out of college, got an apartment, and living on my own for the first time.”
Each of these stories has a financial undertone to them. They might be scary, exciting, or stressful.
These are just a few of the reasons we hear from customers about why they started their budgeting journey with Tiller. But these reasons are universal to anyone, anywhere, using any budgeting system or financial tool.
The commonality in these circumstances is a deep-rooted desire to be financially in tune, to be financially free.
I don’t mean free in the sense of being able to retire, quit working, or win the lottery. I mean free from the stress, confusion, or uncertainty about your money situation and how a major (or even minor) life change might affect it.
The simplest ingredient for all budgeting methods.
Budgeting is one of the keys to this freedom, and it’s not as complicated as you might think.
The simplest ingredient in all budgeting strategies, whether you use zero-sum, envelope, or some other budgeting method, is tracking.
Keeping tabs on where your money is flowing in and out is critical for staying on track with your budget.
Top financial planner Douglas A. Boneparth recommends tracking expenses for 3–6 months to understand your cash flow.
“Mastering cash flow is essential because it is the foundation for your financial planning. If you feel disconnected from your cash flow, don’t worry. You are not alone.”Back to Basics: Mastering Cash Flow
And in the New York Times, Boneparth notes “It’s very hard to make changes unless you actually know what you’re spending money on.”
With the insights you gain from knowing where your money is going, you can make sure you’re spending in a way that aligns with your values and goals.
Tracking fuels your budget, and knowing whether you’re under or over in a specific category. From there it’s all in your power.
With great power comes great responsibility.
A budget is only as successful as the diligence that’s behind it. If you have big or challenging money goals the only way to achieve them is to put effort behind them.
Are you checking on your spending regularly to keep track of where you are with your budget?
Do you tell yourself “no” when you know you’re close to or over the limit?
Do you prioritize debt payoff or emergency fund savings over weekend outings or new outfits?
The tool you use to keep a budget is only a small factor in your success in achieving your goals. The real determining factor is you.
Building clarity for the future.
When you start budgeting diligently, clarity will come. Even when you don’t hit your targets, you’re aware. That awareness is life-changing.
It gives you control to make the decisions that lead to greater happiness, more time with your family, and less stress and uncertainty. Knowing you can be financially secure despite a big exciting life change or scary financial decision is priceless.
And that peace of mind only comes from being truly in tune with your finances.
We have a customer who after using Tiller for a year or so made one of the biggest financial decisions of his life, and only because he was able to use Tiller to truly understand his money.
“My wife and I were visiting Palm Springs, CA for a quick vacation this summer. We came across this beautiful house for sale. It was literally our dream house. We knew we wanted to move to this area at some point down the road, but didn’t think it would be for several more years.
After returning home and reviewing my finances we decided that we could make it work to sell our home in San Jose and move to Rancho Mirage this year. I created a spreadsheet using data from Tiller that estimates what my new costs would be. Seeing that gave me the confidence we could afford the move. Without using Tiller I don’t think I would have been able to make such a huge financial transition at this point in my life.” – Jon O.
By budgeting and tracking his money diligently, Jon was able to make the future a short-term reality.
When you’re in control of your money, you’re in control of your destiny.