I recently signed up for a free 30-day trial subscription to Pear Budget. It’s an online budgeting system that is SUPER SIMPLE. I’ve never tried Quicken, but I’ve heard from others that Pear Budget is much easier to use than Quicken. I’m all about the least amount of work possible, as you may know. 😉
So, I tried Pear Budget, and I decided that — it’s awesome. Today I signed up for a whole year of the service. It cost me a whopping $30. That’s it! Woo-hoo! I feel good!
It’s cool because you can create your own categories for budgets, and you can decide if something is an “every month” expense or an “irregular” expense. The system figures out all the math for you. You don’t have to do a thing. Plus, it’s totally safe, because it doesn’t link to your bank accounts or any other kind of official financial site. You don’t even have to put your real names in to register! All you need is an email address. It’s totally safe and very cool. My favorite part is that not only are expenses categorized (and you can choose or modify the categories any way you want), but you can create your own tags for expenses listed under various categories, and then look things up just by their tags! It’s just like blogging!
So, for example, I have the category of “medical expenses.” When I list something under “medical expenses,” I can tag it and specifically define whether that expense was a “doctor bill” or a “prescription” or a “supplement” or something else. I could even tag it by the doctor’s name! Maybe I’m getting excited over a little thing here, but I think that’s really cool. It’s fun! And if it’s fun then I will do it. I don’t do boring very well. In fact, as evidenced by the complete lack of “doing” on my 2008 taxes until I had to, I don’t do boring AT ALL. So, a little “fun” is a very good thing for me and my finances.
I’m very psyched to futz around with my new budget more in the future. And it will be very interesting (and probably eye-opening) to actually track my expenses for once…