AP
As Told by Nav.it Founder Erin Papworth
27 days ago

Set up Your Budget in 5 Easy Steps

If you’re truly embracing a positive money mindset (#financepositivity), the b word doesn’t send you hiding under your covers after an expensive night with the girls. In fact, your secret weapon to financial freedom is knowing where your money is going, and how much is left over for some fun along the way (daily, if at all possible, am I right?).

I created Nav.it so that we can make our own decisions about how we want to spend and where we want to save. Because all women deserve to manage their money with confidence. Our app does all of the heavy lifting for you. Just decide what your next happiness goal is, and let us help you get there.
 
Step 1: Track your spending.
The first thing I did was connect all my savings, checking and credit card accounts so I can see all my transactions on my credit cards and bank accounts in one place and get an overview of my overall spending. We built this so that users don’t have to sign into every account individually to track how much they are spending each month. This gives you the full spending picture. It helps me see how much I really spent on food, or travel, or utilities, and estimate my costs for the next month! 

Step 2: Decide how you’ll allocate your money.
Nav.it pulls my transactions in the past month from all of my accounts and then automates my monthly budget based on these to give me a picture of what my real life costs. I can include (or exclude) whichever accounts I want from this calculation. Then I can adjust my budget goals from there (an increase in the travel line item, for example!).

Step 3: Set reminders.
If there is a category on my overall monthly spending that I want to reduce (it’s always food), I can change the budget line total for the month, and then set up alerts to ping me when I’ve spent 50 percent or 90 percent of that line item. We’re excited to build out more features around these nudges soon! 
 
Step 4: Make savings goals.
When you download the app, Nav.it asks you some key financial health questions to help you set up some financial savings goals. Financial basics include an emergency fund (3-6 months of your monthly spending budget) and high-interest debt. 
 
But we also believe we should prioritize our travel goals at the same time! So on the Goals tab, I can also set up travel/lifestyle goals (I’m heading to Guatemala in October!) and it will show me how much I need to save per day (or week, or month) to achieve these goals.  
 
This is factored into my monthly spend on the Money tab and helps me calculate my Daily Play Money (more on that below). I also invest a minimum of $100 per month into my Vanguard investment account, so that’s tracked on my finance goals.
 
Step 5: Don’t forget to play.
One of my other favorite things about setting up my budget in the app is the “Daily Play Money” feature. It calculates my income and then deducts my total estimated monthly spending plus all of my savings goals. Then it tells me if I have any extra “fun” money to use daily. I like seeing if I’m on track to save even more than I estimated or seeing if I do have some room to get that decaf almond milk latte.