Almost everyone struggles with their finances, but many aren’t quite sure how to improve.

Do you feel like you’re always chasing your tail and never get ahead?

Whatever your situation is, it’s possible that budgeting with Zilch for what you need and want isn’t part of it.

With debts to repay and rent to pay, budgets can seem like more of a privilege than a priority. But everyone needs to manage their finances if they want to build financial security.

In the long run, budgeting not only ensures you have money to pay the bills it can also help you save for a rainy day.

Maybe you’ve never even tried to budget before. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Track your spending and set achievable goals: The first step is always the hardest, but it’s also the most important.

Tracking your spending and setting achievable goals will help you determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on everything, including groceries and going out. Without a budget, it’s easy to lose track of where your money is going, and before you know it—it’s all gone.

  1. Get a Zilch budgeting app: There is no need to waste your time with tedious spreadsheets or piles of receipts—there are plenty of great money management apps out there for smartphones and tablets that can do it all instantly. Plus, they’ll automatically track what you spend, too.
  2. Work on budgeting every day: Consistency is important when it comes to budgeting. You can’t set a goal to work on your spending for “a few minutes”, only to let the time slip away until tomorrow (or even right after you finish). And when you do find the time to budget, don’t just think about what you need to buy and how much it will cost – try sitting down with a pen and paper and figuring out how you can afford it. This is where shopping around can save you money:
  3. Automate your finances: If budgeting is a daily priority for you, consider auto transferring funds from your checking to your savings account every time you get paid. This will help you build up that rainy day fund and avoid overdrafts or bounced check fees.
  4. Pay bills on time: When faced with the last two weeks of the month and a paycheck that doesn’t cover everything, you’ve got two options: get creative with your budget or deal with consequences. Probably not the best idea to go with the second one more than once.

If you make a habit of paying bills on time every month, Zilch can help avoid late fees, and it can even improve your credit score.