Friday, February 10, 2012

The Right Brain Person's Budgeting Solution

Perhaps you have seen this image on Facebook, a visual description of the left and right sides of the brain.  I am a very, very right brain and can easily get lost in the clearly-laid-out pathways of the logical left side.

Take bookkeeping, for example. More specifically, take budgeting. A straight forward matter of adding up what you take in, and what you spend -- it seems simple enough. But I've never found a system that works for me. It is too rigid for me, too black and white. No wiggle room. Way too complicated for me to know where I stand at this very moment.

But now I have discovered PearBudget.

Having read about the husband/wife team who developed this really simple budget, I'm guessing they are also right brain folks. According to their website, "Five years ago, we created PearBudget as a spreadsheet to help us track our spending. On a whim, we posted it online, in case other people might find it helpful. It was downloaded over 100,000 times, and was written up in the Wall Street Journal, Popular Science, and dozens of popular websites and blogs. We decided to make a good thing better, so we turned PearBudget into a web-based application. It’s now even friendlier and easier than it had been before. As best we can tell, it’s the simplest budgeting and expense tracking tool on the internet."

They are now helping lots of people (both right and left brained folks, I'm guessing) keep track of their finances.

So here's how this three-step program works. Step 1 -- develop your plan, putting in amounts for monthly income and expenses, knowing that the numbers are not set in stone. You don't even have to know all the exact amounts; you can come back later and change your information. Step 2 -- enter your receipts, both income and expenses. Step 3 -- review your spending. With the click of a mouse, you can see how much you've spent in each category and how much you have left to get you through the month.

You can also print out an up-to-date card which you can carry with you while you shop or pay bills.

I need a hands-on, real-time visual to take with me into the financial arena. PearBudget has filled that need. Check it out; you may also find that it's just what you've been looking for. Maybe you don't need it yourself, but look around at your right brain family and friends. Make their day; tell them about PearBudget!

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If you'd like to see a larger view of the left brain/right brain picture, and read the accompanying text, click here.

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