Traditional Budgeting (the old-fashioned way)

If you're wary of online budgeting services or are simply not interested in new-fashioned budgeting tools, such as mobile banking apps and online dashboards, here are some no-tech strategies for offline budgeting. It's more or less a matter of taste, but sometimes less is more. There are good reasons to budget offline.

These days, there’s an abundance of apps and software programs to be found on the web that are designed to automate the process of tracking your spending and earnings to make budgeting easier.

1. Reasons to budget the traditional way

Given the many security issues that are associated with the use of online services, it's comprehensible that some people simply don’t want to trust any of their financial data to computers in general and rather stick to traditional budgeting. A major advantage of traditional budgeting systems is the fact that they come without the ads and promotional offers you typically get with free budgeting apps.

2. What is traditional budgeting?

The idea behind traditional budgeting is no different from the underlying concept of modern, computer-based solutions: they both involve the process of monitoring and re-evaluating income towards expenditures (e.g. savings and debt repayment) on a periodic basis during a specified period of time in order to devise a plan of operations to prepare the budget.

3. A few ideas for offline-budgeting

  • The envelope system
    The envelope system is ideal for the practically-minded as it takes the idea of budgeting out of the scope of numbers and charts, making this approch very tangible. If you like or at least don't mind to operate in cash (or cheques) for many of your expenses, then the envelope-system is worth a try.
  • Traditional Paper Budgeting
    For people who rather kick it old school with a hands-on approach, paper budgeting (writing things down with a pen on a paper block) helps you to retain control of your information and to keep in touch with your budget on a personal level. If you feel rather uncomfortable linking your bank account to an electronic budgeting service, this method can put you at ease.
  • Budgeting spreadsheets
    If you are, in fact, one of those people who has no use for new-fashioned budgeting tools like mobile banking apps and online dashboards but find the above traditional budget methods too old-fashioned, then a budget spreadsheet kind of offers the best of both worlds. You can use it on a computer (and still be offline) but also print it and then use it the traditional way with paper and pen.

On this page