We are a family of budgets. 

Years ago when Fred got out of grad school, we sat down and figured out our cash flow.  We figured out how much cash we needed a week and stuck to it. We also put together a budget for me so that every month I had a dollar amount to buy pretty much whatever I wanted.  Mostly clothes, accessories, wedding gifts, etc.  Overtime, the budget has expanded and been depleted but I always followed it.  You can’t go over budget but you can carry over what you didn’t spend the previous month. 

Sounds anal but what I really like about the budget is our costs are pretty much fixed.  Also, if I decide to buy an outrageous pair of shoes that I have no right costing what they do, Fred doesn’t care.  He knows I am on budget and that is all that counts.  Works for a beautiful relationship.  We run our household as a business.  The kids understand the concept and the girls are starting to get them too.  Josh isn’t quite there yet.  Jessica get so much cash a month put into her bank account and it is up to her to stick to it and if she doesn’t, she doesn’t go out.  Pretty simple. 

I have a spread sheet, by month, where I plug in my credit card bills.  Then monthly, I balance the spread sheet.  Sometimes there are charges from Amazon which are an addition that I didn’t plug in, etc.  I have gone months with out doing it and then it gets overwhelming.  But, I like to know where I stand. 

Wesabe has changed my life.  I love this service.  Essentially Wesabe takes all of my credit card information (when it comes in which is daily ) and this shows up underneath my account that I have set up.  One for Visa, one for Amex, etc.  I then can take the dollar amount and tag it.  So, if it is a charge under my budget, I tag it jb (joannes budget), if it is a vacation item, it is tagged vacation, a house item is tagged home, grocery items tagged grocery.  You get the gist.  It takes literally seconds daily and I know where I stand.  It is so much easier than what I have been doing.  Also, at the end of the year, we can see by our tags, how much we spend under each item.  We plan our annual budget at the beginning of the year and attempt to make the numbers.  This helps us as the year proceeds.  Just like a business. 

I haven’t figured out how to deduct the amount I have just spend against my monthly budget so I am still using the old way in unison but it isn’t tedious and I don’t have to do the checks and balances monthly.  Eventually I will figure it out and have everything on line.  I have actually found items that were wrong on my bill much quicker since I look at it daily.  I just called AMEX and had it taken care of.  If I didn’t have Wesabe, I might not have picked that up for months.

Fantastic service.  Loving Wesabe. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. BONNY

    Wow! This is great. Also, you can balance against your budget by placing a cap on spending within individual categories.

    We are spending Christmas in Paris and this is a great tool to help the kids (and us) keep on track with our saving plan 😉

  2. DAR

    Just wondering: why not use Quicken for the same thing? Then you hold your own data and don’t have to worry about things like what the company might do with your personal info, what if they go out of business, etc.

    What’s the advantage of Wesabe over this?

  3. Charlie

    How many people are as organized as you, though? I think you’re the exception rather than the rule. I agree that it’s prob a great tool for the already organized, but do you think you can throw Wesabe in front of someone who doesn’t already do budgets and have it be affective any more than putting quicken or even just the spreadsheet? Have you sent it to any completely disorganized people?

  4. Chris G

    You should try mvelopes.com. It does pretty much the same thing that Wesabe does, but also lets you set overall budgets, and budgets for each category.

  5. Janette Toral

    I tried registering to the service. However, I don’t think I’m comfortable in putting personal information online. I’d rather do it still in my personal organizer.

  6. just.a.guy

    to echo an earlier comment: Wesabe has nothing on Quicken. Except that it’s a “web 2.0” “service”

    just do yourself a favor and get a copy of the high-end Quicken.. it does far, far more than Wesabe does… and you get to keep your data (though they have a very reasonably priced online backup option)…

  7. mike oliver


    As one who is disorganized when it comes to finances, I can vouch that this tool is a godsend.

    Quicken? No way. Too complicated. Spreadsheet? I wouldn’t even no where to begin. I am not saying that Wesabe has turned me into a well oiled budget machine, but in 30 mins I went from having no understanding of where my money was going to having a robust understanding of where it was going.

    Adding tags to financial data is brilliant. With a little up front planning, one can have data at various levels of abstraction.

    Now, with one click, I can see how much money I spend on food in total, or how much I spend on food at home vs. in a restaurant, or how much i spend on food at Bond 45 (across the street from work) vs. Bocca Lupo (around the corner from home).

    No amount of time with a spreadsheet is going to give me that level of detail.

    One reason I have had trouble making a personal budget is because I couldn’t reliably capture what I was spending money on.

    I’ll let you know if Wesabe actually helps me create a budget, but I am grateful for the data even if I don’t manage to build (and adhere to) one.