Making a budget is half the battle—now you need to stick to it! But everyone has unexpected expenses, like a rip in your winter coat or a surprise car repair, and spend-on-a-whim desires, like when your favorite store has a flash sale. When you need or want to buy something you didn’t plan for, you need a fast answer to that burning question: “Can I afford this?”
Doing last-minute math in your head is a pain. And it’s easy to forget an upcoming bill and find yourself in financial hot water. Enter Safe-to-Spend, your budget bodyguard!
How Safe-to-Spend works
First, build a budget in your Simple app using Expenses for each of your regular monthly costs (like bills and groceries) and Goals for money you want to save up longer-term (like for a new mattress or upgraded computer).
Then Safe-to-Spend adds up all the Expenses and Goals you’ve created for the month, subtracts that from your account balance (and any money transfers you’ve scheduled)—et voila! That’s the amount you can safely spend without derailing your budget.
Don’t have a budget yet? Here’s an article that explains how Expenses and Goals work.
Important note: Safe-to-Spend doesn’t limit your ability to spend your money; you always have access to your full account balance when you swipe your card. But with your Safe-to-Spend amount at the ready, you have info that empowers you to make the best in-the-moment decision for your budget. So whatever you spend, you’ll be spending with confidence.
How Safe-to-Spend helps you out
Any time you’re contemplating buying something you didn’t plan for, just open your Simple app. Your Safe-to-Spend number is front and center, showing the exact amount you can spend without blowing your budget or eating away at your savings goals.
Once you’ve built your budget, Safe-to-Spend keeps an eagle eye on what you’ve spent so far and how much you still need for the month’s Expenses and Goals—freeing you up to spend money on other things without worry.
- automatically remembers every Expense and Goal you’ve set up
- does the math for you—and is always up to date
- helps you stick to the budget you worked hard to create
- lets you relax and spend spontaneously with confidence!
Safe-to-Spend in action
Here are a few examples of how Safe-to-Spend has your back every day.
- You’re getting an oil change and the mechanic says you’re also due for a tire rotation. “It could probably wait a couple weeks,” she says, “but it would be better to do it now.” Ack! Should you wait until payday (and plan for it in your budget) or do it today? You could do the math in your head—or you could grab your phone and check Safe-to-Spend!
- You’re picking up a gift for your friend’s birthday and see some to-die-for sunglasses—and you’ve been wanting a new pair! Do you go for the impulse purchase or keep it in check? Just glance at your Safe-to-Spend to see if you can afford a little indulgence without throwing your financial plans off track.
- Your favorite band just announced a concert in your city! But tickets are $75, and you only have $50 in your Safe-to-Spend. It’s decision time: you were planning to put $25 toward your new-bike Goal this month. Do you stay on track toward your Goal, or take that $25 for tickets and wait a bit longer to get that bike? You can make an informed choice with confidence.
Put your budget bodyguard to work!
No matter how well you plan, life’s going to throw you a financial curveball or two—but you can be ready. Protect your budget with Safe-to-Spend: a real-time tool that’s always looking out for you. It’s one part of the automatic budgeting tools built right into your Simple Account to help you manage your money and increase your financial confidence!
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Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: We do our best to make sure information is accurate as of the date of publication, but things do change quickly sometimes. Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor our partner bank, BBVA USA, endorse any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. Individual situations will differ; consult your favorite finance, tax or legal professional for specific advice. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.