Initial Set Up
Setting up your budget for the first time
Enter your paycheck here.
Name it so it is easy for you to know which paycheck it is later.
Enter the amount and tell us how often it happens.
This income happens once per month on a certain day. Select the day of the month when this usually comes in. If it varies by a day or two, choose the earliest day it might come in.
Now it's time to make your honeypots. You need to make one honeypot for each bill or group of bills.
Let's go through each one of them.
(We have an extensive explanation on the debt section below)
Once a month
You will have bills that happen once per month, but are not debt. These will likely be things like rent and electricity. Enter the expense name, amount you pay each month and day of the month that the bill comes out.
Some of them will vary in amount each month. Simply pick an average or use what it was last month unless it was unusually low.
You can choose to enter your mortgage or vehicle loan here or under the debt section. We recommend entering it here if you have lots of credit card or other revolving debt to pay off.
You will have bills that happen more often than once per month, like food and gasoline. Enter the monthly amount you need for each honeypot. You will use it little by little throughout the month.
This is also a good way to group bills together like TV subscriptions. You can enter one monthly amount for all of them and mark them paid throughout the month as they come out of your bank.
More often AND it's a fund
You can toggle the fund button to set this honeypot up as a fund if you want to set aside for specific things like vacations or holiday gifts.
Enter the goal amount you would like to reach with this fund, then divide that goal by how long you want to take to get there. For example, you might save all year for vacation. Take your goal amount, divide by 12 and enter that smaller amount in The Amount to Save Each Month.
Enter a name for your debt, the total amount owed on the debt, the minimum monthly payment amount, the interest rate you are being charged for this debt and the day the debt payment is due. When you make a payment towards your debt, the total amount of debt will only be reduced by the principal amount and not the full payment that you made because part of that payment will be interest only. Of course, when you get to the end of your debt payments, the actual amount you owe may vary based on rounding, late payments and differences of the day on which your loan holder calculates the interest vs when we calculate the interest, but we should be close enough that it will help you see how long it will take to pay off your loan and help keep you motivated to continue to get out of debt. This payment calculator is assuming a compound interest schedule.
When you are finished with onboarding, you can go to the Debt Payoff Planning Center tab and you will have the option to choose if you want to organize your debts by the Snowball Method or the Avalanche Method.
If you need little victories and lots of motivation, use the Snowball method. The Snowball method sorts your debt by the smallest total debt owed to the largest debt owed. You will pay off the smallest debt first and be able to add that minimum payment amount to your next debt.
This method will cost you more in overall interest paid, but is much more motivating to people.
This method should save you the most money overall in interest paid. The Avalanche method sorts the debt by the largest interest rate first. It may or may not be the smallest debt so you may be paying on your first debt for a while and the little debts might hang around a while. But overall, you will save more money by first getting rid of the debt with the highest interest rate.
My spouse and I used the Avalanche method and saved lots in interest that way. Everyone’s situation is different and may not yield the same results. No matter which one you choose, you can still pay them in whichever order you prefer regardless of the order listed in the app. You can also change your choice between the Avalanche and Snowball Method at any moment from the debt screen. The choice is yours.
Beginning Bank Balance
If you have any money at all in your bank account, you have a head start on your budget! Congrats! You’re already ahead of the game! You get to take the amount that is already in your bank account and distribute it towards your honeypots.
You won’t distribute it right now, but once you have completed onboarding, you will distribute this amount to your honeypots.
You can choose to connect this account to your online bank account so the transactions will come into Vivaria Budget automatically but this is a premium feature.
Enter the current amount in your savings account, what your goal amount is, what amount you would like to set aside every month and what day you would like to set aside this amount. We recommend trying to reach $1,000 first and if you aren’t sure what day of the month, we have found the last day of the month to be helpful.
Congratulations! Your on boarding is complete!
Now, let’s go learn how to use the app on a regular basis!