This is a long post, friends, but I think it's worth checking out! I'm excited to share a new budgeting tool called itsums that you can use when decorating your home OR doing anything that you want to budget for — from a new wardrobe to a birthday party to makeup supplies. I have no doubt this site is going to blow up — it's so easy to use, and it's super helpful for people like me who like to know exactly where their money is going.
I even made my first ever video tutorial (eee!) to explain itsums, so check it out if you want to see how I use the site. Yes, I am SUPER aware of my weird tsk-ing habit. Love me anyway?
Or, if you don't want to watch the video, refer to the notes and screen shots below.
(Also, while I would love to make money off of this, this is not a sponsored post. I'm simply sharing my knowledge and experience because I truly enjoy this site.)
With itsums you create a budget for a project by starting a "board" and then you bring items from outside websites into your boards (similar to Pinterest). As you add items to your board, itsums shows you how much money remains in your budget. It's truly as simple as that, but there are additional features that are worth checking out!
1. itsums shows how much a project will cost, how much you've already spent and what remains in your project budget
One feature I appreciate is that the user enters the price of an item (as opposed to the website automatically doing it). You can choose if you want to round up, include shipping costs or tax, or subtract a percentage if you're going to use a coupon.
Here's what my guest bathroom update board looked like when I first created it. Notice on the right it shows my budget is $70, and if I were to purchase everything on my board I would have $6 left to work with.
Here's what the board looks like once I've started marking purchased items. Notice my board now states I have $38 to spend until I reach my budgeted amount of $70.
2. You can "hide" items to see how your project cost is affected
I just discovered this feature and I LOVE it. Say I'm trying to find a pretty white shower curtain and a fancy hand soap for my guests, but I like more than one curtain and soap. You can put all of your options on one board and hide specific items in order to try out various combinations and see how your budget is affected. In this next example, I hid the $30 curtain and the $5 soap and added in new options.
3. You can categorize items in your board to REALLY see where your money is going
I'm going to use my master bedroom board for this example. I categorized items to see how much I was spending on any given type of item, such as art. See how the wheel is broken up into colored pieces, like a pie chart? Art is clearly a priority in this space!
HOLD UP — how do I do all of that?
It's so easy! Hover your cursor over an item to mark it as purchased and/or to hide it from the sum. Click the little pencil graphic to categorize your item, add notes and edit the name, quantity and price.
4. You can compare projects
You can compare up to three boards by clicking "My Sum Boards" at the top right of the page and then clicking the scale graphic. I haven't needed to use this feature yet, but it's a nice option if you're trying to decide which project to prioritize. You might even make two or three boards for the same room and use the compare tool to see which one best suits you.
5. Additional features
- You can view your board in list form by clicking the graphic that looks like — can you guess? — a list. (It's part of the row of graphics that include the refresh option and "add item" option, which is a plus sign.)
- You can upload pictures of items from your desktop by clicking the plus sign graphic. See how I used a picture from instagram on my board? The pillow was purchased at an antique store. It would have been cheating to not include it! :)
- You can see how much you're spending overall by clicking "My Sum Boards" at the top right of the page. In this example, I've hid the board for Lucy's den from my sum total. However, it still shows the total budget for all boards. Notice the dollar amount listed on each board is the sum of the items within the board, NOT the project budget.
- You can explore boards that other users have created.
- You can recreate a board if you like what someone else has done and want to add your own flair.
- Get tips and tricks (and the occasional free printable!) from the itsums blog.
- You can e-mail your board to someone or share it on social media.
- If you're having trouble noticing changes on your board, click the refresh button (the two arrows that form a circle).
There you have it! Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help. What might you use itsums for?