💡 Setting up your budget only take 2 minutes thanks to Cleo’s intelligent AI. You’ll need to sign up, log in and connect your bank in order for this thing to work.

How to set up a budget 🪜

It’s recommended you use the bank account you do most of your spending in i.e where income gets paid, bills come out and general life things. And yes, you can connect to more than one bank (the more the better!). Cleo will work her magic and start identifying what transactions do what in the background 🔮

If you’ve yet to set up one already:

Go to the Budget tab > Under Next Steps tap on each icon to customize:

Income 💸 – select your latest paycheck(s) so Cleo knows when you get paid

Bills ☠️ – check your bills and subscriptions are correct to track what’s coming out Spend Limit 🙅‍♀️ – set a spend limit to tame the overspending beast

🔓Customizing these steps will unlock your ‘left to spend’ and ‘left per day’ amount

Setting a spend limit is the bit that makes this whole thing come together. It creates a set amount to spend per day (excluding bills) that if you stick to it, it will pay off.

There are two options when it comes to budgeting: you can choose a monthly budget or a paycheck budget (see 👉which one works best for you👈)

FAQs about my budget 🎓

No budget is the same ✨ We’re all unique and our budgets should be too ✨

Here’s some FAQ’s that can help you get the best out of Cleo:


Q. But what if I have more than one income?

No problem. It’s recommended you set up a monthly budget rather than a paycheck budget to keep inline with your monthly bills and subscriptions (learn more on why do I need a monthly budget).

Q. I don’t have an income?

That’s absolutely fine! You can still have a budget. It’s best you stick to a monthly budget rather than a paycheck budget. Learn why do I need a monthly budget.


Q. How do I add a bill?

Cleo is great at spotting bills 🔎 but sometimes, some slip through the net

(or... have yet to be paid) 👀

Once your bill has come out of your account, follow these steps:

Go to Budget tab > Bills due > Add a new bill or subscription > Tap on the transaction you’d like to set up as a bill

Q. Can I exclude payments from my budget?

Yes! Cleo has its very own category for excluded transactions which you’ll find living at the bottom of your Budget tab. Here’s how you can add a transaction into that category:

Go to Budget tab > Scroll down to Spending > Find the category your transaction sits in and tap transaction to expand > Tap Category > Select the Excluded category icon

If you don’t know the category your transaction sits in:

Go to Spends tab > Swipe left or right to find the appropriate bank account > Scroll and tap the transaction you’d like to exclude > Category > Select Excluded category icon

Any transactions under the Excluded category will not be considered in your budget.


Categories are already set up in Cleo, which means one less thing for you to worry about. Here are ways you can create your own or move spends around 📦

Q. How do I add a custom category?

Go to Budget tab > Scroll down to Spending > Find the category your transaction sits in, then tap transaction to expand > Tap Category > Scroll to the bottom to create a custom category

Q. How do I recategorize?

Go to Budget tab > Scroll down to ‘Spending’ > Find the category your transaction sits in, then tap transaction to expand > Tap Category > Choose from one of the categories already made or scroll down to create a new one ✨

Do I need a paycheck or monthly budget? 🦩

There are two options when it comes to budgeting: monthly or a paycheck budget.

A paycheck budget means your budget resets each time you get paid. A monthly budget will reset per month (on the first of every month).

For most people, paycheck budgets are the better choice as they help you monitor your money closely if you don’t get paid once a month.

Bigger bills normally come out once a month (like rent, mortgage, etc) but it’s the little expenses like transportation, groceries, etc that can really eat into your money.

Budgeting per paycheck can help you set aside money for that big bill that comes out at the end of the month, so you’re not left financially stranded at the very last minute.

Monthly budgets are more traditional but work well for what they do as they can be easier to follow, especially if you’ve a single income or no income at all.

So, which one is for you?

A paycheck budget is suitable for those who have:

  • More than one income

  • Get paid weekly, bi-weekly or infrequently

A monthly budget is suitable for those who have:

  • A single income that pays monthly

  • No income

Tips for having a budget that WORKS💡

The great thing about Cleo is she does all the work for you. Say goodbye to building boring spreadsheets and hello to sassy saving. But although she has the power to provide, it’s up to you to stick to it.

So, if you want to have a budget that makes a difference, here’s a few tips how you can do just that:

1. Set a realistic budget ✨

You can’t budget without knowing where your money goes... don’t be shooting for the stars here. No, I don’t mean living off of a buck but at the same time, you can’t save if there’s no money left.

2. Use the 50/30/20 rule 🥧

This is a GREAT rule to follow if you’re unsure of how to well, budget. Splitting your spending into percentages can easily break down the wants, the needs and the savings:

🏠 50% needs

Rent, mortgage, bills, groceries, etc

🛍️ 30% wants

Socials, entertainment, fancy coffee, etc

🐖 20% savings

Pay off debt, holidays, emergency funds

Remember, savings should be for paying off debt or if you are lucky to be debt free, focusing on larger money goals like a new car, holiday or endless burritos.

3. Pay off your damn debt 💰

Sounds obvious but you don’t realise how much your debt is spiralling into a tornado of more and more debt. A $10 overdraft can easily turn into $100 fees in the blink of an eye (curse you banks). The sooner you pay it off, the easier it’ll be to your future self to get back to a healthier financial you.

4. Focus on the WHY you’re doing this: have goals 🥅

It's so easy to forget why we budget, but it’s goals that drive us across the finish line. Close your eyes and imagine sipping on a piña colada in Thailand while Ryan Gosling fans your face and tells you yes you do have eyes like swimming pools and your ex was wrong you do look great in yellow...

5. Every month is different 🗓

Don’t be so hard on yourself. Every month is different. Some are thrifty, some are spendy. If you stumble at the first hurdle, dust yourself off and slay another day. Sometimes we want that piece of cake, have it. Just make sure you balance life’s unpredictability and keep focusing on the WHY. You totally got this! 🙌

Troubleshooting 🛠

Having issues with your budget? Type 'budget help’ into Cleo chat to get first aid on your budget needs ⛑, which can help answer FAQs that can help like:

Bills are inaccurate

Budget doesn’t look right

Why am I underbudget/overbudget?

Can I reset my budget?

If you’re still struggling to find your answer, you can reach out to our awesome helpers by tapping on the message icon (bottom right) and we’ll look into the problem 👌

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