Everyone needs a budget; it doesn’t matter if you make $30k (£20k) a year or $150k (£100k) a year. You have to stay in control and on top of all your spending or you could find yourself in a financial disaster.
Most people finally start budgeting their money when they are struggling to pay bills. It can be a shock for them when they look back and realize how much money they spent on unnecessary things such as entertainment or fast food.
Finances are not a game. They are something that you need to learn to control. Knowing where every penny is going does not make you cheap, it makes you responsible and it secures your finances.
There are many online budgeting tools you can use to get your finances in order. They all have different methods, services, formats and costs. Find the one that works for you and your spending habits. Some of the more popular services are:
Budget Simple’s main focus is not just to budget money, but to help people get out of debt. It works off a spreadsheet. It is simple and straight forward. It works well for people that are just starting and don’t have a lot of experience with budgeting.
This online budgeting tool is popular for its flexibility and ease of use. You are able to customize categories and folders according to what you want and spend. It is secure and doesn’t input any of your bank information or passwords. It’s method of budgeting is through “envelopes”, which many people are familiar with and find effective.
Pear Budget is not a free online tool. It costs $4.95 (£3) a month, which many people find reasonable and say it’s worth it.
Many young budgeters have found their way to Billster. It targets the younger generation by claiming to help you be more attractive to the opposite sex by learning to budget your finances. It works well for people who are living in house with other people that split all the costs, such as college students. It helps organize and track group expenses.
Personal Capital targets a very select group of people. It is for those who have a secure job with a 401k, multiple sources of income or complex finances. People who use this budgeting tool usually have a large income.
While the initial use of the online budgeting tool is free of charge, you can opt for other services they provide which you have to pay a fee for, such as receiving financial advice.
One of the most popular online budgeting tools is Mint. Most people find it easy to use and set up, flexible and personal and best of all, it’s free. It connects with your bank accounts so you can follow your credit cards, loans, mortgage, etc.
It’s easy to customize to your unique spending habits and desires. It allows you to set financial goals and shows you step by step how you’re doing at accomplishing them. It also helps you find information on investing, retirement and savings.
Do your research and find the online budgeting tool that works best for you. Most them are free or have a free trial period allowing you to try it out.
You just have to remember that these budgeting tools only budget the money you spend, they can’t keep you from making poor financial choices, that part is up to you. Use these tools to help get yourself in a financially secure place.
Kathryn Mott writes articles about small businesses, finances and real estate. She is a wife and mother and works for PMI as an SEO content creation assistant.