Need a little help keeping your budget within the “sane” range? Previously, budget tools included pens, paper and lists. These days, budgeting tools have gone high-tech and include a number of online options that are ideal for helping you track your finances and build the lush savings account you’ve always wanted. Check out five of the best budgeting tools and pick one as your digital financial assistant!
An ideal tool for the “security-conscious,” BudgetPulse is free and doesn’t require bank information for tracking purposes. Instead, users can manually import their banking data via computer files. Use BudgetPulse to set up a budget and type out savings goals; it also allows you to make your savings goals public to friends and family, who can donate to your “cause” through Paypal if they so desire. Though BudgetPulse was founded in 2007, it is currently not available as a mobile app.
This online tool specializes in tracking transactions. This can be done with your bank account logins (or not), and it’s also the only online tracking tool that allows you to customize applications on its site. For example, you can decide what you want to display in terms of dates, amounts, titles and more. Tracking results are shown to you through site calendars and graphs. You may also utilize applications designed by other users, or check out the site’s other features, such as how to schedule pay dates. BudgetTracker is a great program, but there are also a few downsides. Site disadvantages include not being able to download bank account transactions, and dealing with wait time when synchronizing the tool with your account.
A personal finance management site since around 2006, Mint provides easy and automatic tracking and categorization. Find it online, at the Apple iOS App Store, or the Android store, and use it on your computer or smartphone. Create retirement plans, budgets and more, and don’t forget to check out pie and bar charts for super-simple tracking. Mint will also remind you of upcoming bills; with a busy schedule, this is a great feature to have on your side. Your bank name and password are required to link Mint to your account, but it will provide you with an in-depth analysis of your spending habits in return.
While you can track your payments with Strands using calendars, bar graphs and similar tools, this site is more about financial planning than it is tracking. Link it to your bank account to track expenses, or check out its budget “generator” created from your spending activity. In addition, the site offers personalized advice concerning your spending, and it’s free. Find it through your iPhone or online.
A helpful tool during vacation with lots of friends and family, Buxfer lets you keep up with group spending and budgeting. Pick from three packages, including the Basic package: the free option that lets you set up five accounts/budgets. While you must pay for the other two options, you receive unlimited accounts and budgets, plus additional features depending on what you select. Pro, the third and final option, offers advance reports and forecasting among other helpful features.
These tools are great resources to help you better plan your expenses when trying to escape mild to moderate debt. If you are feeling overwhelmed with debt and would like to review your bankruptcy options, contact DeLuca and Associates at (702) 252-4673 for a free consultation.