Long gone are the days where we have to develop a budget with calculators, pencils and ledger books. While there’s nothing wrong with doing it the old-fashioned way, some may be discouraged from developing a budget if they find the initial process to be too hard ("If just setting it up is this complicated, what happens when I have to manage spending?"). So, to help you develop an efficient budget without breaking too many pencils, we’ve gathered some great online budgeting tools that can get you started on the path to financial clarity.
Mint – If you haven’t yet heard about it, Mint.com is a tool for organizing your finances in one place. When you sign up for Mint, you create a screen name and password and connect all your accounts to one location, so they can be important and maintained in conjunction. What’s so handy about this tool is that it automatically downloads and categorizes your expenses so you can see where you’re spending and what your money is going to. Plus, you can use it on the go as there are mobile apps for both Apple and Android products.
Buxfer – Another great tool to manage everything in one place is Buxfer, another online money management tool. Some of the highlights of this tool include helping you take control of finances by planning for large expenses (like a vacation, a gadget or even a wedding), and helping you foresee your projected statistics and meet future goals. It’s also really handy if you pay for certain things in a group, like rent or groceries, as it can generate settlement plans and organize expense reports amongst multiple people.
Budget Simple – If you’re looking for something a little less complicated, BudgetSimple might be what you’re looking for. This easy to use online application allows you to create a budget you can stick to, keep tabs on your spending, balance your income and expenses and even run useful reports that can help show you where your money is going and how you can re-evaluate expenditures.
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re already using FCU’s Online Banking system, you have access to a convenient online budgeting tool already! Under the “Spending Tab,” you can find a budget tool that allows you to manually delegate amounts of your income to specific needs like groceries or gifts. The balance bars dictating how much you’ve actually spent on that category will turn red if you spend more than what you budgeted for that month. You can choose from ready-made categories or make your own!
What’s your favorite online tool for maintaining a budget? Let us know in the comments below?
If you enjoyed this article, you should also read “Financial Empowerment: Identify Your Worst-Case Scenario.”