The task of living on a budget may be simpler than ever now thanks to technology (and we should all be). Yes, I’m sure there are still people who swear by the traditional budget on a yellow pad and keeping cash in category envelopes, but with today’s innovative tools, your budget can move into the twenty-first century. I was surprised to discover a number of completely free internet budgeting tools, and I thought this would make a terrific essay topic. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that for the majority of people, their combined automobile and mortgage payments account for more than half of their “budget.” Only 50% of the remaining space is left for active management. the ability to see things in perspective and make decisions easier
Many of us now receive our paychecks via automatic deposit and pay our expenses online. It only makes sense to use an online portal or money management software. Additionally, the majority of these services enable mobile integration due to the increase in mobile devices. This enables us to keep track of our spending even when we are not at home.
This comprehensive guide will cover related topics such as Budgeting Tool, Budget Apps, and Budgeting Software Free.
Best Online Tools for Budgeting
Mint.com is the most popular free online choice. Mint is an online (cloud-based) budget management program rather than software that you download. A mobile app, connection with leading banks and credit card providers, and even brokerage accounts are just a few of the many features that Mint provides. Receive alerts, charts, and graphs, as well as reminders for bill payments. The platform is entirely free, and it is funded by advertisements.
Although there is a free version of Budget Tracker, enhanced access costs money. Account balances can also be manually entered on this website. Yet another excellent online tool.
Dave Ramsey Free Budgeting Forms And Online Tools
The king of budgeting, our friend Dave Ramsey, provides online budgeting tools and free downloadable budget sheets. Both a free and improved paid level are available on Dave’s online budgeting program.
A fantastic website with a ton of consumer resources is BankRateMonitor. They also provide a household budget worksheet in PDF format, which is free to download.
If you are more comfortable with a traditional software program that you can download to your own computer, take a look at DS Budget. The program has very good reviews and is open source, making it 100% free.
Another completely free online budgeting tool is Billster. It provides a special function of managing shared spending in addition to a selection of conventional budgeting tools. If you live with someone else or have monthly costs that you divide with them, this would be a great software to use.
Consider BudgetPulse if you are hesitant to give an online app access to your accounts.
You can monitor your spending and establish objectives while keeping your account usernames and passwords private. Charts and graphs allow you to see your finances visually. You can also set financial goals and communicate them to your loved ones. The social aspect might help you stay motivated and provide your loved ones the chance to support your goals by making PayPal or Amazon Payments
With the aid of Buxfer, keep tabs on your expenditure and incoming bills. This online budgeting tool is intended for those in their 20s who want to manage their money and get off to a good start. You can use the information to plan your finances by predicting your future wages and interest on savings. Your goals can be broken down into short-term and long-term objectives that you can strive toward.
Buxfer also assists you in controlling group spending. You may easily manage IOUs by splitting up various bills, determining who owes what, and even making payments online.
With the aid of moneyStrands, the threads of your financial life come together. This software is able to import your financial data from your banks and credit card companies. Use this software to create a 12-month spending plan, and then use it to stay on target.
You can check forecasts of your future financial situation and schedule forthcoming bills. MoneyStrands also allows you to manage your finances in numerous currencies, which is useful if you travel frequently or if portion of your income is earned abroad. It is also available in multiple languages.
Knowing where your money is going makes it simpler to identify money leaks and adopt new habits. You can track where everything goes with moneytracking. Additionally, it aids in keeping track of, allocating, and generating common budgets. Moneytrackin’ also comes with beneficial accounting tools for small businesses. This program can assist you in keeping track of pertinent revenue and expenses if you run a home business. It’s a fantastic tool that may assist you in managing several facets of your budget.
My Spending Plan
You can create a budget to assist you in living more responsibly. Make a quick plan that will assist you with both short-term and long-term objectives, special events, and more. The envelope system is used by this software to assist you with budget planning. Additionally, My Spending Plan notifies you via emails and notifications and nudges you to pay your payments. Additionally, you can customize your settings to view your own overall perspective. Additionally, My Spending Plan has deals and promotions that might help you cut costs and budget your money.
BudgetSimple may be useful if you’re looking for something uncomplicated and basic. This budgeting tool’s main goal is to assist you in paying off debt. You keep track of your spending, handle your payments, and figure out how to budget your money. BudgetSimple is one of the simplest ways to make a budget; nevertheless, it lacks frills. You can also use charts and other graphics to track your progress.
SavvyMoney might be of assistance to anyone seeking for a proactive strategy to reduce debt and quicken savings. The notion is that you begin by comprehending your present circumstance. You develop a debt payback strategy based on what works best for you after putting together a picture of your current position. You can track your progress and stay on target with SavvyMoney. You can even get advice on how to speed up your payoff.
Pen and Paper
While budgeting apps and software are popular, you don’t need anything more than a pen and some paper to write a budget. The basic budgeting process involves writing down all your expenses, from monthly bills to small discretionary purchases such as morning coffee or lunches. Then, categorize those expenses according to whether they are needs or wants. Next, add up your income. Earmark your income for your needs first and any money left over can be spent on wants.
If your expenses exceed your income, you’ll need to determine what changes to make. You may be able to balance your budget by cutting out wants, such as dining out or a gym membership, but in some cases, you may need to consider more significant changes such as moving to an area with a lower cost of living.
An envelope system involves placing cash into envelopes marked for major budget categories such as groceries, clothing and dining out. It makes it easy to see how much money is available for each spending category.
“The envelope method is a great tool for budgeting because it forces people to take control of their spending with cash in hand,” says Howard Dvorkin, CPA and chairman of Debt.com. When money in a particular envelope is gone, it signals that no more spending should occur in that category until the cash is replenished.
For a highly customizable way to track income and expenses, use a spreadsheet. “People can download budgeting spreadsheet templates that come formatted with formulas, dates and labels,” Dvorkin says. “This method helps take the guesswork out of organizing a budget, and it can also make it easier to edit a budget and track income.”
Both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets offer free budget templates to users. You can also create your own, though there can be a learning curve to using the programs. Microsoft provides free online training lessons on its support website for Office products. Otherwise, plenty of tutorials can be found on YouTube.
If you’re making a budget for the first time, a worksheet can eliminate some of the guesswork. These papers often have recommended percentages to indicate how much of your earnings should be spent on each category each month.
Several organizations offer free budgeting worksheets online. American Consumer Credit Counseling, a nonprofit credit counseling provider, has sheets for household budgeting, expense tracking and budgeting for specific needs. Meanwhile, Regions Bank has free worksheets anyone can download from its Next Step Financial Education website, including a personal spending plan worksheet and daily spending tracker.
“The resources and tools we offer through Regions Next Step, like these worksheets, can help people improve their financial skills, stay organized and take the next steps to meeting their goals,” says Joye Hehn, vice president of financial education strategy and implementation at Regions Bank.
Banking Tools and Apps
Free budgeting tools may be as close as your bank’s website. Bank of America, Chase and even local credit unions are among the institutions to provide customers budgeting resources that can track expenses, run spending reports and export data to spreadsheets or computer software.
“At Chase, we are constantly enhancing our digital banking features to help our customers make the most of their money,” Divilek says. With the Chase Mobile app, customers can use a budget feature to track their spending throughout the month and determine how much is available after bills and transfers.
By paying bills online, banking tools may create charts and graphs that categorize spending, and this information can be used to develop a household budget. Banks may also offer other tools that aren’t specific for budgeting but can be helpful to manage money. For instance, you may be able to set up automatic transfers to savings or receive alerts when account balances are low.
No list of free budgeting tools would be complete without mentioning the many free budgeting websites and apps available today. Mint may be the most well-known of the internet and smartphone-based budgeting applications, and it offers comprehensive services at no cost.
Mint users can link multiple financial accounts to the service, which then tracks and categorizes spending. It includes a payment tracker with bill reminders, and its calculators allow people to see how their decisions may impact progress toward goals.
Designed specifically for partners who are managing money together, Honeydue helps couples stay on the same page financially. The free app allows people to link multiple accounts to share balances and spending information. A chat feature allows partners to discuss specific transactions if needed.
In terms of budgeting, Honeydue categorizes expenses to make it easy to ensure your monthly spending stays on track. The app will also send bill reminders. For those who are looking for a joint bank account, Honeydue offers those as well, with deposits insured by Sutton Bank.
SoFi Relay is another free budgeting app. It allows users to link accounts, review balances and set spending targets. It aggregates accounts and makes it easy to review spending by category.
The app also provides access to VantageScore 3.0 credit scores and makes it simple to connect with a professional to discuss financial goals and strategies. SoFi Relay users are entitled to a complimentary 30-minute call with one of the company’s in-house financial planners.
This savvy budgeting software is intended for those who like the idea of an envelope cash management system but don’t want the hassle of carrying physical envelopes.
Instead, Goodbudget lets users fund virtual envelopes that are used to track expenses and sync and share budget information across devices. The free version includes 10 regular envelopes, 10 more envelopes, one year of account history and access to community support forums.
Reducing expenses is often an integral part of creating a workable budget, and Truebill is an app that helps users identify sources of spending that may fly under the radar. Once you link a bank account, Truebill will automatically search for recurring payments such as subscription services and, if you want, cancel those accounts.
Truebill can also create a budget based on your transactions and monitor your spending. Through its bill negotiation feature, it may be able to lower monthly expenses for wireless, cable and insurance bills, among others. While the app is free to download and use, Truebill will collect 40% of your savings if it successfully negotiates down a bill.
Quicken is a long-established tool for managing personal accounts, and while its reputation was founded on a desktop version, it is also available as an app for your mobile devices.
Quicken has a comprehensive set of financial reporting features. These are organized around a few different topics, including budgeting, bills, accounts, and even investing. For budgeting, it allows you to enter your purchases and income so you can compare them to have a better picture of how much you spend versus how much you earn.
In terms of bills, you can see which utilities and such services you are constantly paying, as well as the amounts owed and how much money you have left over. For accounting purposes, you can even combine your banking and credit card payments in one location so you know exactly how much you’re paying out. This is especially useful because consumers frequently underestimate how much simple purchases might add to prices.
It also allows you to track your investments, whether they are part of your savings, investment portfolio, or 401k pension plan. This implies that you have a good notion of how much your savings and assets are worth, while it’s fair to say that
In total, Quicken combines your banking, investment reporting, and budgeting into a single dashboard that you can access from a PC or even a mobile device via the mobile app.
You Need A Budget, often known as YNAB, is here just in case you require precise instructions. Because, hey, you really do need one if you don’t want to spend every every penny you have and more. Perhaps you have more money than you anticipated as well.
As you may anticipate, YNAB’s main goal is to assist you in reducing your expenditure and avoiding living paycheck to paycheck. Maintain the plan and moderate your spending, and soon YNAB will realize that you are using last month’s funds rather than those you just received.
It is simple to install, supports the bulk of transaction data that can be downloaded from banks, and automatically adjusts for use by either individuals or small businesses by altering its monetary categories in accordance with your requirements.
If you stray from your course, YNAB, which is surprisingly understanding and forgiving for a piece of software, will inform you what to do to get back on track. You’ll have to make some compromises, but if direction is what you need, this stands out from competitors like Quicken.
When working simultaneously with various currencies, BankTree performs a good job of supporting them by providing balances in multiple currencies rather than rounding them off to a single total. The ability to scan receipts with its mobile app and input them later makes it useful for keeping track of anything else.
Although BankTree doesn’t have the most attractive interface and is a little bit trickier to use than some of its more sophisticated brethren, it does provide some quite neat reports that can be broken down by time or payee. Before deciding to buy this one, it would be worthwhile to try the free trial.
Although you are limited to using the desktop program on one PC, it comes with a year of updates and support. There is a fee for using the software on any subsequent PCs. Additionally, a browser-based version is accessible.
Regardless of the version you choose, BankTree offers a 30-day free trial so you can see if it’s right for you before making a purchase.
4. Money Dashboard
The iOS/Android app for Money Dashboard isn’t trying to revolutionize banking or offer anything truly ground-breaking, but it is perhaps one of the best money management tools available. Connect all of your UK bank and credit card accounts, and you’ll be able to log in once to access all of your balances in one location. That is reason enough for us to suggest it.
Money Dashboard will track your expenditure and provide you with a comprehensive pie chart showing your spending on loans, consumables, transportation, and other expenses. You can quickly see your total balance and see how much cash is available in each of your accounts. You can also compare this amount to the one from the previous month.
Moneydance is a desktop money management program with a very slick single-window layout that was designed especially for Mac users (but it is also available for Windows and Linux). You may instantly check your accounts, impending invoices, current expenses, and more when you load it up. When you click on an item in the left sidebar, the main content updates to reflect your selection.
One of Moneydance’s most helpful features is its account register, and its reporting capabilities are solid though not very eye-catching. This works on a very similar concept if you’re old-school and used to maintain a checkbook. Additionally, there is an iOS app for recording transactions while on the go, which afterwards syncs with the desktop software.
UK users must manually download their transaction history to stay on top of it and switch to their bank’s own app to transfer money because Moneydance is unable to support the connection protocols used by UK banks. However, US users are well-covered.
Budgeting Software Free
Managing your money successfully includes keeping a close eye on your expenses. One way to do that is to take advantage of free software and services. Free personal finance software can be surprisingly robust, helping you track spending, create and manage budgets, and run reports.
The creators of Quickbooks and TurboTax, Intuit, offer a free online budgeting tool called Mint. This software gathers all of your financial information and provides you with a summary of your spending, bills, budget, and credit score. You may set objectives and reminders, make your own budget, and sync your data between the web and apps. Encryption and multi-factor authentication improve security. To keep track of your money and portfolio, utilize Mint.
Access Mint via the web or phone apps for iOS and Android.
Desktop software called GnuCash has capabilities for keeping track of bank accounts, stocks, earnings, and expenses. You can run a variety of reports in GnuCash to view your financial information, which is based on double-entry accounting for balanced books. Additionally, GnuCash provides small-business accounting capabilities that enable you to manage clients and suppliers, invoice and pay bills, and even manage payroll.
GnuCash is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, BSD, and Solaris. There is a companion app for Android that will let you track expenses on the go and later import them into the desktop software.
The top Quicken substitute, according to AceMoney Lite, is Quicken. You can control your spending, track your money in different currencies, monitor your investments, and examine your spending patterns. You can also conduct banking online. You can only have two accounts because this is the light edition; the full version supports infinite accounts.
AceMoney Lite is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X.
Along with its features for measuring cash flow, expenses, expenditures, budgeting, and net worth, Personal Capital also provides free financial software for managing investments and retirement planning. Personal Capital’s budgeting features aren’t as sophisticated as other software because it focuses on investing, showing you how your portfolio has performed over time and guiding you as you make decisions for the future.
Personal Capital might not be the best choice for you if you are not an investor or if you like to focus on your budget rather than seeing the big picture. However, its free tools will let you know if you’re on track if you want to save money for retirement or college.
Personal Capital can be accessed via the web or apps for Android and iOS.
On Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, Buddi is an open-source budgeting program that has been multilingualized. Even if you have no prior financial experience, Buddi is designed to be simple to use and can encrypt financial data with a password.
Budgeting, account tracking, and personal finance reporting are features, but you’ll need to manually record transactions. The online user manual is simple to read and use, and free plugins provide more functions.
Buddi is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Free Budget Spreadsheets
You may use some amazing free budget spreadsheet templates with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Sheets if you only need to keep a budget and don’t need personal financial software with a lot of features. To manage your cash flow, simply download and open them in your spreadsheet program.
Utilizing what works for you when choosing a budgeting tool is the key. The ideal solution for someone who struggles with computers would be a printable budget form that you fill out with a fine-tipped pencil. Each of the aforementioned choices has special qualities all its own. My recommendation is to join up for a few of them to test them out and discover which one best suits your needs.