At the end of the day, your finances are only as stable as your budget. If money is flowing in and out of your accounts without being tracked, then you could easily find yourself drowning in debt. Using one or more budgeting tools could be the key getting your financial house in order.
Fantastic Budgeting Tools & Where to Find Them
When seeking financial counseling, the first area that professionals will suggest focusing on is improving your budget. Creating an effective budget can be tricky and requires more than simply tracking bill payments. It is the best action to take in order to stabilize a shaky financial situation.
The easiest way to step your budgeting game up is to use one or more budgeting tools. By plugging in the numbers and tracking activity, you’ll be able to find weak spots to correct. Some tools even have advanced features that can provide greater insight, but these might require more technical expertise.
Whether you want simple pen and paper help with your budget or prefer to go high-tech, there is a tool out there for you.
Traditional Budgeting Tools
The best place to start with making positive adjustments to your budget is a financial planning worksheet. These resources include household budgeting worksheets as well as expense tracking worksheets. Using these in tandem is a surefire way to measure the effectiveness of your personal finance methods and make improvements.
If you have any experience with Microsoft Excel from work or school, this popular software can serve as an additional asset. Even if you’ve never done much with computer-based spreadsheets, there are YouTube tutorial videos that can help.
High-Tech Tools for Advanced Budgeting Help
If you consider yourself tech-savvy, there are apps for your phone that come with a number of unique and helpful features. Here is a list of some of the most popular apps available on both Android and iOS:
- Mint – This is one of the most comprehensive apps around. From Inuit, the same company that handles Turbo Tax and QuickBooks, you can get your credit score and map your entire financial life in one spot.
- PocketGuard – This app connects directly to your bank accounts for accurate and personal budgeting. It also has a feature for monitoring cash flow.
- You Need A Budget (YNAB) – This budgeting specific app is really more of a service. It does cost around $5 a month, but it comes with a complete online library of useful personal finance videos and resources.
- HomeBudget – This is a great choice for family budgeting. It can incorporate multiple users and sync across devices, so spouses and children can coordinate their budgeting efforts. Unfortunately, it costs $4.99, but its unique family sharing feature may be worth it.
- Level Money – This budgeting app will tell you what you can afford to spend today. It can also show the funds you have for a week or a month. Plus, there are saving specific tools.
- Spendee – This is rated as one of the most user-friendly budgeting apps. It will automatically generate infographics using data from your spending or budgeting habits over time
Whatever your level of budgeting knowledge right now, there is a tool out there that can help make you better. Plus, once your budget is solid, other financial goals can be tackled more efficiently. If you’d like to be better at managing credit card debt, saving for retirement, or building wealth for a big down payment, then start by becoming a budgeting expert. Employing budgeting tools to stabilize your finances will make all your efforts more productive.
For help creating a budget call ACCC at 800-769-3571 to speak with a certified credit counselor today.