Sticking to a budget presents a challenge for many people. For some, using budgeting software helps make the process of allocating income to categories easier. Having constant access to your budget, even when you are out and about, helps keep financial goals front and center.
Software designed for personal use is versatile, flexible, and easy to access. Many programs are free or have a small subscription fee. Here are a few worth looking into:
If you like the envelope method of budgeting but find carrying cash cumbersome, check out Mvelopes. The system hasn’t changed since your great-grandmother used it, but now you have a digital option.
This budgeting software can link to your credit card and bank accounts so you can get a complete financial picture. You’ll be able to see your past spending and move money between digital envelopes. The basic version costs $4 per month. It’s fully compatible with PCs and Macs. The company also has a great app for Android and iPhone users.
Another well-known free money tracking app is Mint. It has built-in and customizable bill due date alerts, overspending warnings, credit score tracking, and it tracks financial activity across all your accounts; even credit cards and investments.
You can use Mint from any computer. There’s also an app for Android and iPhone access. This is a well-known and popular option for budgeting software that’s ideal for people who like to keep a close watch on their finances.
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is a personal finance program designed to help people who are willing to get involved with money management but don’t know how to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. The idea behind the software is to give every dollar a job.
You don’t decide how to spend your money until it’s in your account, but this program helps users stick to their priorities. This may be the least rigid of the budgeting software options available. Users can try it for 34 days, but if they decide to keep using it, there’s an $83.99 annual charge.
For people who are used to budgeting software and want a one-stop answer for all their financial needs, Quicken Premier 2018 is the most comprehensive option. Mac users have a few options for desktop versions, as do Windows users. Users download the software on their computer, but there are free iOS and Android companion apps for on-the-go use.
Quicken tracks spending pays bills and helps keep you on track with a budget you create. The Premier version focuses on debt reduction, financial planning, and even offers tax advice on investments.
Similar to Quicken, Personal Capital has a cloud-based program that also offers investment management tools. This free service offers bill paying, account tracking, and budgeting. When you have that under control and are ready to level up to tax and estate planning, saving for kids’ education, and saving for retirement, you have the option to pay 0.69% of assets for a personal financial advisor through Personal Capital.
Whether you’re doing it yourself or using software, maintaining and sticking to a budget is an integral part of your financial well-being.
Learning to manage a budget becomes a fairly simple task with a bit of practice. Take a look at The Basics of Budgeting to get started.