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9 resources for creating a spending plan that works for you:
As a general rule of thumb, the more time you spend planning for the future, the better. And when it comes to planning for your financial future, the time you spend will pay dividends down the road.
Let’s face it, it’s not easy to start with a blank sheet of paper and create a budget. But with a few helpful tools and resources, you can have a budget drafted in no time. Most of these resources are free and can be used at any time, anywhere.
Best free online budget tools for charting a course to financial freedom
Budgeting is at the heart of any successful financial strategy. The problem is that it can be quite hard to budget online …or even offline, for that matter … when you don’t know how to track your spending habits and even harder to maintain and consistently use a budget.
More often than not, we don’t budget because we don’t know how, and if we can budget, we don’t know how to do it well (since we haven’t been taught), and if we do know, the budgeting tools we use aren’t built to be used or maintained on a long-term basis.
Mint is a free online budgeting tool that tracks your expenses, investments, retirement funds, debts, and credit scores. Mint automatically connects to your bank account and credit cards, so they can track all of your transactions. Mint is a good tool for those who want to budget and get rid of their debt. With programs like Getting Out of Debt from the Heart and the Get Out of Debt Game, Mint makes budgeting fun without sacrificing the tools and features that you need. (If you need more detailed advice and support, see the next suggestions in the list.)
Learnvest specializes in helping you take charge of your finances and debt…not just budgeting. The Learnvest system helps prevent you from overspending through automatic reminders, and works to encourage your progress with gift cards or cash rewards. You can also create your own Learnvest budgeting tool to really tweak your budget and see exactly where your money goes.
Mvelopes is a set-it-and-forget-it budgeting solution, where all of your expenses are picked out for you. For a limited time, Mvelopes is offering a free month, so check it out.
Personal capital is an all in one financial software that helps you take control of your net worth. It helps you track your spending, Fixed expenses, investments, retirement accounts, taxes, and the entire value of your current net worth. I am able to check my portfolio from my smartphone and I love that. It also has an advanced retirement planner.
This tool can help you create a budget and a plan for paying down debt and saving for retirement and major purchases. It doesn’t advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to financial planning, but instead suggests that you choose from its multiple interactive reports, such as the debt reduction or retirement planner, depending on your priorities and goals. You can also set reminders in the BudgetPulse planner to help you stay on track. It can help you organize your information, simplify your financial statements, help you create a BudgetPulse account, and let you track your budgets and goals – all for free.
Buxfer enables you to set and manage a budget. You can easily manage and track a budget for yourself or with your family and friends. The cool thing about Buxfer is that it integrates with popular websites like Hulu and Amazon so that it automatically tracks all of your expenses.
We previously covered 12 different free budgeting apps and tools. This list is a bit different. These budgeting tools will work with your existing apps, such as TurboTax, ChargeSmart, and Mint.
There are also some new budgeting options, like MoneyStrands. It’s completely free, and you don’t need to do anything other than link it to your bank account.
Unfortunately, many of these apps don’t visually compare your spending with your budget. They are, however, a great way to understand what’s going on with your bank account. By adding multiple accounts, and connecting them to their corresponding bank, these free budgeting apps allow you to see what’s going on with your money in real time.
This tool gives you some cool DIY budgeting ideas such as shopping and spending list. These ideas make managing your money even easier since you can quickly identify items that you can buy to save more.
You can even raise and lower the budget of any expense and keep track of your money limits. The best part is that it is completely customizable and free. It also provides you with an impressive report and graph that you can easily share with your spouse or family.
My Spending Plan
BudgetSimple is an easy to utilize resource for anyone who is searching for a way to center their financial plan. The site rooms you the tools, graphs and information to permit you to see where your money is appropriate and where you may want to make changes.
Additionally, you have the capacity to gain help to utilize the instruments and back checking compatibility. Elite accounts enable you to analyze your spending in greater element and give you the capacity to incorporate your payment, bill and money transfers into one straightforward spot.
You additionally receive 24/7 email or phone review, every month, with a budgetary pro. The specialists have the experience to help you make sense of your numbers and discover strides to enhance your cash related circumstance.
BudgetSimple is definitely not in light of the fact that it is a free administration that takes into account the low costs of numerous online free budgetary instruments.
SavvyMoney is a completely free online tool that allows you to set up a budget, track your spending habits, and decide how much to save each month. It doesn't stop there – SavvyMoney also makes it easy to transfer funds from one account to another.
SavvyMoney uses an intuitive budgeting interface that displays your transactions in real-time and makes it easy to monitor your spending patterns.
It's available to users worldwide and has no fees or charges. It's also great for Australian and New Zealand users, as it converts foreign currency values into Australian dollars.
By tracking your spending patterns, saving goals, and budget, SavvyMoney can effectively direct you to your financial goals.
SavvyMoney is a free online budgeting application that automatically tracks your spending and transfers funds from one account to another to ensure that all of your bills are paid on time.
About the Author
I’m Rob Robinson, a financial advisor based in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2011, I changed careers from the corporate to the independent world of financial advising, and I’ve never looked back. Over the last decade, I’ve had the chance to work with many new advisors who are just getting started in their financial advising careers. Over the years, I’ve noticed a number of behavioral mistakes that are common among new advisors – mistakes that ultimately lead to a stalled career path. In this post, I’d like to share some research from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and other sources about challenges that new advisors face and how you can avoid the same pitfalls.