Not everyone finds budgeting and active money management appealing. However, creating and adhering to a budget are crucial first steps in achieving financial goals of all sorts.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune on pricey software to track spending and keep track of your revenue if you have the correct tools.
Here are 10 straightforward and cost-free budgeting tools to help you achieve that degree of financial freedom, ranging from time-tested techniques to the newest apps.
Despite the popularity of budgeting applications and tools, all you really need to establish a budget is a pen and some paper.
Some of Annette Harris’ clients like to track their budgets in this way, according to the owner of Harris Financial Coaching. They might put off updating a spreadsheet since it’s tough to get on to a computer, she claims. Some of her clients instead maintain a book by their bedside and make note of the sum of any receipts or invoices they paid that day.
The fundamental steps of creating a budget using this approach involve listing all of your expenditures, from regular monthly bills to smaller discretionary purchases like breakfast coffee or meals. Next, classify those costs based on either they are needs or wants. Add up your income next. Prioritize your priorities before splurging on wants with the money you have left over.
The cost-free app OK simulates the pen-and-paper budgeting procedure, but records are kept electronically.
Cash is put into envelopes that are designated for main budget areas like food, clothing, and dining out. It makes it simple to understand what amount of money is available for each category of spending. It is a sign that no more purchases should be made in that category until the money in that envelope is replenished.
The only thing you have to do is list all of your monthly spending on an envelope, according to the statement. “When the salary or money comes in, you decide the amount you want to spend on every cost and then go on and set that money aside in the envelope.”
For individuals who prefer the concept of an envelope cash management system but don’t want the trouble of carrying physical envelopes, there is smart budgeting software available.
“You may generate virtual envelopes and fill them with your income for your regular expenses, like rent, groceries, or utilities.”For those looking for a simple and transparent approach to budget and save money, Goodbudget is fantastic.
The app will track expenditures as well as sync and share budget data between devices. Ten standard envelopes, ten additional envelopes, a year’s worth of account history, and access to community help forums are all included in the free edition.
Although Bloom had previously used a free budgeting tool, she eventually came to the conclusion that it couldn’t compete with a spreadsheet. She started out with fairly simple budgeting spreadsheets but has subsequently added certain features. To keep her on pace for her financial goals, they are still largely concerned with increasing revenue and decreasing spending.
She currently manages both her own and combined family accounts using an Excel spreadsheet. Automating computations is simple when using built-in formulas, and spreadsheets can be easily updated if data has to be changed.
You could find free budgeting tools on the website of your bank. Among the organizations that provide clients budgeting tools that can track expenses, generate spending reports, and export data to spreadsheets or computer software are Bank of America, Chase, and even local credit unions.
In the meanwhile, users of the TD Bank app can set up customized alerts, make automatic bill payments, and make money transfers across accounts. Customers can track their monthly spending with the budget feature of the Chase Mobile app to see how much money is left over after payments for bills and transfers.
MoLO, which stands for Money Left Over, is a relatively new software that is ad-free, unlike many other free apps.
“MoLO offers a simple method for consumers to get a better understanding of their spending, predict their monthly cash flow, and identify unnecessary or non-essential spending,”
Users can link all of their bank accounts to MoLO, which will track spending automatically, categorize it, and estimate how much money you’ll have each month. Achieve guarantees that it never sells personal information and that MoLO is protected with bank-level security. Both Apple and Android users can get the software for free.
This is yet another no-cost budgeting program; it was formerly known as SoFi Relay. Users can link accounts, check balances, and establish spending goals using SoFi Insights. Accounts are combined, and categorizing spending is simple to do.
The app also provides access to Vantage Score 3.0 credit scores and makes it simple to connect with a professional to discuss financial goals and strategies. SoFi Insights users are entitled to a complimentary 30-minute call with one of the company’s in-house financial planners.