More and more families are needing to stretch their monthly budgets just a bit farther. It certainly isn’t easy, but it can be done. One thing that can be quite helpful is using budgeting software.
Some discover what money management expert Richard Bach has called “the latte factor,” small expenses that regularly drain your finances. Using this software will help you patch the holes in your budget and remove those pesky lattes – or whatever else is tempting you from keeping a sturdy budget in place.
It used to be that budgeting software was quirky and a bit difficult to use. But today’s software is intuitive, user friendly and works with the click of your mouse. Here are several options for great budgeting software.
This personal finance budget software can be used on either a Windows based computer or on a Mac. What YouNeedABudget.com promotes is not only that they will encourage you to use their software – but their budgeting methods, which they say “has helped thousands of people gain control of their finances.”
You have the ability to try the full version with all its features for free for 34 days. The features include using Cloud Sync, so you can be up to date wherever there is an Internet connection. There are both iPhone and Android apps available so when you are spending on-the-go, you can log the information right into your budget.
One of the things YouNeedABudget.com is proud to say is that many people discover they are able to start by saving $200 after a single month. In nine months, people are able to save $3,300. If you have been living paycheck to paycheck, this is both impressive and exciting. They encourage a budget that wont let you spend too much and will also help you reach your financial goals.
Quicken states they are the #1 personal finance software tool. One of the reasons to choose Quicken is that you can connect this software to your bank, to easily manage your account(s). People who use Quicken like that their expenses can be sorted into categories. You’ll see them both as a list with dollar amounts and percentages – but you’ll also see a colorful pie chart. It is easy to see exactly where your money has been going. Whether you are a “left brain” or a “right brain” type, this software is one that will be logical and easy to understand.
The software then sets a monthly budget for you based on your past history. You can customize your budget and also help to plan for future financial goals. The program works in “real time” so you’ll know exactly how much money you have in your accounts and to work with in your budget.
There is a mobile app so it is easy to make financial decisions on-the-go. If you are running errands and want to add in your expenses as you are spending, it is easy to do. You can check your budget and make financial decisions – all before you make that purchase.
Mint is a popular favorite when it comes to budgeting tools. You’ll find that Mint.com is available for free, there are no charges to use this software. Mint.com has received positive recommendations from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Money (Magazine).
Many who use Mint.com like that it has mobile apps available. You can choose from iPhone, Android and iPad. This makes it easy and convenient to save money by sticking to your budget while on-the-go. You can think before making those impulse purchases that sink anyone’s monthly budget because you’ve got all of your information available.
One of the reasons people like to use Mint.com is the information you enter in it is secure. This software simply reads the information you enter into it. You are not able to move the financial information you place in Mint.com and no one else can either, this is for your security and protection. It will connect you with your financial accounts in real-time using just your Mint.com password.
Just as Quicken uses a pie chart to visually show you where your money goes, so does Mint.com. This is helpful for right brain thinkers as well as left brain thinkers who are comfortable viewing a column of numbers and percentages. When you realize you are spending too much money on take out meals, based on how large that part of the pie chart is – it can help you get your spending under control.
Remember that no budgeting software will work unless you use it regularly. Take the time to enter your information and also to analyze its supplied data. This can help you set financial goals and plan for both your short term and long term future.
Lauren Hill writes for Galorath.com, a company offering software that helps you deliver your goods as promised in a timely fashion.