6 Best Personal Budget Tools

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Family with a financial planner. (Photo: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Personal money management tools are resources available to help you create a budget and assist you in staying on track in meeting your budgeting plans. Budget planning might include using hard copy, computer software, online and mobile applications financial management tools such as expense trackers and budget calculators.

Online Programs

Look for internet based templates. (Photo: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A number of Internet-based budget templates and worksheets are available to help you account for both your income sources and expenses. You can also view most of the data stored on the online budget websites from your cell phone, which gives you greater mobility with accessing budget data. Mint.com is an example a free online money management service.

Computer-based Software

Use computer software to budget. (Photo: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

In addition to online budgeting tools, computer-based software applications such as You Need a Budget, or YNAB, is an example of a budget software designed to assist you in managing your money. A free trial download of the YNAB software is available to help you learn about the program's features, such as an assortment of quantitative charting features.

Budget Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet. (Photo: akarelias/iStock/Getty Images)

If you prefer simple spreadsheets rather than online and computer-based software programs, Microsoft provides several free budget spreadsheet templates. More than 30 free budget templates can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel templates directly from the Microsoft website. This includes general personal budget templates to project specific budgets, such as a wedding budget template.

Expense Trackers

Track expenses. (Photo: Timurpix/iStock/Getty Images)

Expense tracking involves accounting for your individual purchases to ensure you do not go over your monthly budget. An expense tracker tool becomes particularly important if, for example, your food expense includes meals from restaurants and frequent snack costs. In such cases, a mobile application, such as Buxfer and BillMonk, is a suitable tool to keep track of daily expenses.

Budget Calculators

Using a budget calculator online. (Photo: Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A budget calculator tabulates your monthly savings, monthly expenses, annual expenses and income. Input the information into the budget calculator to automatically obtain a budget review. For example, the You Can Deal With It online budget calculator rounds up the information you input to let you know whether you are under or over budget. Bookmark a budget calculator to use as a resource to quickly run alternative budget scenarios.

Custom Calendars

Keep track of bills and due dates and use a custom calendar. (Photo: Grata Victoria/iStock/Getty Images)

Budget calendars help you keep track of when your bills are due and the exact day your income sources will be delivered to you. Online budget calendars generally include calendar tickler systems that can be customized to send you reminders about upcoming bills via email or text message.

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