Personal Budget Planning Tools

"Planning household finances without a budget is like trying to drive to your vacation without having a destination," warn the experts at Consumer Credit Counseling Services. If you've never created a budget, or are just looking for a simpler way to track your finances, there are personal budget planning tools to make creating a budget both convenient and easy. Whether you choose an online service or a software application, making a personal budget has never been simpler.

  1. Mint

    • One of the most popular web-based personal budget tools, Mint pulls information from your online banking and credit card accounts to assist you in tracking where your money is, and where it's going. Tools such as email alerts when account balances get low and bills are to be deducted help you stay one step ahead, while alerts to warn you when you are close to exceeding monthly budget limits keep your budget on track.
      David Weliver of the website Money Under 30 calls Mint "elegantly simple," while Wall Street Journal recommends Mint as a best online tool for personal finance.
      One of the best things about Mint is it won't become a line item in your budget--it's free for users, although it's supported by advertising.


    • If you're more into social networking than financial planning, try Geezeo. This online personal budgeting tool allows you to view information for all your financial accounts--savings, checking, credit cards--in one place and to create a budget within the system.
      Users can access their Geezeo account from the Internet or smartphone, and can share financial advice or other information through social networking interfaces built in to the Geezeo site. Members can leverage the collective brainpower of the Geezeo network to answer financial questions and get help.Geezeo is also recommended by the Wall Street Journal. It is free to register for and to use.

    Word and Excel Applications

    • If you're one of the millions of people who use Microsoft Office Word or Excel programs, you're in luck. The beginning of a personal budget are already on your computer. Perfect for those who are wary of sharing personal financial information with a third party, would rather not have to remember passwords, and those who don't bank online but would like a budget file on the computer. The budget templates offered as free downloads on offer an array of budgeting options. Whether you'd like a bare bones Word document budget, or a feature-rich Excel budget file, Microsoft has you covered, offering a range of templates for personal budgets; additionally, it offers templates for special occasion budgets for events like weddings and even holiday spending.

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