One of the biggest obstacles to making and keeping a budget is not knowing where to begin. Thankfully, the Internet age has brought with it some wonderful tools designed to help you keep an eye on your spending. Here are just a few.
1. Wesabe.com: A lot of Web-based budgeting tools are similar, but one of the things that set Wesabe apart is its promotion of a user community. In addition to monitoring your spending and getting investment tips, you can chat with other users and get firsthand advice about saving and budgeting from people who know what works.
2. Billster.net: Billster is a free service ideal for helping you plan your monthly debts and payments, and it also has a great function called “Shared Bills” that lets you monitor things you owe as part of a group, e.g., if you and your roommates are splitting the cost of utility bills.
3. Yodlee.com: Yodlee is another fantastic service that lets you centralize your accounts, from checking and savings to credit cards and loans, and to visualize how to save money.
Those services are all free, but if you want to pay for programs, there are some helpful ones on the market:
1. Quicken: Probably the most recognizable name in budgeting software, Quicken will run you about $100, but you can download it directly to your computer and start working. You can set up auto payments and see your spending over weeks, months, quarters, or entire years.
2. Mvelopes: You can buy either a one-year or two-year membership for Mvelopes, which is a great tool for digging into your personal finances and finding ways to cut needless spending. They’re also on Twitter.
Again, those five tools are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to personal finance software online. With a little research and determination, you’ll have your finances organized before you know it.
This guest post is contributed by Raine Parker. She welcomes your comments at her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.