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The Right Budget Planning Tools for You
There’s no single budget planning tool that’s right for everyone. And if you’re keeping a budget, which is a fantastic way to stay in control of your money, then you want to choose the right budget planning tools for you.
Are you a beginner when it comes to budgeting? Check out How to Create an Effective Budget.
When you have the best budget planning tools for your needs and style, you’re more likely to create a good budget – and to stick to it as well. Trying a few different methods out may be worth it to find out which ones work best.
What’s Your Budget Planning Style?
Some people prefer pen and paper while others prefer to get and stay organized digitally. It’s not uncommon for people to use both paper and digital planning (like myself).
You might first create a quick budget on paper and then transfer it to your digital software or spreadsheet. That’s fine too. What’s important here is to know what works for you and to apply that style to your budget planning system.
BUDGETING WITH PEN AND PAPER
If you’re a pen and paper person, there are many budget planning tools you can utilize. They include (but are not limited to):
There are so many budget printables available to help you budget. You can find some in my shop (or grab free budget printables by signing up below this article). Use them to make budgeting fun. Plus I truly believe that the act of writing out your budget makes you budget better. Especially when first starting out!
You can find an abundance of budget templates online or create your own in MS Office or any program you choose. You can print them out for the year, three-hole punch them and keep them in a handy three-ring budget binder.
A BUDGET NOTEBOOK
Another method is to simply make a list each month of your budget categories on a piece of paper or in a notebook. You might use a composition book to keep your monthly budget organized and accessible. This is the easiest way to get started!
DIGITAL BUDGETING OPTIONS
We live in a digital age, which means if you prefer digital budget planning then you have an abundance of choices.
Some people love spreadsheets. Spreadsheets allow you to do simple calculations without much effort. You can create simple equations to calculate your monthly overages and extra cash. You can even buy a spreadsheet that already has all of these functions built-in.
One of my all-time favorite budget spreadsheets is called the Budget Planner from Simple Planning. Check out the free demo on their site to see why I love it.
You can grab the Simple Planning Budget Planner Spreadsheet here.
You can grab also grab free Microsoft Excel Budget Templates right from Microsoft. Vertex42 and Google Drive template gallery also have some free budget spreadsheets but they don’t have all the bells and whistles.
ONLINE BUDGETING & FINANCIAL SOFTWARE
Budgeting software helps you create and stick to a spending plan. Budget software often involves a bit of a learning curve, but usually, have other personal finance features for managing your money built-in.
Personal Capital is one of my favorite budgeting tools because it’s free and has all sorts of tools for you to use including retirement planning and cash flow management.
You can check Personal Capital out here.
MORE MONEY RESOURCES YOU WILL LOVE:
- How to Pay off Debt When You Have No Money
- Debt Snowball vs Debt Avalanche: Which is Better?
- How to Make an Effective Budget
- 101 Ways to Save Money
- Pay off Your Mortgage Faster with Two Simple Steps
If you utilize a smartphone for most of your planning, you might enjoy one of the many budgeting apps available.
The most important consideration is following through with your budget planning. Find a budget planning tool that is not only easy for you to set up but is also one that you’ll use every day.
A budget only works if you use it and even if you just start out with that piece of paper and write down a budget, then that’s progress.
What budget planning tools do you use? Please share in the comments below.
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