Top Free Budgeting Tools
When it comes to creating and sticking to a budget, simply setting financial goals may not be enough. Today there are a plethora of FREE online budgeting tools that are available to help you stay organized and on track with your finances. After carefully reviewing a number of these tools, we compiled a list of our top four favorites based on variety of features and ease of use. Keep in mind that some of these tools offer upgraded versions for a fee; however, this article only speaks to their free versions. Happy budgeting!
1. Mint– Previously owned by Intuit, Mint was one of the first free personal finance tools to hit the market. The tool pulls information from user’s bank accounts, credit cards, investments, retirement funds, and other financial accounts to quickly give a broad overview of your financial standing. Mint also has a mobile app, making it easy to track your finances on-the-go. Based on user reviews, the platform is easy to navigate and use. For example, graphics are used to show your financial status, making it easy to see and understand where your money is going. An additional feature that Mint offers is the ability to create a personalized budget that will alert you if you go off track.
2. Budget Pulse– For those that are a little hesitant about linking their financial accounts to a budgeting tool, Budget Pulse may be a great option. Budget Pulse does not require users to share usernames and passwords linked to their financial accounts. However, the tool is still able to track spending habits and set financial goals. Budget pulse uses graphics to show your financial status, making budgeting quick and easy. A unique feature that differentiates Budget Pulse from other tools is its ability to share financial goals with friends and family. You can even ask them to contribute to your financial goals via PayPal or Amazon Payments!
3. Personal Capital- Personal Capital is different from other budgeting tools because it focuses on tracking your investments along with financial accounts including bank accounts and credit cards. The tool allows you to monitor all of your financial accounts in real-time, including the status of your investments. They even go a step further by providing objective investment advice and options that are tailored to your specific needs and goals. Personal Capital has an easy to use smartphone app as well, which makes tracking your finances fast and easy. Personalized portfolio management is offered, but at a fee of .95% of your managed assets. This cost is optional, and is still below the industry average for what wealth manager’s in the industry charge.
4. Buxfer- For those that are just starting off in their careers and are on the path towards becoming financially independent, Buxfer may be the budgeting tool of choice. Buxfer focuses on monitoring spending and keeping track of upcoming bills and expenses. In other words, it’s an easy to use financial planner. A unique feature Buxfer offers is its ability to break down financial goals into long-term and short-term goals. Users can also split bills and expenses within the platform, as well as allocate expenses to specific people. Buxfer offers Plus and Pro options for a small fee which allows for more accounts, budgets, and financial projections, in addition to giving you access to “Priority Customer Support”, but the free version is very intuitive and includes many of the same features.
Not sure if these budgeting tools are right for you? If they seem a little intimidating, check out our free and easy to use budget worksheet! Simply fill out this sheet electronically and see how your remaining balance adjusts at the bottom of the worksheet based on your projected monthly expenses.
Still finding that you need some extra money to makes ends meet? Don’t stress; we can help! We make loans to meet many of your credit needs, and will work with you to find a solution that best fits your budget and needs. Simply contact your local branch or click here to apply today!
†We offer personal loans from $1,000 to $25,000, with loans terms from 12 to 60 months. Minimum and maximum amounts dependent on an applicant’s state of residence and the underwriting of the loan. Loans between $1,500 and $15,000 may be funded online. Loans greater than $15,000 or less than $1,500 are funded through our branch network. Specific interest rates and fees are determined as permitted under applicable state law and depend upon loan amount, term, and the applicant’s ability to meet our credit criteria, including, but not limited to, credit history, income, debt payment obligations, and other factors such as availability of collateral. Not all rates and loan amounts are available in all states. Additional fees may apply to some loan offers; some state required and/or permitted fees may be treated as prepaid finance charges. Any such charges shall be in addition to the loan amount requested and/or approved and shall be fully disclosed to the applicant on his/her loan agreement. Not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rates or larger loan amounts, which may require a first lien on a motor vehicle not more than ten years old titled in the applicant’s name with valid insurance. Our loan by phone and online closing process requires a compatible mobile or computer device on which you can access your email and electronic documents. Not all loan types are eligible for loan by phone or online loan closing.
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For any stated annual percentage rate (“APR”), the APR represents the cost of credit as a yearly rate and will be determined based upon an applicant’s credit at the time of application, subject to state law limits. A range of APR’s may be applicable, subject to state law limits and individual underwriting. Not all applicants will qualify for a lower rate. APR’s are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle, and the lowest rates typically apply to the most creditworthy borrowers. All terms and conditions of a loan offer, including the APR, will be disclosed during the application process. As an example, with an amount financed of $5,000.00 the borrower receives $5,000.00 at an APR of 29.99% and an interest rate of 28.77% which includes a finance charge of $3,640.96. Under these terms, the borrower would make 48 monthly payments of $180.02, for a total of payments of $8,640.96. The amount financed may not be the net proceeds paid if charges other than interest are included in the loan.
*The process uses a “soft” credit inquiry to determine whether a loan offer is available, which does not impact your credit score. If you continue with the application process online and accept a loan offer, or are referred to a branch and continue your application there, we will pull your credit report and credit score again using a “hard” credit inquiry. This “hard” credit inquiry may impact your credit score.