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.
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