Tools for Budgeting That Create Financial Stability
Spending your money blindly will only lead to trouble. Unless you’re raking it in with few to no monthly bills, tracking and managing your personal expenses is a surefire way to create financial stability. You need to be able to see how much money you have coming in and where it goes month after month. Take a look at these free or low-cost tools for budgeting that you can use to help you get a better sense of how much you should be spending and saving.
Mint has become one of the leading online software tools for budgeting. It does most of the work for you by automatically tracking your bank statements and credit/debit card purchases. It doesn’t matter what type of bank you have. As long as your account is connected to the internet, Mint can access your information in just a few seconds. You can also set goals in terms of how much you should be spending or saving each month. Mint can also share your information with Turbo Tax, so you’ll already be ten steps ahead when tax season comes around.
Level Money is perfect if you’re accustomed to managing your finances on the go. Just like a normal smartphone app, it sends you an alert every time you whip out your wallet. Based on the spending goals or limits that you set, every notification will tell you how much money you have left to spend by the day, week, or month. It connects to your bank account, so you don’t have to worry about manually tallying your expenses together.
Personal Capital combines the features of most budgeting software programs with smart investment tracking. You can look over your personal expenses along with your family’s financial investments using the same easy-to-understand interface. You will always know your net worth, the current state of any assets or stocks that you own, as well as how your finances are shaping up for the foreseeable future with their signature Retirement Planner. The app communicates with NYSE and other investment trackers, painting a complete picture of your financial holdings.
Another great budgeting tool for beginners, Quicken syncs with your bank account online to give you a printable visual of your finances that you can skim over in just a few seconds. You can customize headings and expenses based on how you want to track your spending. It’s also compatible with Turbo Tax, just like Mint. You can also visualize your data as you see fit, whether you prefer a color-coded pie chart or an itemized expense report.
Stick to Cash
If you’re not privy to fancy software, you can always try physically breaking up your money by keeping cash tucked away around your home. Take out all your spending money for the month, keep it somewhere safe, and you will be able to see your funds slowly deteriorating day by day. If the pile starts to deteriorate too quickly, you can start limiting your expenses accordingly.
If you’re concerned with the financial well-being of you and your family, one of the most practical things that you can do is purchase a life insurance policy. Even a modest, inexpensive policy will help you prepare for the worst. If you or your partner were no longer around, life insurance provides your loved ones with the means that will help them put their financial lives back together again. You can browse dozens of life insurance policies at InstantQuoteLifeInsurance.com.