Personal budgeting tools can help you keep your finances on track and avoid debt while helping you plan for the future. There are a few tools every household should have in their arsenal to meet their goals.
1. Budget Planner
A budget planner is a physical planner that gives you a place to record all income bills and income and record expenses as they're paid. This is a great tool to use because you have a place to keep your bills and records together to decrease confusion when it's time to put your budget together for the next month. This enables you to make a budget each month to keep you from overspending and show you where you can cut back if needed. The cost of a planner is relatively small. If you purchase one from an office supply store, you can find one for $10-$20 depending on the size and features.
2. Personal Finance Software
If you're computer savvy, you can take your personal budgeting planner to a new level and use a software program to keep track of your finances. This eliminates the paperwork of a physical planner and offers additional tools, like reports, account reconciling and easy bill tracking. You can also link your bank accounts to the software to ensure your software is correct at all times. You don't have to spend a lot for budget planning software, but it will be a bit more than a physical planner. You can find good base level software for $100 or so depending on the features.
3. Budgeting Templates
If you have no idea where to start, there are a number of resources that offer budgeting templates to get you started. You can either use these on your computer or print them out. Printing may be a good idea and keep you more accountable. Don't forget to teach your partner how to use them so nothing is left out.
4. Budgeting Calculators
Online you can also find budget calculators for everything from how to save to how to buy a house. When you need to figure out what size your monthly payment needs to be to pay off a large account, a budgeting calculator is a great tool to use. Take one of your largest bills, whether it be a medical bill or credit card balance, and input the amount due with the interest rate and amount of time you'd like to get it paid off, and you'll see what you need to pay per month to accomplish that goal. Always start paying off your bills with the highest interest rates first.
You can get your finances under control and stay on track with a few easy to use personal budgeting tools. With the right tools and some diligence, you'll find yourself on track and out of debt in no time. Don't forget to give yourself little rewards a long the way for the accomplishments you make.