The use of budgeting tools is a great way to reduce financial stress with dealing with home and business finances. Whether you are trying to get your personal or business finances under control, there are a few tools you can use to take the burden off you and give you a quick reference to exactly where you are in your financial outlook.
Before you can start thinking about the tools you need, you need to get organized. Grab your bill box and any method of organization you're using and sit down at your desk or table. Go through your bills and make sure you have all the newest bills. Throw out old ones. Make a master list of your bills with the total amounts due and the due dates for them.
Decide on the Method You Want to Use
You can use a physical budgeting planner or computer software to keep you organized. If you're more of a "see it in front of me" person, then a physical planner is the way to go. If you're organizing a business or like to see reports and overall information with a few clicks of the mouse, then a software program is for you. Both of these method can be found online or at an office supply store.
If you opted for a budgeting planner, you need to look at the bills that are due during your current month and write them into your expense category. Then write your expected net income into the income category. If you're in the red, prioritize your bills or bargain for partial payments where you can. It's better to send something than nothing at all. Your planner should have pouches to store your bills and pay stubs. Record your payments as you make them and toss out invoices once the payment clears your bank. Any left over balances need to be moved over to the next month.
While you'll need to keep track of the same information as with a physical planner, you'll instead record everything into a software program. You need a folder of some kind to keep your bills, receipts and pay stubs in. With a software program, you can pull monthly reports and check to ensure bills and payments have been entered.
Online calculators can help you find information like what a monthly payment should be for an account to pay off that account. Enter information like balance, interest rate and desired pay off date and your monthly payment will automatically be calculated. This can help relieve financial stress by knowing exactly what you need to do to get out of debt, one account at a time.
Budgeting tools can help relieve financial stress because you'll be more organized and have a plan for every month. You may still be living on a tight budget and have to finagle to make ends meet, but you will know what to expect and have a chance to work with bill collectors to ensure your family or business stays afloat. Information is a powerful thing and once you have it, you have better control over your finances instead of your finances controlling you.