If you are living paycheck to paycheck then you know how important managing a budget is. The truth is that no matter how good you are at managing your money, there is room for improvement. There are so many ways to find extra money in your life that can be used for unexpected expenses in the future. Finding those is not necessarily your personal strong point. That is where budgeting software comes in handy.
These programs help you gain control over your financial situation by giving every dollar you earn a specific job. When you keep better tabs on your money you are better equipped to control spending and make better financial decisions. With the help of any budgeting software programs you will be able to find success and get out of debt faster. The important thing to remember is that budgeting is not always easy and for most people, those first few months of sticking to strict budget seem impossible. However, eventually you figure it out and are able to adequately meet your spending needs and financial goals without even stressing where the next dollar will come from. Here is a quick list of the programs that are most beneficial for budgeting.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
You Need a Budget is one of the most user friendly programs on the market today. It costs a one time fee if $59.95 but does include a 7-day free trial before purchase to ensure the software is right for you. YNAB focuses on being an easy to use money management program that is suitable for everyone. It is not a boring cut and dry program that simply puts all your money in front of you. YNAB has the ability to help you solve your spending problems and show you where you are overspending and help you spend less. On their website you will find tools to help discipline you financially. Tabs are broken down into your personal budget, where you stand with your spending, what you have earned for the week, month and year and whether or not you are within your budget range. The program also allows you to create future notes on things you would like to do. For example, you can post on a certain day that you are interested in trying to donate X dollars to a specific charity. On that date, based on your spending and current budget standings, the program will alert you that you have funds available for that particular project. Another handy feature of YNAB is that you are able to organize spending by category instead of continually viewing line and line of your transactions. Like all financial planning software, YNAB will work with your online banking system to continue to update and keep you on track with your spending habits.
My Budget Planner
Another user friendly choice that is great for those who have a large amount of debt is My Budget Planner. This program teaches you how to use the snowball effect to get out of debt. The snowball effect is where you find a way to earn extra money for one month to pay off your smallest debt. For example, you pick up extra hours at work and then pay off the remaining balance on a credit card. Now, the money you were originally investing in that credit card is rolled into the next debt that you have. This process continues and allows you to pay off debt quicker and spend less money since you will be decreasing the time that expenses are accumulating interest. My Budget Planner is also an excellent tool for children and teens to learn about the proper way to manage money. One of the many benefits of budgeting software is that you are able to see everything you are spending and earning and saving all in one screen. This takes the guess work out of where that extra $20 went you thought was in your pocket last week. You can track credit cards, loans, bank accounts and cash flow all in one easy to use place.
Mvelopes is supported by a variety of financial institutions including Bank of America, Chase, Wachovia and Wells Fargo. It does not work with every bank, however. Mvelopes is one of the most advanced budgeting programs available on the market. It is easy to use and offers an award-winning financial improvement system that cannot be matched by any other company. Some of their many features including automatic online bill pay, savings calculators and budget alerts. The proactive approach on budgeting and controlled spending helped the company eary the “2006 World Class Award” from PC World. Mvelopes is available online without the need to download any software to your computer. This makes it readily available to you no matter where you are. The site is 100% secure and protected. This ensures that all of your banking information is secure. Many consumers take advantage of the automatic transaction retrieval feature which uses your online banking system to update the programs spreadsheets. All information you need is right in front of you to help you make informed decisions about your spending habits. Mvelopes is also one of the few companies that offers net worth tracking. This is an up to the minute feature that outlines your financial worth as your investments change. It monitors mutual funds, bonds, stocks, loans, credit cards, savings accounts and retirement funds all at the click of a button. Additionally, you can enjoy mobile access on any phone that has internet access so you can update your budgets in your down time, no matter where you.
Choosing the best budgeting software for you is the first step in financial freedom. The tools that are available will not only help you pay off debts quicker and set up an easy to follow budget that works for you, but they will also reduce the stress of living life day to day, paycheck to paycheck.