A personal budget is an estimate of your income versus expenditures over a set period of time. It serves as a high-level overview of your financial situation. A budget can tell you whether you have enough money to make ends meet, and if not, help you identify spending to pare down. Overall, a budget is your financial blueprint, and – as with most blueprints – accuracy is crucial. Since it’s cybersecurity month in October, there’s no better time to making sure that everything’s in order. Thankfully, budgeting tools have evolved from the ledger into powerful and secure online platforms that offer a bird’s-eye view of your financial situation in a few keystrokes. They are intuitive, simple to use, and will have you viewing your finances in a whole new way. If you’re looking for help with budgeting, here are two options to consider:
Mint: From Simple to Comprehensive
One of the biggest names in online budgeting is the website Mint and its companion app. Although founded as a budgeting tool, it has been expanded to offer additional financial services. Not only can you create a comprehensive monthly budget, but you can also track investments and pay bills. In order to utilize the full power of the platform, you will be required to sync your financial accounts with your Mint account, and doing so will place comprehensive financial data at your fingertips. Mint is user-friendly, with prompts and commands that walk you through the entire process of setting up a budget. You can take a comprehensive look at your available cash and credit, comparing the total to your upcoming bills.
Planwise: Streamlined and User-Friendly
While Planwise doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Mint, it is arguably one of the most user-friendly budgeting websites. You can manage your monthly budget and set up independent budgets to help you weigh other financial decisions on the side. For example, you can map out plans to determine how much you’ll need to save for vacation, or how much you’ll need squirreled away before making a major change in employment. Planwise largely depends on the data you provide, and it doesn’t require a connection to your financial accounts. This might be more appealing to those who are wary of sharing sensitive financial information.
When so much is riding on your finances, it’s important to maintain a realistic forecast of your money. Budgeting can help you plan a healthy financial future, and the Internet provides user-friendly tools to help you do just that.
This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
Published by permission from ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. © 2015 ConsumerInfo.com, Inc. All rights reserved.