Skip to Content
Parents camping with their two children symbolizing that they have a lot of financial planning to prepare for in the future
Articles

Online budgeting tools to help manage your money

Learning how to budget and manage your money, and sticking to that plan can help you prepare for your financial future.
Getting a handle on budgeting doesn't have to feel daunting. In fact, it can be fun — all you need are the right tools.
 
Learning how to make a budget is a smart way to keep track of your spending. Think of your budget as your financial road map — the more information you have on your income and expenses, the better you can plan for your retirement, emergency fund or home purchase. Thankfully, there are a variety of online budgeting tools that can help get you get started.

Online budgeting tools

Today, there are many engaging, and even entertaining, ways to keep track of your spending. The following are just a few of the online money management tools and budgeting apps that you can use to make household budgeting and financial planning less of a chore.
  • Mint: Mint is a popular free online budgeting tool where you can link your bank and credit card accounts, as well as your investment and retirement funds. It breaks down your finances with easy-to-read graphics and helps you create a budget based on your spending patterns.
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB): YNAB is another tool that helps you create a budget. Just like Mint, you can link all of your bank, credit and investment accounts to see where you stand. Where YNAB goes a bit further is in its focus on providing financial education to users.
  • Budget Simple: Budget Simple is for those who don't need all the bells and whistles with their budgeting tool. Once you add your financial data, Budget Simple creates a budget for you, suggesting where you should cut your expenses or grow your savings.
  • PocketGuard: PocketGuard is a budgeting app designed to help people who struggle with overspending. It also has a feature that goes through your monthly recurring bills, for example your cable bill, and finds better deals.
  • Goodbudget: Goodbudget puts a modern spin on the traditional envelope budgeting method. It's free, and can help you manage your monthly bills as well as plan for future expenses.
  • Wally: Wally is a budgeting tool that goes beyond the basics. You can create your budget for the month, as well as set daily goals. It also has built-in bill reminders and gives you easy to understand progress reports.

Create your own net worth budget spreadsheet

Another way to get a clearer picture of your overall finances is to create a net worth spreadsheet. Use the spreadsheet to list your total assets such as what's in your bank and retirement accounts, investment accounts, stocks and bonds, and personal property. Then do the same for your liabilities, such as your mortgage or car loan. Calculate the difference between your assets and liabilities and see where you stand.
 
This is a simple way to look at the big picture when it comes to your total financial situation. It can also help you make adjustments if you want to plan for big life events or want to consider your retirement needs. If you're not sure how to get started creating your net worth spreadsheet, there are plenty of options available online. Both FINRA and Morningstar have great examples.

Get started with budgeting

While there isn't a one-size-fits-all budget, these online budgeting tools might help shine a light on where you could be making some changes to reduce your expenses while actually having a little fun with it.
 
 
WEB.2698765.05.21

 

Arrows linking indicating relationship

Related Articles

Two business people meeting, talking over coffee.

10 Things to know before hiring a financial advisor

Learn more
Young woman holding a credit card and looking at her phone

How to build credit and manage your credit cards

Learn more
Dark haired woman sitting at a table browsing her laptop.

Financial management: 3 safer savings alternatives

Learn more

All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax-related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

Companies and organizations linked from Learning Center articles have no affiliation with Protective Life or its subsidiaries.