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Planning your financial future

Online budget tools

A complicated budget is difficult to stick with and manage. The right management tool can help your efforts.

Finding just the right online budgeting tool can mean the difference between sticking to a budget or becoming derailed. Today, there are many online budget tools that not only offer a wide variety of budgeting options, but that are completely free of charge. The following are three that might meet your needs. Protective has no affiliation with the suggested online budget tools below. We just thought you might find them useful.


Mint is a popular free online budget tool that allows you to link up all your bank accounts, credit card accounts, investment accounts, and retirement funds, and organize all of your finances in one web locale. It also handily breaks down your finances for you with colorful, easy-to-read graphics, and even recommends credit cards or individual retirement account offers that might help save you money. Mint helps you create budgets by tracking your spending and dissecting your spending patterns. It also helps you stay on top of bills, monitor your spending in real-time, manage your assets, and stay on top of your credit score. It's basically the closest thing to an accountant you'll ever get for free. As an added bonus, the Mint app is also free, and comes highly recommended by its users.

You Need a Budget

If you're looking to vastly improve your financial literacy (i.e. you're overwhelmed by the very idea of making a budget, plumping up your savings account, or planning for the future), You Need a Budget (YNAB) has an extensive library of classes and tutorials, and boasts a very devoted core of loyal users. YNAB is very confident about their methodology, and boast that if you follow their Four Rules, “on average, you'll have a $200 turnaround in one month.” That's a pretty bold claim to stick on your home page. Their software and apps are comparable to Mint's offerings, although their interface is definitely less flashy, but it's worth noting (for auto-linking purposes) that users who have used both say that YNAB is compatible with a broader range of financial institutions than Mint.


If you'd strictly prefer not to upload all your sensitive info to a website, Budgetpulse allows you to enter all of your expenses into their free budget planning software manually. (In fact, that's the only option.) While Mint and YNAB are aimed specifically at the tech savvy and smartphone daily users, Budgetpulse is targeted squarely at the security-conscious. And while their offerings are not nearly as comprehensive as Mint's or YNAB's, they do have a pretty straightforward set-up that does equip you with the simple tools you need to “plan, chart, and organize your personal budget.” You can also use their site to share your financial goals with friends and family on social media, or do some personal fundraising, if you like.



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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

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