It’s no secret that budgeting can be boring…if you let it. We’re here to show you the best ways to go about setting up a budget and how to easily maintain and stick to that budget. We’re also going to list some of the best budgeting resources out there today to help you accomplish all of that.
Learning how to budget effectively is not hard, but it does take a little extra time to sift through all of your receipts, checkbooks, and to track where your money goes each month. Unfortunately, that is just part of the budgeting process and it’s an important step to help you manage your money wisely.
Take a look at some of these wonderful resources and you’ll see why we choose them and how they can help you achieve budgeting success!
Best Financial Websites to Check Out –
Like all financial advice, some of it might not be suited for everyone, so it’s important to fully understand which resource is right for your unique situation. You can start with a few of our favorites and see if those fit the bill.
- Get Rich Slowly truly has it ALL in one place. They usually post about once a day, if not more and their user engagement is very good. People comment, share ideas, ask questions, and participate on this wonderful financial resource. They currently have a total following of over 130,000 people on their social media profiles. They have around 14 different authors so you’re not just getting one person’s opinion or viewpoint. The Get Rich Slowly blog has close to 19,000 subscribers and followers. This website is about personal finance that makes sense. They ask their readers what questions they need to be answered or what topics they would like to see more of. It’s very engaging and personal. It gives every post a “true voice” and feeling behind what the author is saying. They also have a Forum that you can join to discuss topics such as, Personal Finance, Personal Development, Tips, Tricks, Helpful Links, Success Stories, and Pointers to name just a few.
- WiseBread is a large community of bloggers that’s there to help you live large on a small budget. The three creators of WiseBread have known each other since high school. Individuals will sometimes comment, share ideas, and ask questions on this financial website, but not as much as Get Rich Slowly. Their blog currently has a total following of over 68,000 people (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+). They have over 45 different Writers which is more than Get Rich Slowly has. They have close to 14,000 blog feed subscribers. This personal finance resource has so many great tips and suggestions for being more frugal and learning to live on a budget so you can save money. They post several times a day so there’s a pretty good chance they have something you are looking for. They even have a “Best Deals” section with amazing online deals, coupons, promo codes, and sales.
- Money Crashers is a wonderful personal finance website whose motto is “Your Guide to Financial Fitness”. It’s full of awesome ideas and everyday useful money saving tips. They say that their mission is to develop a community of people who try to make financially sound decisions. This website attempts to educate people in making wise financial choices about credit and debt, investing, education, real estate, insurance, and budgeting. Money Crashers has been mentioned on MSNBC, AOL Daily Finance, ABC Good Morning America, and CBS News to name just a few. They currently have a total following of over 38,000 people (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+)! They have over 50 unique and different Authors which is pretty impressive. It’s a good sign when you have so many people wanting to write for your blog. Money Crashers has over 78,000 blog feed subscribers and followers. That is super impressive!
- Broke Millennial is about the journey of a 25-year-old millennial learning to be a fiscally responsible member of “Generation Me.” It’s full of humor and great advice. Erin started this website to increase financial literacy, mostly through telling funny financial tales from her own life and sneaking in an actual money lesson or two. It has a decent social media following and user engagement through comments. It’s definitely worth checking it out and laughing along with the author on some great posts.
- MoneyNing is about all helping people become debt free, showing you how to build wealth, and showing you how certain financial choices impact your life. The founder David Ning is really passionate about the journey to financial independence. MoneyNing was founded in July of 2007. David is a published author, entrepreneur, and proud dad. He started MoneyNing with the hopes of reaching people who need that extra little motivational push to get them to really care about their personal finances. MoneyNing is frequented by more than 450,000 unique visitors every month.
- Debt Round Up is the brainchild of Grayson Bell and he created this website in 2013 after he took his own journey to get out of debt. Debt Roundup is dedicated to figuring out how to get your personal finances in order and to push yourself to get out of debt. This resource provides people with ideas to help them move on from debt and create a stable financial future. Certain topics are discussed such as: “How can you use credit wisely?” “Can you use credit cards again?” “How do you build your wealth?” These are just a few of the things that will be tackled on Debt Roundup.
Best Budgeting Apps for Your Smartphone –
Budgeting used to be boring and time-consuming, but with today’s technology, it doesn’t have to be that way. Almost everyone has some sort of a smartphone nowadays, and they can be used to help you budget better, faster, and more often. There’s a plethora of free or low-cost budgeting and financial apps available for smartphone users.
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Here are some of our favorite apps:
Mint.com – Let’s start with Mint.com’s budgeting app. It is free on iOS (Apple phones) and Android phones. It’s one of the most all-inclusive money management apps out there today. It shows exactly where your money goes to each month, once you link up your credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages, etc. Mint automatically sets a budget for you, and also lets you manually enter cash transactions, as well.
Level Money – There’s another free budgeting app called Level Money and it’s available for iOS and Android. This app is a little less involved than the Mint.com app. It was created to tell you one thing: “How much money do I have to spend without going into the red?” After connecting bank accounts and credit cards, it will determine how much money you can spend today, this week, and for the rest of the month.
Spending Tracker – Here’s one that we are pretty fond of…it’s called Spending Tracker. Spending Tracker is the easiest and most user-friendly Personal Finance App in the Apple iOS store or the Android store. And best of all, it’s free! The simple fact is, by tracking your spending you will be able to stick to a budget and save more money. This simple app is easy to use and very beneficial.
Budget Ease – Last but not least is a fairly new app called Budget Ease. Budget Ease is the simplest way to budget your money, track your spending, and stay in control of your finances. This app gives you access to your envelope balances (for the “envelope system” fans out there), it allows you to add, view, and edit transactions, and gives you some insight into your spending habits. You can also attach receipt images to your transactions, so you have them for safe keeping and documentation. Find it on Apple iOS and Android too.
Local and Major Banks – While broad fiscal management tools like Budget Ease, Spending Tracker, Level Money, and Mint.com are great for staying on budget, it’s also a good idea to download your bank-specific app. Almost all major banks and credit unions have their own dedicated mobile apps. We know that Bank of America has one and so does PNC Bank, so there’s a good chance your bank has a smartphone app as well. In addition to giving you an overview of your accounts, they also let you do things like make mobile check deposits and transfer money between accounts.
Budgeting has changed with technology and it’s now easier than ever to create a budget from scratch, monitor it daily, and keep up with it every single month. Check out these 10 Shocking Myths about Budgeting for even more awesomeness on budgeting.
You can also check out our free budgeting tool called Budget Builder to set up a budget in a matter of minutes all for free: http://onlinebudgetadvisor.com/budget-builder.html
Here’s a little more info about our free budgeting tool: https://www.advantageccs.org/blog/free-online-budgeting-tool-from-advantage-credit-counseling-service