There are lots of great budget tools out there. Some are free budget tools and are available as online tools. Some will cost you a monthly or one-time fee and are downloadable. Here is some advice on how to find the right one for you.
Finding the Best Budgeting Tool
Search the Internet, a lot
There are millions of different budgeting tools out there. There are so many that do different things, in fact, that it can be difficult to determine which is the best and will work the most effectively for you and your budget. In finding which tool works best for you, decide what you hope to gain from a budgeting tool. Start by reading online reviews of different budgeting tools. A simple Google search will yield millions of results that can help you make an informed decision.
Read Reviews, and often
In your search for the best tool, read customer reviews as much as you read the product descriptions. It is very common that a product will seem great until you read that everyone who has bought it says that it doesn’t do what it claims to. Customer reviews may also lead you to realize what you actually want in a budgeting tool; from reading other’s complaints or praises of products, you may realize that a certain feature is necessary for you. This will only streamline your search. Also, be mindful of what ratings customer’s have given different products. For example, if a product doesn’t have a lot of reviews but has an overall high rating (say, 4.5 out of 5 starts) it is probably still a pretty safe investment. If a product doesn’t have a very good rating, but it has some good individual reviews, you are still better off avoiding it.
Remember that you get what you pay for
Decide how much money you are willing to spend on a budgeting tool right away, and stick to your limit. There are a lot of different options out there that range from free Internet downloads to more costly software to hiring a legitimate financial advisor. Determine what you are willing to spend, if anything before beginning to search and remember that you will most likely get what you pay for. If you decide to use a free online application, it may not work so well or it will solely depend on the amount of effort you put in.
Use what you pay for!
In selecting a budgeting tool, what it comes down to is this; how much will you actually use the tool? If you find a product that you think is really cool and could potentially help you a lot, but it seems confusing and complicated, don’t get it. It makes absolutely no sense to put the effort and money into purchasing and setting up a product if you aren’t going to use it. In products that are overcomplicated, this happens often; people put out the money for all of the bells and whistles but then don’t use them. It would be much smarter to use a simpler, cheaper product that makes sense to you than one that does a million things that you don’t understand.