If you are responsible for your family’s spending, chances are you have considered or even used a budget planner. Having a system set up to track your spending can be helpful for keeping on track with your budget. Check out these three budget planners, perfect for keeping your family’s budget in the black.
Excel: The Classic Budget Planner
Most adults have used Excel, one of the programs in Microsoft’s Office Suite. In Excel, you are able to edit individual blocks, called cells, and use formulas to let the program do the math.
Excel is one of the best budget planners simply because so many people are already familiar with its utility and features. Users with even the smallest amount of experience can create a custom budget that takes income and expenses into account.
Excel offers budgeting templates available for download that take even more of the guesswork out of budgeting. The personal budget template includes a tab for monthly income, expenses, and savings, as well as a summary tab. The family budget planner breaks down expenses by category and has columns for projected spending as well as actual spending. This is one of the areas people tend to struggle with when budgeting, making it a useful thing to include in a budget planner. The Microsoft Office Suite is required to operate Excel, but the templates are free to download.
EveryDollar: The System of Budgeting
Dave Ramsey is one of the most well-known personal finance professionals. Using his Total Money Makeover Program, you can use his books, workbook, and classes to “take control of your money.” If you are looking for a budget that is complimented by additional tools, Ramsey’s EveryDollar is the perfect fit. It is available in a computer version as well as an app, which syncs across all devices. The main benefit of EveryDollar is that it works so well with all of Dave Ramsey’s other tools.
EveryDollar is a free budget planner available from Ramsey’s website. Using the free service, you can create as many budgets as you may need, projecting different scenarios or allowing each family member to take responsibility for their own spending and then incorporating it into a master budget. You can also track your spending and compare it to your budget, as well as receive support from professionals via email.
With additional paid premium services, you can connect your budget to your bank and check account balances against your budget as you go.
Mint: The Mobile Budget Planner
From your phone to your tablet to your computer, Mint’s budgeting tool is easy to use across all of your devices. It’s free budgeting service connects to your bank and uses your actual spending to adjust your budget, ultimately leading to more informed decisions.
Mint “automatically updates and categorizes your information.” This is an especially important tool to use on your mobile devices. Being able to see your spending in real-time and how it impacts your budget is a huge perk to using Mint’s services. Mint will also recommend changes to your budget based on your spending habits to help you reach your financial goals.
The important thing to remember when choosing a budget planner is to consider your family’s lifestyle and what tools will work for you. Whether it’s using a system that you’re already familiar with, getting support from a financial planning guru, or accessing your planner on-the-go, there is a budget planner out there for you.
Using one of these budget planners, you’ll be on your way to responsible financial budgeting for your family before you know it!