Today money management software is almost indispensable in the world of our finances. It is hard to imagine that anyone could plan a budget and keep track of their expenses — especially when they have troubles paying off their bills — without the help of budget software. But to decide whether you should consider a budget program or not look at your situation first.
Many people don’t like the idea of creating a budget. For them creating a budget plan isn’t fun even though they know that a financial plan can help control their finances as well as track their spending. If you are one of them and you want to have more control over your debts, find out how a budget program can help you.
Create a Budget Using Money Management Software
For the most part, a personal budget is not hard to start. You can keep your bill stubs and your paycheck stubs in an envelope for a month. At the end of the month, write them down on a piece of paper.
Money management programs like Quicken and Microsoft Money have categories built in makes it easier to record your information. When you enter your beginning bank balance, they do all the calculations for you.
Software does have drawbacks, though. You should enter each transaction into the program, once a week. If you or other family members don’t want to do it then the software will not do its job.
Budgeting with Spreadsheets and Online Banking
If you do not have access to a computer you can still track your spending the old-fashioned way. You can use a lined ledger book to create a spreadsheet, which you can purchase at any store.
You would still record checks and keep ATM receipts to record them in the ledger book. Just keep the book in a central place to allow all family members to view it at any time. However, make sure it stays in a secured place so non-family members have no access to the information.
If your bank offers online you will be able to check your account as often as you like. It also lets you keep track of funds without a budget program. Since there are no categories listed you will use general categories for your expenses and record category names for each transaction in your check register.
So, if you can keep track of your monthly spending with simple spreadsheets or online banking then budgeting software is a nice thing to have. However, if you have many debts with different creditors and are always on the go money management software will help you stay on track.