A budget planner can prove to be an important part of your personal finance. After all, you need to have a way to plan how you intend to spend your money, which is in line with your expected inflows and outflows of cash. If you have a good plan and you stick to it, you can work your way to a better financial position.
If you do not have a plan, it will be very difficult to change bad financial habits. Thankfully, there are quite a number of budgeting tools that are made available by reputable national and international agencies and offices. We investigate 10 useful budget planner tools available on the web.
Budget Planner Tool 1 – “Budget Planner” from ASIC
Budget Planner is brought to you by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It is a free tool that can help you with a number of things. It can help you determine what you are spending money on and also check if you are living beyond your means. Best of all, it can present this information in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-download format.
Budget Planner Tool 2 – “Goodbudget” App
Goodbudget used the traditional envelope system virtually. In the past, this involved splitting up your cash into different actual envelopes, and each envelope served a different purpose such as rent, groceries or savings.
Goodbudget says it takes this idea into the 21st century with a virtual budgeting program. When you use the app, you can create virtual envelopes for your bills and spending and you can only spend what is in the designated envelope.
Goodbudget has a free version as well as a paid version, which is $8.49 monthly or $69.99 per year. The paid version gives you access to features such as unlimited envelopes and the ability to sync the app with more devices.
The main issue is, unlike apps like Pocketbook and MoneyBrilliant, that Goodbudget can’t sync to your bank accounts. However, this might be appealing if you are worried about sharing your bank details with an app.
Budget Tool 3 – “MoneyBrilliant”
MoneyBrilliant is a budgeting tool that claims to help you make better decisions about your money. The app connects your bank accounts meaning you get a complete view of your money. This will help you understand where you really stand financially. You can sync bank accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages, superannuation and even loyalty cards.
The biggest issue is that the free version is not as comprehensive as the paid and to get the full benefit you need to upgrade the the “Plus Version”.
Budget Tool 4 – “Budget Calculator” from MoneySense
MoneySense’s Budget Calculator was created as part of the National Financial Education Programme of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It provides budgeting tools that can help you break down how you are spending your money.
Budget Tool 5 – “Budget Planner” from MoneyHelp
The Budget Planner by MoneyHelp is from the State Government of Victoria. It comes in two forms; one is an online version and the other is an Excel document. The tool can be used as a checklist to ensure you are spending your finances wisely. It’s a little more basic that an app, but it does the job of budgeting if you prefer a spreadsheet type set up.
Budget Planner Tool 6 – “Spendee” App
In Spendee, the company goal is to enable people to make smart decisions about their money each day. The idea is that “managing finance should be as effortless as shopping online”. This app has been designed with simplicity and a has great user experience.
The app started as a simple expense tracker for a small group of people and this has grown into fully fledge personal finance app that brings easy to manage budgeting to hundreds of thousands users internationally. It syncs with banks all over the world. The basic – free version does not do bank account syncing so if you want that feature you’ll have to upgrade to $22.00 per yer.
Budget Tool 7 – “Budget Planner” from DCC
The Budget Tool is an online tool from the Derby City Council. It can work to help you find out how much money you will have left after your major bills and help you create a detailed summary of you monthly spending.
Budget Tool 8 – “Pocketbook App”
Australian App Pocketbook is a free budgeting app to track all your expenses. This helps then to calculate how much you spend in a month. Pocketbook automatically collects and syncs data from your Australian bank accounts can categorise each expense you make. Available for IOS and Android.
Budget Tool 9 – “Savings Goals Calculator” from ASIC
Another useful tool from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission is the Savings Goal Calculator. It allows you to make set, plan and document your financial goals. Once you have put in the information, it will help compute how much time will be needed for you to reach your goal, taking into consideration available interest rates.
Budget Tool 10 – “Daily Spending Diary Worksheet” from MyMoney.gov
The “Daily Spending Diary” is another helpful tool from the United States government. It allows you to better keep track of your cash spending on a daily basis. From there, you will be in a better position to prepare a realistic budget. If you like a more old school worksheet this will suit you.
Our Suggestions for Budget App or Budget Planner
If you don’t know where to start, and you are tech savvy, our recommendation is an app that can sync to your bank account via your smart phone. If you don’t live on your phone, maybe a worksheet is a better choice, but whatever system you choose, use it regularly for more controlled spending and a realistic look at where your money is going, where you can save and ways to reach your financial goals sooner. We also have a free budgeting tool on this website you can try as well.