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Home Budgeting Software:
Finding The Right Budget Planning Tools

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Go Straight To The Recommendations For Best Budget Planning Tools

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Home Budgeting Software

home budgeting software

This website is primarily devoted to helping people get out of debt, but any long term solution to debt problems does need to involve the management of personal expenditure too, not just dealing with the immediate debt crisis. So sorting out new terms for paying people back at a rate you can afford is one thing, but making sure you never get into that situation again is something else. This two-pronged approach is essential if you are to not only get out of debt but stay out if it permanently.

The best way to really get to grips with your spending habits is by learning to budget. Budgeting can be an off-putting concept - it sounds like a chore and many people are just not at home with lots of figures and calculations. Feeling like that about budgeting is not unusual but it does not need to be a problem. There are some simple tools that take the difficult and time-consuming bits out of budgeting, making it a relatively painless task that will only require a few minutes of your time each day.

Try not to think about budgeting as a restriction or like being on a diet. It is not so much about cutting back as about getting organised. A good budgeting tool should not just tell you can't spend as much as you want to, it should help you identify where you are spending money that you don't need to, so that you can then use it for something you really want instead.

Part of the problem for many of us is just that we do not know exactly where our money goes. Spending small amounts here and there, using plastic and direct debits, it is easy to lose contact with the cumulative effect of all these outgoings. By getting all your finances organised in a budget, your income and expenditure can be presented to you in easy to understand ways that make it crystal clear where your money is going and what you need to do differently.

Some simplistic budgets will only look at a single month, which is not very realistic. You need something that takes into account the fact that different things crop up and different times of year, including quarterly and annual payments. You need to be able to build in the flexibility to get a truly accurate picture of your spending, which will be of real benefit.

The bottom line is that to avoid debt you must be able to prioritise your expenditure, put realistic limits on each area and stick to them. If you are already in debt and working your way out of it, this is particularly important. If you have come to arrangements with creditors to pay off debts, you do not want to blow the opportunity by not keeping up with the repayments you have promised. You may know that you have enough money each month in theory to cover all your bills, but if what happens in practice is another story, then you need a good budgeting tool to help make it easier.

Having trawled and researched the many budgeting tools available, I have come up with a few recommendations. The main criteria I have used to select these is that they must be inexpensive, straightforward to learn and use and effective in helping you in a very practical way. The top three are US based, but this makes no difference - they are all used by thousands of satisfied customers all around the world. I have included a UK option in case that is preferred.

Home Budgeting Software - Recommendations:

Top Recommendation: Easy Budgeter Home Budgeting Software

Devised by Simon Herbert, who had severe debt problems of his own, the principles used in this system are the result of years of striving and learning how to get rid of debt and manage money properly. Designed with simplicity and a user friendly interface as paramount concerns, the system does away with jargon and is aimed squarely at people with no prior knowledge of finances or accounting. At only $37 including all free upgrades, it is hard to beat in terms of value for money compared to other tools on the market.

Also a winner in that it supports different currencies and can even be switched to different languages. Your country of residence certainly is not an issue with this one. Find out more about it on the Easy Budgeter website.

Home Budgeting Software - You Need A Budget (YNAB)

An excellent package, using the tried and tested 'envelopes' principle of budgeting. This involves setting up categories of spending, dividing all your expenditure up into easily controlable 'envelopes'. Totally flexible and adaptable to your needs, YNAB comes with helpful features such as reminders when bills are due and automatic entering of regular transactions.

Very clear and useful reports that highlight areas where spending is out of control or in need of attention. Many budget tools get over-complicated on the reporting side, but YNAB keeps it simple and relevant, using only reports which actually serve a useful purpose. A free comprehensive e-book on how to use the system is also available. Find out more on their website.

UK Home Budgeting Software - Personal Accountz

If you are UK based and would prefer a UK company and tool with support in the UK, then Personal Accountz is the pick of the bunch. It won Computer Buyer's 'Best Buy' award and is very comprehensive with a host of features, including downloading credit card statements and bank statements. Very user friendly.

Buy it direct from Personal Accountz website. The price includes excellent ongoing customer support.

There are many other options available and you may well have heard of some of the more common ones such as Microsoft Money or Quicken, but feedback suggests they are more complicated, and less effective for our purposes than any of the above, and certainly more expensive. The prices relect the greater functionality, but this just brings more increased complication and use of your time when it comes to learning and using the packages. I have tried to focus on household budget planning tools that are the most likely to deliver a straightforward and effective solution for the average domestic user.

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