Online budgeting tools

Resolve to spend smarter and save more. Online budgeting tools can help to make your New Year happy and (financially) healthy.

Already worried about ‘holiday hangover’? Is your New Year’s resolution to get personal debt under control? Online budgeting tools are a great way to help ensure your New Year is truly happy and (financially) healthy.

Many of us worry that with the New Year, we’ll be bombarded with credit card bills reminding us of how much we ‘indulged’ during the holiday season. Why not start off 2008 right with a resolution to sort out and keep control of your personal debt?

There are several different online tools available to you to help track your spending habits. Here are a few that are readily available and free for you to use.

Mint – This is a free, online budgeting tool to help you manage your money in a ‘safe, reliable’ way. It allows you to see all of your credit card and banking transactions side by side. This feature allows you to see exactly what you are spending your money on by viewing each transaction as it takes place. Mint says ‘we make it easy for you to track down erroneous charges or bank fees, and keep a closer eye on your money.’ Mint also allows you to categorize each transaction, for example if you need to expense it to for business. One of the best features of this program is that it allows you to see your cash vs. debt ratio by downloading the purchases you make directly to your Mint account. It does all the work for you!

Billster – This is also a free, online budgeting tool. Billster is geared towards helping you organize your personal, as well as your shared expenses. Let’s say that you decide to buy a joint gift for a co-worker or family member. This online program keeps track of who owes what and when. You can even keep track of reoccurring bills that you have each month, and set a reminder for yourself, so that you will not forget to pay them. With the bill tagging system you can categorize and group your bills to help keep track of where your money is going, and where it has gone.

PearBudget – This very straightforward, easy to use budget program is downloaded directly to your computer through excel. It allows you to keep track of your expenses through the different categories, which allow you to keep track of exactly what you spend. When you have downloaded the program, it will automatically open and take you through how to fill it in correctly. It will take about 20 minutes to fill out all the necessary information, but will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Other online budgeting tools some come with a monthly/yearly cost and offer a more in depth look at your personal finances.

Mvelopes Personal – One of the top products of its kind, Mvelopes Personal, comes with a yearly fee of $129.60 or you can purchase a two year membership for $189.60. This online banking tool comes with all the benefits of most of the free programs; however, it is slightly more in depth concerning your personal finances. It offers features such as mobile phone access and net worth tracking.