One of the essentials of successful finances is budgeting. Understanding the way that your money moves through your personal economy is a very important part of your financial well-being.
The great news is that understanding your cash flow doesn’t have to be difficult. You can largely automate it when you use budgeting tools that allow you to see where your money comes from, and track where it is going. Here are 5 budgeting tools Canadians can use to improve their finances:
One of the best budgeting tools is Mint.com. Everyone raves about the free application, and now there is a Canadian version of Mint.com that is perfect for your financial needs. You can integrate your accounts with Mint, and have your software register automatically updated. See graphs and charts to visualize your spending, and learn about your habits in a way that can help you make better money decisions for the future.
This free accounting software is compatible with Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. GnuCash also offers you different language options, and allows you to use different currencies. Enable double entry accounting, and you can even account for the movements in currencies between accounts. This is a great option for small business owners, as well as individuals.
If you are wary of signing up with a web application that accesses your accounts, you can use BudgetPulse. You will have to manually enter your information, or import it from your spreadsheets or other data set. This tool comes with global support, and provides a number of great opportunities for you to see your habits in visual formats. You can participate in fundraising opportunities, and encourage others to help you reach your goals.
The multi-language, multi-currency moneyStrands provides an automated way keep up with your spending. This application integrates with your Canadian credit card and bank accounts, and allows you to keep track of what you’re doing with your money. You can also use moneyStrands to create a spending plan, a bill-pay calendar, and see updates as quickly as possible.
You will have to pay for this after an initial 30-day trial, but it’s only $4.95 per month. It’s a spreadsheet application that can help you budget and track your expenses. PearBudget is fairly simple, and you won’t have a lot options with it. However, it’s a great way to get started with budgeting, and a simple way to learn basic budgeting concepts.
There are a number of great tools out there, and many of the them are free or low-cost. Chances are that you can find one that fits your style, and that can help you keep track of the way your money moves through your financial system.