Managing our personal finances can be a daunting task. It can be hard to stay on top of our budget, track our spending, and save for the future. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools available that can make this task much easier. Below are some of my personal tried-and-tested favorites that you can use to better manage your own personal finances.
1. Google Sheet – Yearly Budget & Savings Planner
After searching for a straightforward, uncomplicated, and flexible way to make a budget and set savings goals for the year, I decided to design my own (template linked above). I can confidently say utilizing my yearly budget and savings tracker spreadsheet has completely revolutionized my financial outlook. It has been an excellent tool for aiding me in determining my savings objectives and the money I can set aside for them throughout the year. With this spreadsheet, I can also easily divide my monthly expenses into fixed expenses, variable expenses, and the amount of money I can put into savings. I strongly suggest this tool for anyone looking for a straightforward yet efficient way to divide and set their budget. Additionally, I recommend this spreadsheet for those aiming to begin increasing their savings contributions.
2. Mint – Budget Tracker & Financial Planner
Mint is a beneficial tool for budgeting and tracking finances. It is free, easy to use, and its intuitive interface makes it simple to keep track of your spending. With Mint, I can easily set my monthly budget (calculated from the spreadsheet mentioned above), track my expenses, and stay on top of my financial goals. Additionally, it offers helpful insights into my spending habits, helping me make informed decisions about my finances. Mint’s “Goals” feature is one of my favorites, as it allows me to create saving goals, such as a “Vacation Fund”. It tracks all of my contributions to the goal and includes them in my monthly budget, making it easy to monitor my progress. Mint also has a mobile app, but for setting up your account and creating your budgets, I suggest using the desktop interface.
3. Segmenting my money into different accounts
Segmenting your financial accounts simply means dividing your money into separate categories, such as savings, investments, and spending. By having dedicated accounts for each area, it can be easier to manage and track your spending. For example, by having a separate account for your everyday expenses, you’ll know exactly how much money you have available to spend each month. This can help you stick to your budget and avoid overspending. You can also use segmented accounts to save for specific goals. For instance, you can have a separate account for saving for long-term goals, such as a car or a vacation. By transferring money into a designated savings account, you are making sure that the money is not used for any other purpose besides saving, as it is kept separate from your spending/expenses account.