Whether you know it or not, your PC is one of the most powerful financial management tools you own.
A few decades ago, people would pay accountants thousands of dollars to manage their finances. Or, they would painstakingly keep track of budgets using pen-and-paper systems. Today, we have plenty of awesome budgeting software available on smartphones and computers.
Today, I’m going to show you how to quickly and easily manage your finances using a computer or smartphone. These tips will help you avoid debt while getting your budget back on track:
Today, there are plenty of good budgeting software programs out there. Most of the good ones cost between $40 to $60 (with no monthly subscription fees). There are free budgeting software programs available as well, but these programs don’t offer anywhere near the same functionality as paid programs.
If you absolutely must use a free budgeting program on PC, then Mint is a good option. Mint is free and filled with budget management tools.
Some traits to look for in budget management software include:
-Mobile app functionality
-The ability to synchronize the software with your checking accounts or credit cards
-Ease of use and an effective UI
-Low maintenance and easy data entry over time
Popular PC budget management programs include Mint, Quicken, AceMoney, Moneydance, and YNAB. All of these software programs fulfill the above requirements and provide good budgeting support.
After setting up budgeting software, 40% of users never look at that software again. Instead, they stop tracking income and expenses and get back to their old habits.
Instead of doing that, use your smartphone or tablet to stay on track. Today’s big budgeting programs all offer mobile apps.
Mobile apps are used to track expenses on-the-go. You can report that $2 coffee you just ordered, for example, or stay responsible when you’re on vacation away from your desktop computer.
You don’t have to download the same mobile app as your desktop software (although it helps to manage everything in one place). There are popular standalone budget apps for mobile devices, including:
-Whichever app your bank uses
-Mint.com Personal Finance app
There are hundreds of budget apps available for both iPhone and Android devices. All of the above apps are available on both major mobile operating systems. In some cases, these apps are all you need to use to manage your budget – you don’t need to use a PC at all!
Out of all the steps listed here, this might be the most important one. As mentioned above, 40% of people will never open their budgeting software again after installing it and setting it up.
That means people who need budget assistance could fall back into their old money management problems and debt issues. They might continue over-spending and fall deeper and deeper into debt.
That’s why the most important step of managing your budget with PC software is to stick to your plan. Track expenses, enter your monthly income, and if possible, link your budget software to your bank account to make the process as low-maintenance as possible.
The steps listed above will work for many people, but they won’t work for everyone.
You see, PC budgeting software is only as powerful as you want it to be. If you spend time entering data and setting financial goals, then you’ll likely get a lot out of the software.
If, on the other hand, you expect your software to manage your budget, restrict your expenses, and tell you exactly how to fix your financial problems, then you’re going to be disappointed.
If you suspect you’re in the latter group, then you should seek professional help. Professional debt consolidators and financial managers will help you get your lifestyle back on track. Yes, you’ll pay a small amount of money to your financial management consultant today, but you’ll rake in those benefits long-term. If you want to learn more about professional debt consolidation, then I recommend reading this recently published list of Top Ten Reviews rankings.