How do I Choose the Best Personal Budget Calculator?

S. Gonzales

Choosing the best personal budget calculator can mean the difference between having control over your finances and creating financial problems. When selecting a calculator, you'll first have to decide whether you want a downloadable product, an online solution or a simple spreadsheet to keep track of your financial affairs. Each of these options has its own advantages.

Person keying in numbers on a calculator.
Person keying in numbers on a calculator.

When people think of a personal budget calculator, they often think of standalone software that can have data inputted into it with resulting calculations based on spending needs. Common personal budget software will help you keep track of your spending habits, bills and saving progress. Many of these programs allow you to set alerts for whatever financial elements you want to monitor.

Online statements can be easily monitored for budget calculations.
Online statements can be easily monitored for budget calculations.

Another option that is available is an online personal budget calculator. With this type of calculator, you simply log onto a secure website and use its financial tools to manage your budget. A good online personal budget calculator will allow you to import data directly from your financial institution. Many users prefer to use an online personal budget calculator because no software needs to be downloaded, and the information can be accessed from any computer.

More sophisticated personal budget calculators are those that are meant for small business. Although they are intended to be used for commercial purposes, these calculators can also be used to manage your personal budget. You might enjoy certain features that are ubiquitous on business budget calculators, such as the integration of contacts as well as project and contract management.

If you don't want to splurge on personal budget calculator software, you can always download spreadsheet templates to help you make your own budget. These templates are pre-designed with budgeting in mind and can be used by simply entering data. They can work with several kinds of spreadsheet software, including those that are proprietary and open source.

A spreadsheet can do automatic calculations, it might be all that is needed to keep a personal budget. A spreadsheet can track daily expenses, categorize purchases and keep track of your income. Certain templates might be able to help you budget certain events. For example, if you're getting married, you might choose a budget calculator that has been designed specifically to track wedding expenses. If your main goal is to rid yourself of debt, you can choose a spreadsheet that can help you understand your bills and streamline the repayment process.

Every person looking to manage a budget has different needs, so it's best to try different personal budget calculators to find the right one for you. Look for trial versions of calculators, and test them before deciding to purchase any particular personal budget calculator. It's especially important to read reviews and get referrals if you're looking to purchase and download a software solution.

Numerous types of budget management spreadsheets and other resources can be downloaded for free.
Numerous types of budget management spreadsheets and other resources can be downloaded for free.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?