For those who look for practical financial planning, a budget planner is definitely an essential tool. To recognize the balance between your revenue and expenses, to remove areas of wastage, to evaluate the need to raise loans and to plan in advance, you should get into the practice of budgeting early.
Stages in Personal Financial Budgeting
- Preparing. Set your objectives first – short term, medium term and long term. Your needs can be more abstract, such as thinking of purchasing of a house in next 10 years, or more specified, such as starting out in college the following year. Determine the type of expenses you incur regularly and those you incur occasionally. Prioritize them. Set exact periods for fulfillment of your targets. Give allowance for loan installments, if applicable.
- Drafting. From the facts compiled above, begin developing a logical and easy-to-understand setup. You could take the guidance from web resources available. Your personal budget format should really be adjustable such that you can have room for any new developments.
- Monitoring. Keeping track of your actual incomings and outgoings is an indispensable part, finding out if you are on the track. The differences will allow you to keep check on certain areas of inefficiency.
Options for making Personal Budgets
- Spreadsheet Programs. Out of all the choices, spreadsheets are the most preferred tool for financial budgeting because of their adaptability, performance, modularity and ease-of-use. Microsoft’s Excel leads the pack with its consistency, formula help, functions, inbuilt tools, help features and wide usage.
- Software Programs. Downloadable packages can be obtained for a price or free and assist in generating budgets swiftly and with hardly any efforts. Intuit’s Quicken is a industry leader, followed by AceMoney, YNAB, Moneydance, BankTree Personal, Simple Home Money Management, RichOrPoor, iCash, etc.
- Web Services. Websites, like Intuit’s Mint makes it possible to synchronize the user’s all financial accounts online, data from your bank/credit card accounts for a holistic budgetary exercise. A close rival is MoneyCenter by Yodlee that also enables fund transfers between accounts. Other names are Microsoft’s Money and Mvelopes.
- Portable Devices. Earlier, cell phones had budgeting features of fundamental type. However, now-a-days, several handheld devices, including iPhone, iPad, Droid and Blackberry, may be used with compatible programs for the purpose. These softwares might be pre-installed or available for download from different sites.
Labels: Investments, personal finance