When I was in high school, my dad sat me down to teach me how to balance a checkbook. I learned the entire, tedious process and was frustrated the whole time. Luckily, today’s budgeting and money-tracking tools are much better than the (somewhat obsolete) art form of checkbook balancing. With all of my other information in the palm of my hand, I’ve found online sources are a great way to track my spending. Here are three of my favorite online budgeting tools:
Mint. It’s a classic, but for good reason. Mint syncs with your bank accounts and credit cards to easily track and categorize your spending. At the end of every week, I get an email of my weekly spending broken down into a handy pie chart. The visual representation makes it easy to see exactly where my money is going, especially all the money I spend on snacks and car insurance. Mint.com can be accessed on a computer or on any mobile device.
BudgetPulse. I’ll be honest—at first I was a little wary of this service, but now I am a total fan. BudgetPulse lets users share their budget and savings goals on their social networks. I was a little apprehensive to share something so personal with 400 acquaintances, but I found publicizing the fact that I was trying to pay off my student loans actually held me responsible and kept me on track with my savings goals. BudgetPulse also doesn’t require users to give up their banking information and passwords, which is nice in a world full of identity theft.
Buxfer. This service makes it so easy to track money I owe to friends and family, and to help pool money into a communal budget. Planning a group vacation with family and friends used to be so confusing, but now we can pool our budgets into one Buxfer account and plan accordingly. The app also makes it easy to track who owes whom money, so I don’t have to worry about forgetting to pay someone back.