Thursday, June 28

Financial Dieting

In yesterdays post, "The B Word", I mentioned that there are lots of software programs to help you with a financial diet, more commonly known as budgeting.  Although Quickbooks and MS Money are good programs they can take a lot of time to set up.  Here are a couple of others that you might consider. (note: this is not a paid endorsement nor have these products been tested by the Colonel.)
Mvelopes is based on the traditional envelope method of budgeting and includes automatic transaction retrieval (from credit cards accounts, etc.), online bill pay, net worth tracking, and anytime access.  Seems like a pretty cool program and it comes with a free trail period.  Subscription is spendy, $129.60 billed annually.
Offering traditional financial management, Moneydance also offers budget tracking, online bill payment, and investment tracking.  Free trial, purchase for $29.99 
This program is touted as simple and easy to use.  Track you checking, credit card and loan balances along with your monthly expenses.  Compare actual to budgeted expenses to see how well your sticking to your financial 'diet'.  Free to try, purchase online for $14.95.
Pear Budget is a FREE budgeting program written in MS Excel.  It can be used in almost any spreadsheet program like Excel, OpenOffice, etc.  Good program if you are interested only in budgeting.
YNAB (you need a budget) used four simple rules of cash flow management.  Tracks budgeted spending in a MS Window environment.  Two versions, YNAB $19.95, YNAB Pro $39.95
A simple and straight forward budgeting spreadsheet for $19.00
Visit these sites if you're looking for help making and monitoring your budget.  If money is tight, or if you're really frugal, you don't NEED software to make and monitor a budget.  You can use the old standbys; paper, pencil and calculator.