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Budgeting Like a Pro: Three Free Tools to Help You Manage Your Budget

Proper budgeting is one of the best ways to help manage your money and handle your debt. A budget can help you track your spending and prepare for emergency expenses or loss of income. While there are many basic ways to budget like using a notebook or spreadsheet, there are also a few digital tools to help you get started, especially for those who are new to budgeting. If you’re ready to start budgeting, here are some examples of free tools for your review.

Mint

Mint is easy to use and understand, offering a hands-off experience with clear visuals and reports. It is available for iPhone, Android, and on desktop. Mint now has a Canadian version of the app that connects with most major Canadian banking institutions.

This app acts to integrate with all of your bank accounts, bills, and investments and automatically tracks your spending. Every night, the app syncs with your accounts and updates your financial status based on your budget (which you can customize or the app can create one for you). If you’re uncomfortable with an app having access to all of your banking info, Mint might not be the budgeting tool for you.

Mint can help you set financial goals and find areas to save, and it sends alerts when you overspend or if there are any suspicious charges on your account. You can even pay your bills directly from the app. However, do your due diligence on any method requiring access to your financial, let alone personal, information.

Like most electronic devices and applications, learning to budget your income and expenses is a task where library books, friends, and credit counsellors can assist you on your learning curve.

Wally

Wally is also a budgeting app that doesn’t pester users with ads. It’s available on iPhone and Android (as Wally +), but currently, there is not a desktop version available. That may not be a drawback however, as Wally works well for those who are on-the-go. Wally offers a straightforward and convenient budgeting experience, giving users an intuitive and comprehensive view of their finances.

One of the most notable features Wally offers is the automatic receipt upload. Simply take a picture of your receipt and the app will automatically update your spending information, eliminating the need to manually enter your expenses. The app can also store your receipts for convenient record-keeping. Another feature is that Wally is available in all currencies and can geo-track your spending, so Wally may be a good option if you travel frequently.

Overall, Wally is a simple way to track your spending, income, and how both compare to your budget. It gives users a comprehensive understanding of where their money is going, although it requires a bit more “work” when it comes to updating expenses and making budgeting decisions compared to other apps like Mint.

Goodbudget

Goodbudget is a budgeting app based on the envelope method of budgeting. There is a free and a pay version, with the free version still providing plenty of features. It’s available for iPhone, Android, and desktop and provides seamless integration no matter where you’re viewing your account.

Goodbudget is another electronic method of envelope spending. It’s based on the same principles, where you have individual budgets or “envelopes” to spend from in each budget category. Instead of having a physical envelope that you take cash out of for categories like groceries or transportation, Goodbudget provides virtual envelopes from which to spend.

The envelope method Goodbudget is based on is user-friendly and great for visual people. It focuses on overall spending and budgeting, rather than each purchase you make, so if you’re overspending this method can make it difficult to understand exactly where you went wrong. Goodbudget doesn’t integrate with your banking either, which means more work upfront. That said, this provides users with a more intimate knowledge of their spending.

If you need help navigating your finances and are having debt fallout, contact one of our Licensed Insolvency Trustees. We’re here to help you get on track as well as guide you on your best path forward.