Creating a budget for you and your household is one of the best ways to remain financially savvy. This is advice that most people receive when they’re learning how to manage money, but it isn’t always easy to execute the task. If you need to know how to manage your money so that you can pay off more debt and accrue extra savings, it’s time to learn more about budgeting tools.
Track my Spend budget planner
The Track my Spend budget planner is a tool that was introduced by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). After downloading the app, you can enter your weekly spending limit and customise your expenses. The app allows you to set a limit for how much you intend to spend on each item during the week. For example, if you want to spend $120 on gas and $170 on food, those are the limits you set.
After setting your spending limits, Track My Spend will highlight how much you’ve used. It does this with a bar feature. The bar slowly fills as you continue spending, so you can see how much you have left for each section throughout the week. You can still go over your budget, but the budget app will tell you how much you’re over by. If you want to analyse your spending habits, you can export the data to a CSV file.
If you want a money management app that comes with minimal hassle, try Pocketbook. Unlike Track My Spend, this budget app syncs with your bank account and inputs the data automatically. It identifies where you’re spending your money, then creates a bar chart of how much your spending in each section.
Pocketbook is an excellent budget app for anybody who wants to identify areas where they can cut out costs. For example, after a couple of weeks of using it you may realise that you’re spending more on eating out than you originally thought. You can then take that data and create a plan for spending less on food outside of your home. As the weeks go on, you can use the budgeting app to see how well you’re doing at lowering your spending.
When you want to know “How can I manage my money?” and you need a comprehensive tool, Money Brilliant is worth downloading. It connects to more banks and credit card accounts than most other budgeting tools. Additionally, it highlights your assets, including property and any superannuation funds.
Money Brilliant is the type of budgeting tool that gives you an overall insight into your financial health. It comes with both free and paid-for versions, and the monthly subscription is quite low for the number of benefits you receive. If you’re new to using money management apps, Money Brilliant provides you with a comprehensive FAQ guide that answers all your questions.
Your bank’s budget planner
Depending on who you bank with, you may find that your institution provides its own budget planner. Much of the time, bank budgeting tools are available online. However, you may find that some offer them in the form of an app, which makes it easier for you to manage your money on the move.
When you combine your bank’s budgeting tools with your familiar online banking protocols, you could benefit from automation too. Our advice is to review this information at the end of each month and look forward to the weeks ahead with the aim of reducing your spending.
Australian Taxation Office
Officially, the ATO’s budgeting tool isn’t a money management app. However, you can use it to enter your income, which it will automatically adjust for your tax bracket. From there, you can enter your spending and identify whether you’re spending outside of your means.
Another benefit of the ATO’s tool is that you can include any additional income you receive from the state. For example, Centrelink benefits. If you’re not currently in receipt of any benefits, you may be able to use the tool to calculate your eligibility.
MyFi’s budgeting tool
At MyFi, we’re always trying to help our customers find the best way to manage money. If you choose to use our loan finding products, you’ll get access to our free budgeting tool via our site. As a comprehensive tool, it helps you enter all your details so you can see how much you’re spending and whether there’s any money left over for you to make savings.
If you’re taking out a loan, using our budget planner makes it easier for you to know how to manage your money. It’ll also give you an insight into your ability to pay different levels of interest, so you can decide whether now’s a good time to take out another loan.
Creating a budget spreadsheet
Finally, sometimes it’s worth using the simplest tools to gain the best results. If you’re not interested in downloading an app and you’d rather take control of the process yourself, creating a budget spreadsheet is the way forward. If you’re a Microsoft user, you can create a budget spreadsheet using Excel. Otherwise, both Apple and Google Drive have their own versions of Excel for you to use.
If you’re not used to making spreadsheets on Excel, you might find that there are templates you can download. One of the biggest benefits of using this money management tool is that you’re essentially creating an app that matches you and your circumstances. If there’s a section that’s no longer relevant, removing it is easy. Similarly, if there’s something that’s missing, you can throw it in.
At MyFi NZ, we help our customers make the most of their finances. From our budgeting tools through to our personalised loan finding solutions, we do what we can to make your financial life easier. If you’re interested in our money management tools or loan comparison service, become a member today!