Managing your money can be a challenge even if you’re a detail-oriented person that likes to track that kind of thing. The traditional method of “balancing your checkbook” and keeping receipts is no longer a fit for our digital world—not to mention, doing the math and organizing yourself can be frustrating and stressful.
However, people that monitor their finances are the most successful at hitting their financial goals, so budgeting can’t be ignored.
Luckily, online financial management tools make this process easier and eliminate worry over losing little sheets of paper with all of your handwritten notes. Put away your pen and paper and bookmark these great tools, all of which can help you manage your finances from the convenience of your laptop or mobile device.
Set a Benchmark
This basic online budget calculator is simple and fast—and should be the first stop when digging into your finances. You plug in just two numbers, monthly income and monthly expenses, and in a matter of seconds, you’ll see exactly how much you’ve overspent or saved that month. You can do this same calculation yourself as well—with any calculator, even the one on your phone—all you need is the right numbers.
Knowing where you stand financially is half the battle. Use this budget calculator to get a baseline for what you’re spending or saving, which is the first step when digging into your finances. You’ll use this information to set goals that are realistic to your current financial situation.
Create a Digital List of Debts
If you have debt, the first step in figuring out what you owe and where you’re at with pay-off is to create a list of everything. Then, use a tool like Mvelopes Debt Roll-Down Calculator to organize your various debts, along with the interest rate, and monthly minimum payment for everything from auto loans to credit cards.
The easy-to-use interface, graphs and financial summaries make this tool easy to use. Managing your debt will feel less like a chore, and what’s more, with all this information at your fingertips, eliminating your debt may feel more possible than ever before.
Organize Your Bills
Bills likely make up a large portion of your monthly expenses, and tracking what is due and when ensures that you don’t get charged with late fees or, worse, take a hit to your credit. To keep track of these monthly expenses, use an app like Prism, which was created strictly for tracking bills and their respective due dates.
The glance-and-go calendar interface shows all of your accounts and their respective due dates. What’s more, you can pay bills from within the app—no more forgetting to send a check or looking for account information so you can log on and pay.
Manage The Big Picture With Mvelopes
With a baseline set, debts organized, and bills being paid regularly, it’s time to get a more detailed view of where your money is going, how much is coming in, how investments are doing and more. Mvelopes takes financial planning to the next level. Mvelopes Basic allows you to connect unlimited accounts (think: bank, credit card, etc.), and uses real-time budget tracking and a categorical overview of spending habits to make budgeting sans pen and paper easy and effective.
What sets Mvelopes apart is the Plus and Complete plans and the new Budget Makeover, which offer personalized financial guidance, access to educational resources in the learning center, tailored debt reduction plans, a financial personal trainer and more. Not only are you held accountable for your spending, but you’ll be supported along your financial journey.
Start Digging In
Forgo the scraps of paper and start using these digital tools to help you stay on top of your finances. Once you set a baseline, organize your debt, and get organized, financial planning will become easy and stress-free.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer, consultant and business owner. She and her husband recently paid off $20K in debt in just one year, and her work as been featured in financial publications like Market Watch, SoFi and more. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect LinkedIn.