Whether a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, it can be challenging to stay on track with finances. We are juggling work, motherhood, and everything in between. However, having a budget is essential, especially if you want to get ahead financially. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best free tools to help busy moms budget well every month.
Why do we need a budget?
A budget is a method that tells you how to spend your money. It ensures we spend within our means and do not overspend on unnecessary things.
Making a budget is essential because it allows us to be more financially responsible. When we keep track of our finances, we know exactly how much money we have to work with each month and can allocate it accordingly. We can save up for our short-term and long-term financial goals, which is essential for ensuring our family’s financial security. Additionally, by staying on track with our finances, we can create a plan to pay off debt as soon as possible or avoid any future debt problems. So, make a budget if you want to become more financially stable as a parent!
The 5 Best Free Budgeting Tools to Help Busy Moms
Budgeting can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of products out there that can help make the process easier. And as a busy mom, you deserve all the help you can get! Here are our top picks for the best free products to help busy moms budget well every month.
Mint is an excellent tool because it takes the guesswork out of budgeting. All you have to do is link your bank account, credit cards, and investment accounts, and Mint will categorize your transactions and provide you with a clear picture of where your money is going.
While it automatically categorizes your expenses, you can modify them and personalize them according to your preference. This will give you a clear picture of where you are spending most and create a budget. We use many budgeting tools, but this is the least time-consuming app we have tried. We highly recommend Mint because it will allow you to create savings goals. We use this to keep our starter emergency fund in check.
Everydollar is a budget tracker tool by Dave Ramsey, a famous personal finance author in the USA. You’ll be OK with the free version if you don’t mind manually entering your income and expenses. The app also lets you personalize or rename categories however you like.
What we like best about Everydollar is that it allows you to create a zero-based budget which means every dollar has a function and is accounted for in your budget. This budgeting ensures that you are not spending more than what you bring in, which is vital in preventing debt problems.
Unlike Mint, it doesn’t let you sync bank accounts and credit cards, but you can get this feature with the paid version, which can be pretty expensive. However, for most people, the free version will be more than enough.
Goodbudget is a great tool for families who want to manage their money together. With this app, you can create a shared budget and track your progress as a family using the “envelope method”.
With the envelope method, you would allocate a certain amount of money for each category in your budget (e.g. groceries, entertainment, etc.) and put that cash into an envelope. Once the money in the envelope is gone, you can’t spend any more in that category until the next month. This is a great way to stay on track with your budget and avoid overspending.
Goodbudget is free to use, but there is a limit on the number of envelopes per month, and this software does not link to your bank accounts. They do offer more features if you upgrade to the paid version.
Google Sheets is best suitable if you are looking for a fundamental budgeting tool. You can set it up quickly and easily, and it’s free to use! All you need is a Gmail account.
To start, create a new spreadsheet and label the columns with your income sources and spending categories. Then, fill in your transactions for the month. At the end of the month, you’ll be able to see where your money went and adjust your budget accordingly.
One downside of using Google Sheets is that it can be time-consuming to enter all your transactions manually. However, this is an excellent option if you are starting with a budget and don’t want to spend any money on apps. You can create your pie charts out of the data you input.
Printable Budget Planners
If you prefer to use a paper budget planner, there are plenty of great options! This is a perfect alternative for people who like having a physical copy of their budget.
There are lots of personal finance bloggers who offer free printable budget planners on their websites. While this is not free because you have to print it out, it is cheaper than the cost of planners sold in stores.
We are giving you access to our 2022-2023 Finding Joy with Less Simplified Planner for free to thank you for supporting our blog. This planner includes all the essentials to help you stay organized. The planner contains month-to-month calendars and weekly and daily planners. You can print what you need when you need it. You can start using it now because we have included the last quarter of 2022 and the entire 2023. And with Goal Trackers, Annual Bills Tracker, Monthly Bills Tracker, Monthly Budget Planner, and Weekly Meal Plan all included, staying on top of your finances and health has never been more accessible.
The Bottom Line
There are tons of free budgeting tools available, so there’s no excuse to dismiss budgeting! If you are just getting started, we recommend trying Mint. Once you get the hang of it, you can try out other tools to see which one works best for you. And if you prefer the old-fashioned way, printable budget planners are always an option. Remember to be consistent with your budgeting to manage your finances better, regardless of your route.