– Free Online Budgeting Software

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Just because I have been ignoring my budget (my last budget update was back in early December), doesn’t mean you should! Someone just sent me a link about, a free online budgeting software system that works on the ‘envelope system’.

I’ve made an account and fooled around a bit, but haven’t really gave it a real trial run yet. It looks like you still have to enter all your transactions manually, similar to the You Need A Budget System (review), so I have a feeling I personally won’t go for it. The site does also ask some weirdly probing questions (why do they need to know my address?), most likely because they seem get their revenue by hooking you up with mortgage brokers and real estate agents. But hey, it’s free, so I can’t complain.

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  1. Darren Marshall says

    To be honest, this system is very slow… Intuitive but I’m not sure if I have the patience to get through this lol. Basic spreadsheets would be much easier… we’ll see though – I’ve almost finished setting it up.

  2. Speaking of budgeting software, I’ve slowly made a fairly complicated excel spreadsheet that started way back in college when I was “head of household” for a house 8 buddies and myself rented. But I fear perhaps my excel abilities have started to max out (making more mod’s to it is really just making it more complicated to use).

    What software do you guys use and why?

  3. I used to use Quicken but just got tired of the big-bang reconcile. Even though it “remembered” many categories, I found I had to go through each one and correct several each time. Burden-some to say the least.

    Recently, I fired Quicken and went to excel. I sought to automate my budget as much as possible. I use my primary checking for automated bills, and for my spending categories, I created several checking accounts with my bank. Each account has a debit card tied to it. We labelled each card and spend from that right category.

    Each month, or week, or payperiod, I deposit money from the primary checking account into the individual checking accounts.

    This way, we are reconciling in real-time…as we spend. sure, we have to flip through a few cards to figure out what to charge it to. But the very moment you are purchasing is the best time to know where to categorize your purchase.

    Also, I found that I only really need to carry around about 3 cards. The others stay at home or with my wife.

    About once a week I log on and go through the accounts to make sure there are no charges that I don’t recognize. Takes 15 minutes or so.

    It’s working very well so far. I’ve thought about starting a blog or writing a book about it.

  4. Thanks for pointing out the cool sites, you seem to find a lot of them. Darren is right, it is slow. I’m setting up mine just to see how it goes.

  5. Rod – thanks for sharing! Miller – I think it is a great idea to share each other’s budgeting methods. I’ve started a new post on sharing budgeting ideas – I can either move your comment there, Rod, if you’d like or you can repost it there yourself.

  6. I’ve been using Microsoft Money to track my spendings.

  7. I’m with Darren…i applaud their efforts but I abandoned my trial of their service because not only was the interface clunky but the page refresh rate was horrendous. I spent a good amount of time getting 80% of my “envelopes” set up and then I just pooped out. Never got further. It shouldn’t be that hard NOR should it take that long. Excel *would* have been easier.

  8. Check out YNAB (You Need A Budget). It’s an excellently designed Excel program. I feel it’s worth the purchase.

  9. ChaChing has gotten some good buzz, it’s for the Mac and has a very mac feel. I think it’s free because it is still in beta version.

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