Budgeting and Forecasting Software
Helping you achieve your financial goals
If you are going to have any hope of achieving your long term goals you need to have a financial plan in place in order to make these goals more likely. With a budget in operation you can set short term goals for you or your business, which can help you reach your goals more easily.
For most people the thought of creating a budget is put off by either trying to work out a system that fits there needs or the actual process of sitting down and entering the information. Whilst this is not likely to be the highlight of your day it need not be the scariest moment either and by sticking to a budgeting forecast you will begin to enjoy the process rather than becoming afraid of it.
Creating a budget need not rely on buying expensive software, although admittedly a good budgeting software package will make the process much easier and error free too. Whilst it is possible to create a budget on a spreadsheet, errors are likely to occur as you draw information together. Budgeting software can save you a lot of time and once you work out the basics of using the software then your finances are likely to become a lot healthier.
There are many budgeting software packages out there that you can buy and they are becoming more and more affordable. Programs such as Microsoft Money and Quicken and Moneydance remain the most popular as an overall financial program. With these programs you can download your bank statements directly to the software and reports and forecasts can be created based on the transactions that have occurred in the past. This way, budgets can be easily created, and whilst you might decide to make some structural changes to the layout of the budget, it is at least a good starting point.
As with most software, you must make sure that any budgeting software you are thinking about using is compatible with your operating system. This is where Moneydance has a distinct advantage over most other software – it is compatible with all major operating systems - Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.
There are many other smaller software packages as well that are aimed specifically at budgeting rather than other specific types of financial planning. My Budget Planner is a good example of this type of software and by keeping on top of your finances on a daily basis you can easily plan for the future and be prepared for accidents or unforeseen costs. This software is also available in special kids and teens versions so that you can teach your children the importance of looking after their money from a young age.