Free Budgeting Software
An affordable solution to expensive packages
One of the most common reasons that people have for not creating and maintaining a budget is that the budgeting software they would like to use is too expensive. Whilst there are some expensive financial software packages out there, there are also some that are extremely affordable and you can even get your hands on free software too if you look around.
Very often, free budgeting software shareware, meaning that you can use the software at no cost for a while as a trial, but at the end of the trial you will have to decide whether you want to pay a small fee to authorize and register the software or look elsewhere. Individuals or very small businesses develop many of these shareware products and therefore they cannot charge as much as most major brands can. However, it is these small businesses that keeps the larger brands on their toes and by supporting smaller brands we can keep the magic of the internet alive and use it to our advantage.
Free Software Trials
In addition to shareware trials, some major brands such as Quicken and Moneydance often offer trials of their software, particularly when new versions are released. These days some banks are also beginning to offer budgeting software for online customers, although at the moment this tends to be aimed towards corporate finances rather than personal finances.
If you have not upgraded your computer for a long time, why not upgrade now. If bought as a package, most computers come with a software package that usually applications such as MS Office, Autoroute and Money. Microsoft Money is an all round financial software package but includes good budgeting features. By upgrading your computer you can effectively have the software at no cost and have a more up to date computer too!
Some financial companies will offer you a free version of their own software if you sign up to their services. Again this is usually aimed at corporate finance rather than individual finance and often the information is usually entered by logging into their server, which means that you can update your company's information without having to speak to anyone. Whilst the service will be something that you have to pay for, the software itself is free to use.
Of course if you can't find any free personal budgeting software you can create a spreadsheet yourself in programs such as Excel. It is advisable to keep things simple though as errors can easily occur. It is also possible to download templates and spreadsheets that other people have created to be used in Excel etc. These are usually free and once you figure out the layout (which might be on multiple sheets) you will have a good system in place that will help you to save your money and plan for the future.