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Top online tools for budgeting effectively

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couple budgeting

It is always worth having a budget to make sure you spend less than you earn per month. This means that you have the money to save or invest, while ensuring that your monthly bills will still get paid.

Effectively managing finances means that you can save for that dream vacation, do those renovations on the house or even pay off a loan. Using budget saving tools will help reduce unnecessary spending and give you that financial freedom to see where your money goes.

With many of the tools available being free to use, you can start budgeting right away. We've rounded up some of the best online budgeting tools to help you get started balancing the books in no time at all.

Personal Capital

Personal Capital is one of the best tools out there; it will help you manage and keep track of your money with a real-time, award-winning dashboard. Personal Capital is an easy budgeting tool for couples looking to invest their money ready for retirement.

It has an employer plan analysis checker and a smart withdrawal tool to ensure you're on track and your pension pot can grow. Personal Capital offers a 360-degree view of your finances, with money management, long-term financial planning and personalized financial advice customized to your situation.

Using the app means you can check in on your accounts anywhere, anytime, making it even easier to reach those financial goals.


Empower is an app that consolidates any bank, investment and savings accounts you may have with its easy-to-use, attractive interface. If you wish to have everything in one place, it can also be your bank, with a modern peach or black bank card.

Empower is the budgeting tool for young adults and college students. It offers monthly reports on what you're spending and where so you have full visibility.

It can also help you look for lower rates on those larger monthly bills, and is a handy way to cancel unwanted subscriptions. This budgeting tool and savings calculator is one of the best money-saving tools around.


The ideal budgeting solution for businesses and families, Pocketsmith is cloud-based, meaning there's no software to download, and you can log in from anywhere. It can be fully customized to fit your needs too.

Pick and mix the features you want to create the budget calculator that works for you. Pocketsmith links to over 12,000 banks worldwide, meaning you can ditch the multiple banking apps you have for your business, checking, savings and credit cards.

With the ability to organize various accounts from one place, you can keep everyone in the family on track with savings. Pocketsmith is different from other budgeting tools, in that it can manage multiple income streams, giving you the confidence to reach your savings goal, while paying your bills and paying your loans.


Mint is part of the Intuit family, meaning you know you'll get the very best in budgeting software. Best of all, it's free!

With the ability to customize your budgets, get 24/7 access to your credit score for free, and track all your spending, this budgeting tool is your one-stop-shop for budgeting. Mint works for everyone, but it is the ideal instrument for couples, beginners and young adults.

With secure connections to your checking account, credit cards and savings, it will always keep you on track with its calculators and online tools.


What is the 50/30/20 rule?

The 50/30/20 rule is a framework designed to help you work out how to allocate your budget. It works on the basis that you will spend 50% of your after-tax income on essentials, spend 30% on the things you want, and save the other 20%. You can mix and match this depending on how much you want to save per month, or switch, so you save 30% and spend 20% on non-essentials.

How much should I expect to pay for a budgeting tool?

Mint is free. Personal Capital is also free with paid options for financial planning access. Empower has a 14-day trial, then $8 a month. Pocketsmith has three tiers – free, $9.95 per month and $19.95 per month.

What should my budget include? 

When starting your budget, you need to factor in what you spend now. It should take into account what you get paid and when. A few things to include will be:

  • Utilities
  • Childcare
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Savings
  • Entertainment
  • Retirement/Investment

When should I start budgeting?

There's no time like the present! Budgeting is one thing many people put off, which is why Money Services within the Kroger Family of Stores has devised this list to get you to look at how and why to budget. There are so many budgeting tools and online budgeting calculators out there, but these are five of the best and they suit a wide range of people.

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