Author Topic: Online Tools for Personal Budgeting and Financial Goal Setting  (Read 551 times)

mryan@chimo.net

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Online Tools for Personal Budgeting and Financial Goal Setting
« on: December 11, 2019, 02:35:36 PM »
Does anyone have recommendations for an web site or mobile app for creating a personal budget and setting financial goals.  I would prefer something that does not require a lot of manual data entry of expenses. 

internetbummer

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Re: Online Tools for Personal Budgeting and Financial Goal Setting
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2019, 09:16:14 PM »
Hello! I had to register just to spread the gospel of You Need A Budget (colloquially known as YNAB), my absolute favorite budget tracker. It is very solid and uncomplicated, though it is a little strange to get started with since it's unlike pretty much every other budget tracking software. You enter your account values (it can link to your accounts, but it's best usually to add the initial value of the accounts when you're first setting up) and then you only budget the dollars you actually have. This is the secret sauce that makes it so useful, since you can't budget/spend money you don't have, right? If your grocery bill runs a little high, then you have to look at your other budget categories and pull some money out of something less important to make up for it. It's dead simple to set up a variety of different goals for budget categories, and you can add/delete categories whenever you'd like.

I'm just starting out in my Mustachian Money Makeover but I have been using YNAB for the past 20 months and it has made a world of difference for my family. Let's just say that our net worth didn't improve much beyond 401k savings for about 10 years, and within 12 months of using YNAB I had no more debts besides our house and net worth has been on a trajectory toward space. If I'd been following the MMM method it probably would have taken a quarter that time, but we all have to start somewhere right?

I open it once a day, review the transactions it pulled in from the credit card accounts, and approve them if the categories look correct. Between once a week and once a month I "reconcile" the investment accounts that I don't have linked which works well enough for my purposes. I just want the current balance to be correct for historical tracking. It costs $7/month, but honestly it is the single most worthwhile purchase I've made in recent memory. It has paid for itself many, many times over.

Stimpy

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Re: Online Tools for Personal Budgeting and Financial Goal Setting
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2019, 08:27:53 AM »
YNAB is highly recommended by many here.    It does a great job with budgeting.    As for goal setting, not sure it does that.  (Some one whom, has used it more then myself can easily say if I am wrong on that one.)   

Another one you might try is Mint  (Mint.com)  They have some basic budgeting tools and you can set goals.   

Both of the above allow you to connect all your accounts, and add some manual entries if you need to do so.