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5 free tools to help manage your family budget

Sandra compiles a list of online tools that will help you manage your family budget for free!

By Sandra E. Martin
5 free tools to help manage your family budget

5 free tools to help manage your family budget

Managing your family budget

If you’re the mom in your family, you’re probably the one in charge of everyday money matters — paying the gas bill and buying groceries. That’s according to a recent poll that Environics Research conducted for TD Bank Group.
 
But with all of the other items on your never-ending to-do list, even the most organized among us could use some help keeping on top of the family budget. Who among us hasn’t uttered a panicked: “Is the gas bill due this month?” Or my personal favourite: “Have you seen my credit card statement? I thought I put it on the kitchen counter, and it’s due tomorrow!”
 
Here are some great tools for tracking your household income and expenses — in short, stuff that’ll help you stay on budget. Many are online, and some are even free!
 

5 free tools to help manage your family budgetPhoto: LivingImages/iStockphoto

Mint

If you’ve ever wished you had a personal accountant, you’ll love this free online service. Link it to your bank accounts, and it will automatically track your income and spending, as well as alert you when bills are due and when you’ve been dinged with a service charge. Need help creating a budget? The site will do that for you, customized to the dollars in and dollars out that it analyzes. Or you can set a budget, and Mint will show you when you’re going off the rails, as well as suggest ways you can save money.

Check out the website here

5 free tools to help manage your family budget

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Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Leave it to the federal government to rock it old-school with a printable paper budget worksheet, free to download along with heaps of practical advice about why a budget is important, and how to follow one successfully. While low-tech, this tool gives you financial planning help without requiring that you link to your bank accounts.

Check out the website here

5 free tools to help manage your family budget

BudgetPulse

BudgetPulse is a blend of Mint’s electronic wizardry and the FCAC’s no-linking-needed-privacy-guaranteed budget worksheet. You have to manually input all of your financial information, which takes time (and more of that doggone organization I mentioned earlier), but you do get automatic calculation and fancy tools to help you set and track your progress towards a goal, such as saving for a family vacation or a new car.

Check out the website here

5 free tools to help manage your family budget

Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Interactive Budget Worksheet

The revered host of TV’s Til Debt Do Us Part and Princess offers a ton of tools on her website, gailvazoxlade.com — including this interactive budget worksheet, which comes with detailed how-tos written in Gail’s trademark no-nonsense style. Once you’ve got the budget figured out, take a look at Gail’s Holiday Spending Plan (imagine starting the new year without a whack of credit card debt!) or take her Am I a Shop-a-holic? quiz.

Check out the website here
 

5 free tools to help manage your family budget

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The Savings Spot

This collection of interactive tools lives on RBC Royal Bank’s site, but is available to anyone. The Spend-o-Meter is a quick, graphic way to see how much your daily coffee habit, takeout lunches and other seemingly small splurges add up. Plug your income and expenses into the Easy Budgeting Tool, and it will automatically calculate how much you have available for savings — then offer ideas to help you max your nest egg.

Check out the website here
 

5 free tools to help manage your family budget

Smart money apps

5 free tools to help manage your family budget
This article was originally published on Dec 10, 2012

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