Budgeting Personal Finances: Which Option Is Right for You?

You must take responsibility for budgeting your personal finances, even if you outsource this task to someone else. Technology has made this task easy and accessible to most users at affordable prices. There are so many options now that you might be wondering what the best way to create a budget is. Here is a comparison of the more popular methods for budgeting your personal finances:

Personal Financial Software

This is such a popular way to budget that most computers come with a pre-installed software program. The hard part is coming up with the amount of money you want to spend on each category or a plan for how much to allocate towards debt on a monthly basis. Once you figure that out, though, simply put in the numbers in this software, and you can generate amazing reports and make accurate projections and forecasts for your money. If you don't know what to do, some personal finance software offers step-by-step advice along the way. Two leading programs for budgeting personal finances to consider are Quicken and Microsoft Money. Quicken is more user-friendly and is a better product, but you'll have to pay for it, whereas your computer may come with Microsoft Money already installed.

Financial Advisers

Perhaps you'll need a financial adviser if you make so much money each year that you really don't know what to do with it. A family making $50,000 to $100,000 per year should probably budget their own money without help from a financial adviser who will charge for their services. With so much information on the web, software programs and books on the subject, that family has access to what it needs to make the right decisions. However, a family making $5,000,000 to $10,000,000 per year has to do more tax planning and manage more property, which can call for a financial adviser. The fees paid to a financial adviser are justified in that case because of the amount of money involved.

Radio and Television Shows

Television and talk radio shows about money have a number of fans, most of whom are looking for free advice and help to make a budget. If you're a regular listener or viewer and have good reason to trust the counselor or host giving the advice, you can accumulate enough advice to make your own budget. The key is knowing, understanding and agreeing with the money philosophy and principles espoused by the host. This method is fine if you use caution. For example, one television host became infamous when he told viewers to buy stock in a company that became bankrupt shortly after he gave the advice. Would you trust that host to tell you how to budget your money?

Online Resources

Take advantage of online tools, forums and tutorials for help with budgeting your personal finances if none of the above work for you. Many are free to use, join or review online at your convenience. For example, mint.com is a program that will gather your money transactions for you from multiple sources and help you input information fast and easy. Use discretion as to how much personal information to put on this or any other website.

Budgeting your personal finances is a critical task, whether there's a recession or the economy is booming. Choose the best method that will motivate you to keep up with it.

blog comments powered by Disqus