Many of the offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all available deposit, investment, loan or credit products.
Getting started with a budget can seem overwhelming if you haven’t done it before (and even if you have). However, when it comes right down to it, budgeting is really a simple process of tracking what money you have coming in and where it’s going out. Having a clear picture of your finances enables you to do important things such as pay off debt, save money, set up an emergency fund, create a retirement account, invest and more. The process is made even simpler because you no longer have to rely upon the pen and paper methods of the past — many digital tools and apps make budgeting a breeze. Here are ways to automate your budget to immediately improve your financial situation.
Fact Check: Is a Fourth Stimulus Check Going to Happen?
Stimulus Update: States Give Out Thousands of Bonus $1,000 Checks – Will You Get One?
Budgeting tools and other ways of automating your finances will be easier if you already have a digital way of looking at your checking and savings accounts online. Most banks now offer not only a form of online banking through their websites, but they also have apps you can download that make taking a quick snapshot of your finances a breeze. You can also enable automatic transfers and pay bills online.
Budgeting 101: How To Create a Budget You Can Live With
Their Impact on Money: Gen Z: The Future of Finances
The most difficult part of automating a budget is picking which app or software works best for you. This can take some trial and error, or you can take the word of people you trust and check out their recommendations. Several to consider are:
Mint connects to your bank accounts (and you can connect multiple accounts), and then it tracks and categorizes your expenditures. You will also have access to its payment tracker, bill reminders and other financial calculators.
Related: 23 Tips To Build Your Emergency Fund
You Need a Budget (YNAB) aims to “teach you how to manage your money and get ahead–for good.” The subscription cost is around $12 per month or $84 per year. Features include linking to accounts or a manual data entry option; lessons that teach you how to budget, and access to your information from any device.
Take a Look: 101 Easy Ways To Save Money Daily
Take Control of Your Finances: You work hard for your money. It’s time to make your money work hard for you. Schedule a free call with a Certified Financial Trainer to get started!
Different generations have different approaches and comfort zones with technology. Albert is an app designed for millennials and zoomers, and aimed at people new to managing their finances. The app will help you look at your spending habits, create a budget and identify saving opportunities. The app is free but users can upgrade to receive “personalized guidance” starting at $4 per month.
See: 37 Life Hacks That Will Save You Money
Budgeting is more than just knowing what comes in and what goes out of your bank accounts. The more clear you are on your budget, the more easily you can automate other aspects of your finances, such as paying your bills. One new fintech startup, Prism, organizes all your bill due dates into one handy app, making sure you don’t fall behind on a date. Then, if you’re online banking, you can easily set up automatic bill pay online.
Tips: 9 Bills You Should Never Put on Autopay
Other digital tools can speed up the process of debt repayment, such as Tally. According to Forbes, “Tally functions as a middleman between credit card holders and companies.”
Customers make payments directly to Tally, and the service will use those funds plus a low-interest line of credit to pay off the debts in order of priority and interest level. It will also allow users to put some funds toward savings.
More From GOBankingRates
Last updated: Sept. 23, 2021
Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a B.A. from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. Her articles and essays about finances and other topics has appeared in a wide range of publications and clients, including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times, Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for numerous business clients. As someone who had to learn many of her lessons about money the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and live a better quality of life.
Every day, get fresh ideas on how to save and make money and achieve your financial goals.
Sponsored Links by Zergnet
Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers appearing on this site are from advertisers from which this website receives compensation for being listed here. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). These offers do not represent all available deposit, investment, loan or credit products.
Sign up for our daily newsletter for the latest financial news and trending topics.