Free Up Your Finances With Our Favorite Household Budgeting Tools

I’m so guilty of confusing my credit card with a gift card and overspending on everything. The pandemic saw a huge uprising in online shopping, and what’s better than next-day shipping?? But something so many people have had to learn recently is budgeting.

Budgeting looks so different now than it did even 10 years ago — literally millions of different budgeting systems available today allow you to find the perfect app, layout, and design for your work! We’ve researched a bunch of them and hope you’ll find your new favorite way to do one of the grossest things about adulthood — budgeting.




This app is well known for being the best. Unlike some budgeting apps, Mint is free and doesn’t sell your data. You can track your subscriptions, accounts, and bills on this app and you’ll get notified when the bills are due. You can also create a budget for everything on there, like food, gas, bills, etc. And the app has a special feature called “Mintsights” where it tracks your spending and tells you if you’re saving or overspending on some things. This app is well known and loved by all who use it.

YNAB — You Need a Budget

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This is a software that teaches you how to budget on your own. When you first download it, you can input the amount that you want to spend for each of your budgeting sections. These can change as often as they need to, but they help establish guidelines. After you do that, and once YNAB starts to track your spending, it’s proven that people can save $600 by the second month! This is not completely free, but you get a trial period of 34 days. The features of this software include a myriad of classes on budgeting, access to your budget on any device at any time, live workshops, and goal tracking.

The Cash Envelope System

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This system isn’t an app or a software. This is a less digitized method. In fact, it can be totally un-digitized if you want it to be! It’s suggested that you put real cash (no credit cards here!) into an envelope for each category for each month. When the money is gone, it’s gone. This is a little stricter, but very successful way to track your money, plus there’s a lot of satisfaction when it’s the end of the month and you still have some left over! Many people swear by this technique to help keep you on a strict budget!

Bullet Journal

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A classic, old school, no-tech way to budget — do it by hand! If you’re an avid bullet journal-er like me, you’re used to documenting everything from feelings to workouts. You can add a little section in your journal now for budgeting, too! This is helpful to people who are a little more visual in learning and need to physically write something down in order for it to feel official. There are many budget logs online, as well as journals meant just for personal finance. You can create your own budget while bullet journaling with this method, and the customizable features are endless! Because this is a little more hands-on and not just a click-of-the-button-fix, the bullet journal method does not work for everyone, but it is easy to make and fun to keep track of…well, as fun as budgeting can be. If you want ready-made budget planners, you can shop our recs below:

Microsoft Excel/Google Spreadsheet

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These programs were literally made to budget! With built-in features that will automatically add up your expenses, Excel and Google Sheets make budgeting easy and affordable. Also with Google Sheets, you can share your document with your partner if you’re doing a joint budget! This is a great way to get an overview of everything you spend and where you’re spending it. Google Sheets also has a free spreadsheet, so you don’t have to worry about formatting anything! Just like the bullet journal, it does get a little tiring to type in everything after every purchase, but that satisfaction of a beautiful spreadsheet is so worth it!

Budgeting is really personal, so personalize the system you want best! Thankfully, all of these systems have a free trial period (and some are free forever!) so you can play around with what works best for you!


Do you use any of these systems, like cash envelopes or a budgeting app? What budgeting trick has helped you?

For More Finance Tips, Read These:

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