Personal Budget Software – Choose Wisely
Why Many Personal Budget Software Programs Fail Miserably
manage your budget? They are, after all, bare bones and will work, but you don’t get many types of helpful reports like you do in a good personal budget software program. You may find personal budgeting software online as well.Are you fed up with using Excel spreadsheets to
Trying to find the best one for your situation can sometimes be confusing at best. Just do a search on the internet for personal budgeting software, and you’ll get millions of hits.
Unfortunately, many of the reviews that you will see, are affiliates of the software vendor, who receive a commission if you purchase the software from their web site. Their “reviews” tend to be extremely biased and sometimes are nothing more than a “canned” advertisement prepared by the software vendor.
The bottom line is, the personal budget software program that you buy, must do the job that you want done. So, the first thing that you need to do is to prepare a list of your requirements. The areas that must be considered are income, expenses, and investments.
Some personal budget software programs will allow you to print checks and even track your investments as well as fixed assets. There is no one size fits all program. Also, don’t get one that has a steep learning curve that will eventually cause you to stop using it.
The Benefits of Personal Budget Software
Practically anyone who can create a spreadsheet in Excel can set up a worksheet to help you take care of an income and expense budget. However, that usually isn’t enough. A good personal budget software program will give you the ability to set up alerts and reminders.
Meeting all of your deadlines, i.e., payment due dates, can have a significant impact on your credit score and finances in general. This is one area that can have cost saving benefits.
A valuable feature of a good personal budget software program, are the custom reports that are available to you. For instance, do you want to know how much you spent on dining out for the year, or the amount of donations to church and charities? No problem, the program could also list those donations by charity name as well. This can be a big help when you’re preparing your taxes.
Important Tips in Finding the Best Personal Budget Software Program
- First and foremost, keep it simple! If you get a program that will require hours of training to set it up, you won’t stick with it.
- Prepare your list of needs and wants and try to find a personal budget software program that will handle them.
- Hopefully, the program will allow you some flexibility to configure various reports.
- If tracking your investments is important to you, you may want to find a program that can retrieve current quotes on stocks and mutual funds. It may cost you a little more, but could be a tremendous benefit.
Most importantly, select a personal budget software program that will help you to be successful in meeting your goals. If it can’t do that, it may not be the one that you should use.
Before you spend your hard earned money, exercise due diligence by checking out the software developer and/or company. You can usually find a forum where you can find some honest opinions by those that have used the program. A good indication is how the company handles reported issues or complaints.
Don’t part with your cash to buy a personal budget software program until you’re completely satisfied it will do the job.
Gust Lenglet is the CEO of HBS Financial Group, Ltd., an accounting & tax preparation firm in Maryland. He has more than 25 years of experience in the banking and financial industry. Gust started his career as a loan officer at a major national bank, and then moved on to become controller of a major law firm. In recent years, he has written many financial articles that have been published on Ezine Articles and many websites.