How to Choose a Budget Planner
Using an established budget planner can make the work of creating a budget easier – as long as it fits your style. There are also many resources out there, but when you know the basics of budgeting, you could make a budget by yourself with just a pen, paper, and calculator. You could use a budget maker framework like zero based budgeting, the 50 30 20 rule, or kakeibo. You could also consider budgeting apps such as YNAB, Mint budget, Goodbudget, and Mvelopes.
If you’re not ready for a full-blown budget, start with a simple, alternative way to budget that keeps your spending below your income. For an in-depth guide that you can download, our 7 Steps to Building a Household Budget is available and completely free. Its step-by-step process with comprehensive budgeting worksheets helps ensure you don’t miss anything important. We also have an interactive, free Excel Budget Spreadsheet that you can download and customize as you like for your personal budget. It can be used as a budgeting template, it has a budgeting calculator built in to do the math for you, and it provides helpful suggestions and guidance along the way. If you’re a post-secondary student, there’s even a special version for you: the Intelligent Canadian Student Budget Calculator. Our Excel Budget Planner was so popular that it’s the basis of the online budget planner the Government of Canada created.
Any of the budgeting tools above could help you; it’s also possible that none of them will. When choosing a budget planner, examine the pros and cons of each option and focus on the ones that cover what’s most important to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different budget management styles until you figure out what works best for your budget. If you’d like to get more interactive or one-on-one support with making a budget, consider joining one of our free webinars for budgeting tips or giving us a call at 1-888-527-8999.