We are increasingly less reliant on paper or metal money, something we can touch and feel the weight of, and instead we keep our savings on credit and debit cards, and pay with electronic money. This, together with the modern pace of life and many things we have to keep in mind, makes spending more than you can afford easier than ever. Which means that unless you're an accountant, managing your personal budget, or that of your family, might be a task that's just too hard to handle.
Still, the digital world is full of programs designed to handle things that are “just too hard”. There is actually a huge library of budget-related applications for personal use on various platforms, and most of them are not so expensive as you might think. They are also often surprisingly simple to learn and easy to use.
Windows OS Applications
For Windows users I would recommend these applications: Microsoft Money, Budget Planner, and AceMoney. Designed for the same purpose, they have a lot in common; but they're different enough to warrant some explanation.
Microsoft Money allows you to manage your budget both online and offline (with slight changes in the number of available features), and it also gives you the ability to make online payments, control your bank accounts, and do many other things. Unfortunately, it may also feel a bit too distracting and overwhelming for a novice user.
Budget Planner is especially good in terms of visualization: it can represent your budget as a diagram, along with your incomes and expenses. It has a simple look and is very easy to pick up and use. It can be recommended for beginners.
AceMoney doesn't restrict you to one account, you can manage several separate budgets at once. It feels like something between the previous two: it has a lot of functions, but still packs a nice and simple interface. It can do a lot of calculations automatically, but it only saves reports in one format - AMJ, with no possibility of changing this.
Budget managers are indispensable apps for those who want to keep track of their income and expenses trying to save some money. Most of these applications are very similar, so you should pay attention to even the smallest differences between them; only then you'll find one that really suits you and is really worth spending your money on.
Picture credit: wisepropertysolutions.com.