Good Morning Everyone.  Hopefully we all had a nice weekend and the loss of one hour as we moved our clocks ahead for Daylight Savings time didn’t affect us too much.  When we think about it there is actually a lot we can do in one hour, we can clean our apartment, we can go grocery shopping, we can start or finish reading a book, and we can also start planning our budget.

Why Planning Your Budget is Important

Very often college students and young adults don’t feel the need to plan a budget because usually we don’t have a very high income.  However the exact opposite is true.  If we don’t have a high income then we definitely have to plan our budget because we have to be very careful when and how we spend our money since there is not a lot of money to go around.

Planning and Tracking our personal budget teaches us financial responsibility, financial independence, and also helps make sure that our bills are always paid on time.  And who knows, maybe we might even free up some additional cash flow.

Online Budgeting Tools to Help You Plan Your Budget:

Mint – This may be one of the best known and most widely used online budgeting tools.  Mint is user friendly and it’s very easy to get started.  All we have to do is visit Mint’s website upload our account information from our financial institution’s online banking, set our goals, and create our budget.  Mint sends us weekly updates on our spending habits and suggests different financial products and services that may best suit our individual needs. Mint also notifies us when our bank account balances get low and advises us when we have a bill coming due.

Adaptu – This is so much more than just an online budgeting tool. Adaptu helps clients plan our budget and achieve our financial goals. Adaptu is a community that offers expert advice as well as the opportunity to ask their experts questions on a variety of topics such as Budget for Life, Love and Money, College Savings, 401k How To, and Debt Relief. Adaptu allows us to track our reward programs and monthly utilities as well as our bank accounts, credit accounts, and investments. Adaptu offers a mobile application which is available on iTunes.  It lets us keep track of our budget and manage our money on the go.

Optimize – This online budgeting tool allows individuals to instantly connect with Financial Advisors online when making financial decisions.  Users can get advice directly from financial professionals about their banking and investments as well as debt management.  We can optimize our investments, credit cards, and bank accounts to save money on fees and free up some cash flow.  The Optimize website has a blog which discusses many important stages of our financial lives as well as answers any financial questions that we may have.  Optimization includes seeing our finances in the form of pie charts and graphs.

Photo by JTbrennan