14 budget tools to help you manage your money

Money

Written by:

 

Budgeting is difficult and just plain stressful for most people. No one wants to sit down and track their income versus their debts, but it needs to be done!

 

Fortunately, there’s a ton of budgeting tools on the market that can help make the process easier for you. These tools will give you one convenient place to see all of your accounts and monitor your finances so you can reach your financial goals.

______________________

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals get started now.

______________________

 

 

 

 

But with all the options on the market, which budget tool is right for you?

 

We’ll go through the features you should look out for, and the top tools out there.

What’s a Budget Tool?

Budget tools are designed to help you organize and keep track of your money. You’ll be able to tell if you’re spending your money wisely, by recording how much you owe and how much you have coming in.

 

If you’ve looked into using a budget tool in the past, you’ll know that there are a ton of options! The only way you’re going to be able to find a budget tool that works for you is by looking into the different features they offer and determining what you need.

 

Information They’ll Need

Most budget tools will help you see all of your accounts in one place.  Budget tools will access and display the following:

1. Personal accounts such as:

  • Savings
  • Checking
  • CD’s

2. Your consumer debts, such as:

  • Loans
  • Credit lines
  • Credit cards

3. As well as retirement accounts:

  • 401K
  • IRAs
  • Investments

These budget tools are there to help you stay on track with all of your payments and save what you have left over! Have something you’re saving for?

 

Maybe you want to get together some extra money for:

  • Emergency funds
  • Rainy day funds
  • Down payments for a car
  • Down payments for your first house
  • Vacations

Your budget tool will help you accomplish the goals you’ve set for yourself by keeping you on track and alerting you if you go off track.

What Features do Budget Tools Have?

Each individual budgeting tool will offer its own features, and of course, some will have more than others. Plus, some will have options for investing your money. It really comes down to determining your needs, so let’s explore the features you’ll come across when researching budget tools.

1. Bank Syncing

This allows you to see all of your accounts in one place so you can stay on top of your finances.

2. On the Go

This will allow you to see real-time info from any device, at any time. With this feature, you’ll be able to see all of your account balances, bills and credit score in one place, allowing you to know where you stand and how and where you can improve.

3. Debt Paydown

This feature will allow you to learn how to get out of debt and even better … stay out of debt by providing suggestions and giving advice.

4. Goal Tracking

This feature allows you to track your progress when creating a goal like:

  • Purchasing a big-ticket item
  • Going out on vacation
  • Giving a down payment on a house or car
  • Repairing your car

Most of these budgeting tools will help you keep track of what you’ve saved for a specific goal of yours and how much is left to go.

5. Reporting

Most budgeting tools will allow you to see reports in form of charts and graphs, making it easy for you to understand your trends. Each individual tool will have its own reports, but in general, most of them show you your spending trends and goal progress.

6. Personal Support

Some budgeting tools offer you additional support to assure that you are getting the most out of their budgeting tool. Their goal is to help you have success at budgeting, so they may offer additional support like workshops.

7. Create a Monthly Budget

Each month is different, so with most of these tools, you will have the ability to create your monthly budget and make as many changes as needed to satisfy your financial needs and accomplish your goals. Some of these budgeting tools will require that you give every dollar a job, in other words, a zero balance budget. This means that no money should be left over, and everything has to have a purpose in your budget.

8. Add and split transactions

Some of these budgeting apps will allow you to divide your transactions into more than one category. This way you can separate your groceries from your personal items, as well as any other categories you may need to separate your transactions in.

9. Track bills

Some of these budgeting tools will even help you with your bills. They will be organized in one place and better yet, it will help you stay on top of them.

 

They help you track your bills with:

  • Bill reminders
  • Bills due alerts
  • Low funds alert
  • Unusual spending alert
  • Rate changes
  • Large purchases

The cool thing about this type of feature is that you’ll receive reminders to make sure you don’t forget to make your payments on time. Staying on top of your payments play a big factor in budgeting correctly, and maintaining your credit score.

10. Free credit score

Another cool feature that some of these budgeting tools offer is the ability to check your credit score at any time, at no cost to you. This comes in handy since you’ll have the ability to know if you qualify for certain products like credit cards, loans and insurance. Plus, you’ll receive alerts when your credit score changes.

11. Alerts and advice

Some budgeting tools will alert you when important changes are made:

  • You’re being charged a fee
  • You’re going over budget
  • Any unusual or suspicious activity is seen
  • When your payments are due

12. Easy and Convenient Categorization

In order to create a successful budget, you need to be able to categorize your spending well. Doing this will make it easy for you to go through your spending and identify trends. Some of these budgeting tools will help you break your spending into multiple categories so it’s easier for you to track and adjust.

13. Investment Tracking

This is not a feature that all budgeting tools offer, but it’s a really good one to have. With this feature, you’ll be given advice and tips on investing. Investing wisely will help you a lot in the future, especially when it comes to retirement. So it’s something you’ll want to start thinking about early on.

Some things that they will help you track are:

  • 401(k)
  • IRAs
  • Mutual funds
  • Brokerage accounts

14. Security

Most of these budgeting tools are also looking to make sure that they’re constantly improving their security measures.

15. Double Entry

This means that every transaction needs to have a debit on one account and a credit on another one.

16. Checkbook Style Register

The appearance will be like doing a manual checkbook.

17. Account Reconciliation

This will allow you to compare transactions entered in an account against your bank statements.

14 Budget Tools

1. YNAB (You Need a Budget)

  • Price: 34-day free trial. After the free trial, you can either choose to pay $6.99 a month or subscribe to their yearly plan for $83.99.
  • Automatic Syncing: No
  • Investment Planning Options: No

Features:

  • Bank syncing
  • On-the-go
  • Debt paydown
  • Goal tracking
  • Reporting bliss
  • Personal support

YNAB is one of the most well-known budgeting tools out there. And based on reviews, it seems to be a very easy application to use. YNAB is designed to encourage you to live off of your last month’s income. So, in other words, you will base your budget on the money that’s already in your account, not on any future income. Unexpected things happen all the time and can derail your future plans. So it’s best to base your budget solely on the money you know you have and not the money you expect to come in.

 

YNAB’s philosophy is to assign a job to every dollar, helping you to escape from living paycheck to paycheck. This budgeting tool is based on budgeting to a zero balance. This means that you have to give every dollar a purpose and end up with a zero balance at the end of the month.

 

YNAB does not have the ability to integrate with your bank accounts, so you’ll need to manually add your transactions from your different accounts. For some people, this is is a plus as they’re unsure of entering their personal account details into a third-party program. Either way, this will require more work on your end to enter everything correctly.

 

This budget tool is compatible with:

  • Browser-based
  • Apps in IOS
  • Android
  • Amazon Alexa devices

2. Personal Capital

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes

Personal Capital is a free budgeting tool for those who would like to track their budget and investments at the same time. This budgeting tool has been around since 2009, so it’s had some time to work out the bugs. Personal Capital allows you to link your banking accounts and retirement accounts, as well as your investment accounts.  You can choose to either manually input your transactions to this budgeting tool or have it linked automatically. Personal Capital separates your spending into categories, making it easier for you to see where your money is going.

 

This budgeting tool tracks many different things, such as:

  • Investments
  • Retirement
  • Returns
  • Asset allocation
  • Dividends
  • Investment costs

All of this can be seen right from the dashboard of this budgeting tool. Personal Capital is ideal for people that want to get the most out of their investments. It will provide great information in regards to different investment accounts.

 

It will help you analyze your:

  • Fees – allowing you to know if you are paying to much
  • Stocks –  advise if you need to sell some stocks
  • Invest – advise if you need to invest in other assets to be more diversified.

Personal Capital allows you to have all of your accounts in one place, but they are more focused on investment. If you’re looking to make your money grow, this is definitely a tool you should consider.

 

This is a free budget tool and it’s compatible with:

  • Browsers
  • Apps for iOS
  • Android devices

3. EveryDollar

  • Price: Free & Paid Options
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes

Features:

  • Create monthly budgets
  • Add and split transactions
  • Track your spending habits
  • Track Dave’s Baby Steps
  • Make funds available to meet your savings goals
  • Connects you with local experts

EveryDollar is a budgeting app created by Dave Ramsey to help make the budgeting process easier. EveryDollar was founded in 2015, so it’s relatively new compared to some of the other budgeting tools out there.  EveryDollar’s software aims to give every dollar a purpose. By knowing where every dollar is going, you’ll have complete control over your finances. This budgeting tool follows “Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps Journey” and will keep you updated on where you’re at in the journey.

 

It’s designed to keep you on track and walk you through how to:

  • Save $1,000 emergency fund
  • Pay off all debt using the snowball method
  • Save 3–6 months’ expenses
  • Save 15% for retirement
  • Start a college fund for the kids
  • Pay off the house
  • Build wealth and give

Currently, the software is available for residents of the U.S. and Canada.

 

EveryDollar offers two different versions:

  • They offer a free version in which you will need to manually update all of your accounts but they will allow you to see all of the graphs and charts that will illustrate all of your spending.
  • They also offer a paid version in which you will have a 15-day free trial and then you will pay $99 as an annual fee. This version will allow you to sync all of your bank accounts and update all of your transactions automatically for you.

4. Mint

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes

Features:

  • All in one
  • Track bills
  • Easy budgeting
  • Free credit score
  • Alerts and advice
  • Simple categorization
  • Investment tracking
  • Security

Mint is a budget tool owned by Quicken that was founded in 2006 and was acquired by Intuit in 2009. This tool will allow you to link your bank accounts, credit card statements and even investment accounts with the purpose of helping you stay on track with all of your payments and save at the same time. Plus, you’ll be able to set goals and turn on alerts for spending trends & to avoid missing payments.

 

Mint also provides great information on spending, budgets and even trends. As soon as you link your bank accounts, Mint will start categorizing your spending, allowing you to see an overview of your finances in just a matter of minutes.

 

Mint has great features that allow them to track:

  • Your income
  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Net worth

This budget tool is free of cost and comes with a credit monitoring tool.

 

Mint is compatible with:

  • IOS
  • Android

5. Quicken

  • Price: Free & Paid Options
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes

Features:

  • Manage spending
  • Create a budget
  • View and pay bills
  • Plan for retirement
  • Track investments
  • Manage small businesses
  • Property management

Quicken will connect to the financial institutions that hold your accounts, and will automatically sync the information as soon as you log in to the budgeting tool.

 

Quicken works better on its PC version than it does on the Mac version, so if you’re a Mac lover, this might be a little bump on the road.

6. PearBudget

  • Price: Free & Paid Options
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: No

PearBudget is a great web application that began as an Excel worksheet that proved to be very useful. PearBudget is simple to set up, and based on reviews, it seems like they have an array of features. Easy to use, you’ll be able to make adjustments to your budget with PearBudget. You can download The Original PearBudget Spreadsheet without entering any personal information.

 

If you’d like to try the online version, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial, and the cost is just $4.95 a month from there.

7. GnuCash

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: No
  • Investment Planning Options: No

Features:

  • Double entry
  • Checkbook style register
  • Account reconciliation
  • Reports and graphs
  • Scheduled transactions
  • Categorize income and expenses
  • Stock and mutual fund portfolios

Founded in 1988, this budgeting tool is free and helps you keep track of your income and spending. It’s based on double-entry bookkeeping, and it is suitable for both home and small business use. You can track your income and spending, as well as bank, investment and retirement accounts all in one place. Users can input account details manually or download and import OFX files provided by most banks.

 

While it doesn’t have the best appearance, it is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows
  • OSX
  • Linux

8. PocketGuard  

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: No
  • Features: PocketGuard is a free budgeting tool with one purpose: to base your budget on how much you actually have to spend.

The way it works is that it crunches the numbers and determines how much you have left to spend on:

  • Bills
  • Spending
  • Savings
  • Financial goals

It breaks down the money you have left by each:

  • Day
  • Week
  • Month

You will be able to link your credit cards, checking accounts, savings accounts, investments accounts and loans all in one place. It will update and categorize your transactions, helping you understand where your money is going. It will automatically build a budget based on your specific financial situation. It will give you ways to save, too.

 

It is compatible with:

  • iOS
  • Android

9. Prism

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: No

Prism is a free budgeting tool that allows you to see your account balances and bills on one platform. This tool will allow you to pay your bills directly from the app and even schedule payments for later. It will also keep you alerted when payments need to be made, helping you to avoid missing a payment.

 

This budget tool is compatible with:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows 8
  • Kindle

10. Albert

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: No

Features:

  • Alerts
  • Overpayment protection
  • Automatic saving
  • Smart investing

Albert is a budgeting tool and a digital financial assistant all in one. You can actually ask questions to Albert as if you were speaking to a financial adviser in person. This free tool will build a unique plan based on your income, spending habits, bills, savings and goals. Albert keeps track of all of your accounts and provides easy-to-understand recommendations to help improve your financial health.

 

This budgeting tool is compatible with:

  • iOS

11. Mvelopes

  • Price: $4 – $59 per month
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: No

Features:

  • Connect unlimited accounts by syncing with your different financial institutions
  • Have access to real-time budgeting
  • Give every dollar a job
  • Financial trainer

This budgeting app brings the old envelope method to life in a digital way.

 

They offer three different options:

  • Basic Option – Free 30-day trial and then a $4 a month payment or a $40 a year payment
  • Plus Option – Free 30-day trial and then a $19 a month payment or a $190 a year payment
  • Complete Option – No free trial; you would have a $59 a month payment or a $549 a year payment.

This budget tool is compatible with:

  • Browser-based
  • iOS
  • Android

12. MoneyDance

  • Price: Free & Paid Options
  • Automatic Syncing: No
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes

Features:

  • Online banking
  • Summary
  • Graphs & reports
  • Account registers
  • Reminders
  • Mobile app
  • Investments

MoneyDance is a budgeting tool that has the aspect of a ledger, allowing you to add automatically recurring transactions. The MoneyDance dashboard will quickly summarize your financial situation, including assets, liabilities and your net worth. The budgeting tool creates charts and graphs to visually represent your spending and to project your finances into the future.

 

MoneyDance has a free trial that includes 100 manually entered transactions. Once you’ve exceeded the 100 manually entered transactions, there is a cost of $49.99. They also offer a 90-day, money-back guarantee if you are not happy with the budgeting tool.

 

This budget tool is compatible with:

  • Browser-based
  • iOS
  • Android

13. MoneyStrands

  • Price: Free
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes

Features:

  • Analysis of your expenses and cash flow
  • Creates a budget based on your financial situation
  • Help you stay on top of your financial goals
  • The calendar option will help you see when your income is going to get a hit or when something is going to change throughout the month.

Founded in 2004, MoneyStrands is a free budgeting app that allows you to manually enter your bank account information or link to your bank accounts.

 

It’s compatible with:

  • iOS
  • Android

14. Cinch

  • Price: $4.99 a month
  • Automatic Syncing: Yes
  • Investment Planning Options: Yes
  • Features: Cinch is another budget tool that likes to think of itself as your personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

This tool will require that you provide personal information like:

  • Bank account information
  • Your annual income
  • Your social security number

Again, if you’re hesitant to share sensitive information with an app, this might not be the best choice for you. If you do not provide this information, they will not be able to create a budget plan for you. They offer a 90-day free trial, and after that, it’s a $4.99 a month fee.

 

This budget tool is compatible with:

  • Browser-based
  • iOS & Android apps in production

Conclusion

When it comes to budget tools, there are a plethora of options out there! It all comes down to picking a tool with features that’ll benefit you and your financial plans the best. Make sure you look over all of your options and pick a budget tool that works with your current needs.

 

But the tools can’t do it all on their own! You need to be committed to your budget and keep track of your progress. Once you get the hang of it, we promise it’ll get a little easier.

 

Related:

This article
originally appeared on 
GetOutofDebt.com and was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.

 

I am all about frugal living. I live frugally. I blog about frugality. Frugal, I am thee.

 

I wanted to share some of the best frugal living tips I could put together. I got some help with this post. Since frugality takes so many different forms and since we all have such different living experiences, I asked many people for their best frugal living tips.

 

I was not disappointed! I got some fantastic suggestions. Some I already do. Some I plan on doing. Some are not at all applicable to my or my lifestyle but may help you.

 

I hope some of these frugal living tips help you be frugal, whether you choose to live frugally or you live a life of frugality out of necessity.

 

Living a frugal life is not only about not spending too much money, saving for retirement, stocking up an emergency fund or avoiding credit card debt. When you live a life of simplicity, you can spend time and money on what’s important to you. The best frugal living tips are the ones that work the best for you, the ones that will help you start living frugally and make your life easier.

 

Of course, if I can help you spend less money while you also work to make extra money, then you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of financial success. Being successful financially can give you options in life, and then you can also help others by giving and using your power (after all, money is power) to help others.

 

Jorge Villalba/istockphoto

 

Creating a budget that works and then STICKING TO IT is the best and biggest frugal tip anyone can give you. Creating a budget gives a structure to your spending, which allows you to spend on what you want and not spend on what you don’t want to spend on. That is the definition of living a frugal life.

 

Pexels.com

 

When you find a great deal, buy in bulk. If meat is on sale, have your butcher cut it up into smaller pieces and then wrap them separately. Label everything clearly! Buying large amounts of meat is usually cheaper than buying individually cut pieces.

 

Detlef Voigt / istockphoto

 

Cooking ahead for holidays and big meals will be a lot less stressful if you can freeze a lot ahead of time, and that will free you up for other things. Time is also money and being crunched for time also makes you spend more.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Reduce your shopping trips so that you spend less time in stores. The more time you spend in a store, the more likely you are to spend money. Make a shopping list of the main things you need so that you have a guide to help you stay on task.

 

 

depositphotos.com

 

Buy what’s on sale and then plan your meals around that. The number one way to save money at the grocery store? Plan your meals around what you buy, not the other way around.

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

We don’t eat out. We experiment at home! We don’t go to bakeries; we figure out something fun with the kids from home. You can make so many meals and treats at home with a little planning and creativity.

 

 

bhofack2/istockphoto

 

Keep your freezer stocked with meals, so you don’t need to get take out when you are stressed or overwhelmed. When you cook, then double the recipes so that you have food ready to eat. Soups freeze well and are great for this type of thing. This is particularly important before a major holiday (Pesach, anyone?) or if you are having a baby. Have freezer meals ready to go so you can save money on take-out.

 

 

Qwart / istockphoto

 

Keep frozen fruit and vegetables in your freezer so that you can make quick smoothies and vegetable dishes in a pinch. You can take the slightly browning fruit (from those bananas you bought on sale and that no one eats even though your kids told you that bananas are their absolute favorite food) and freeze them for really cheap snacks and smoothies.

 

 

Qwart/istockphoto

 

We don’t have cleaning help. We clean one floor together as a family every Sunday, and we often turn it into activities.

 

 

GeorgeRudy/istockphoto

 

Train your children from very young ages to do chores and household cleaning, according to their ability. Have a list of things that need to get done nightly, weekly and monthly. Make it a fun family activity you can do every night.

 

 

evgenyatamanenko

 

My kids wear really lovely hand-me-downs. You can trade with other families or shop at thrift stores to get nice clothes for you and your kids.

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

I decide before each season how much of each clothing item my kids need and only buy that amount (if some of it is from hand-me-downs, even better). Sales were causing me to overbuy until I set it up this way.

 

 

Andrii Shablovskyi / istockphoto

 

Choose the right place to live. We live in an area where families are happy with little, making it easy to live below our means and our kids to have fewer expectations. Choosing where you live is a key part of being content with your frugal life.

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Turn down the heating and put on a thick sweater. The house doesn’t need to be warm enough to walk around in a t-shirt and bare feet in the middle of winter.

 

 

Depositphotos

 

Automate everything: bills, savings, fun money, etc. Use the extra mental bandwidth to implement money-saving systems. When you automate, you don’t have to second tons of time thinking about money: living a frugal lifestyle does not mean that you are always concerned about money.

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Library card is like the biggest one; I don’t buy books anymore. If you decide to invest in a Kindle or other e-reader, you can also get tons of free e-books online.

 

I love using my library’s Libby App to get free books downloaded to my kindle no matter the time of day. Libraries also offer many other services. Some have games you can borrow, discounted passes to museums, and many other free or cheaper things. Get a library card!

 

 

Deposit Photos

 

Everything in the Amazon cart has to sit for 24 hours. Anywhere you shop online, keep your stuff in the cart for 24 hours before purchasing to reduce impulse spending. An extra perk of this trick is that companies will often send you a coupon code for items you left in your cart to entice you to buy.

 

 

Depositphotos

 

Avoid big name brands and look for value in products. Buy generic brands as a rule and only buy brand-name when you have a coupon or you are sure of its value.

 

 

asiseeit/istockphoto

 

Get freebies! Books, samples, baby gear. Get all the freebies you can. These freebies will help you spend less money on items you are not totally sure you want to buy yet. Especially with baby gear, this can save you a lot of money!

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Shop garage sales for old toys. Especially big outdoor toys or toys made of plastic like a plastic slide, a toy kitchen, riding toys, etc. These are easy to clean and hold up well, even if a few families use them. Garage sale shopping is a great way to get expensive toys for very cheap.

 

 

istockphoto/PaulMcKinnon

 

I don’t have a house phone. Since everyone has a cell phone, you don’t need a house phone. If you do need a phone for the house, get a cheap prepaid cellphone for emergencies.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Cut down on meat, chicken and fish in your diet. These are usually more expensive, and you can save money by buying healthy beans and grains instead.

 

 

Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

 

Buy a large freezer. Your freezer will pay for itself in six months or less, I promise you. If you have to, keep it in your patio, garage, anywhere you can get electricity and somewhat protect it from the elements. Mine is outside right now getting rained on, but it has a few garbage bags on it to protect the wires from getting wet.

 

 

Qwart/istockphoto

 

Be creative with what you find. For example, If you have a chest freezer, take the door off and an upright freezer, remove the door and turn it on its side. Drill some holes in the bottom, and fill it up with dirt. Now you have a raised garden bed that won’t kill your back. Of course, that only works if you find an old freezer, but you can go dumpster diving or drive around and see what is being given away for free.

 

 

Depositphotos

 

Do free fun things with your friends and kids. Good thing I have tons of ideas on how to have fun on a budget. I wrote about 45 free things to do with kids indoors and 9 fun things to do with kids at home. If you don’t have kids, you can still do free stuff at home instead of going out (and spending money!). You can have a board game night or even have a romantic date night at home.

 

 

franckreporter

 

Use money-saving apps. Spend some time to sign up for Rakuten (Ebates), Ibotta and use the cashback apps to save money on things you are already buying.

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

When you go shopping, go to the clearance aisle first. When you shop online, look in the clearance tab first. Never pay full price is a good rule to help you live a frugal life.

 

 

ake1150sb / istockphoto

 

Using a drying rack to hang your clothes will not only save you money on your electric bill but will also make your clothes last longer, and you will need new clothing less often.

 

 

buzbuzzer/istockphoto

 

Credit cards can be a useful tool, and some credit cards offer excellent cashback opportunities that you can use to get perks, free gift cards, or even use the cash back to pay your bills. (REMINDER: only use a credit card if you can afford to pay it off in full. Do not go into credit card debt just to get some perks).

 

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

I know this a long shot but if you don’t care about the newest and the best, try to find someone who either cares about the latest upgrade or try to find someone who constantly gets free upgrades. You can then get or buy their phone or tablet for cheap.

 

For example, my sister-in-law’s phone broke, and the sound does not work well. She was able to get a new one for free, and I took her old one. For the price of a pair of headphones, I have a perfectly good smartphone. Be creative in how you can do things like this.

 

Estradaanton / istockphoto

 

Some of these frugal living tips will be exactly what you need. Some will be so out of touch you will want to throw your device across the room. The point of these tips is not to assume that everyone will gain from them or that everyone will even save money by using them. The point is to help you realize the different ways you can start living your best frugal life.

 

 

subodhsathe/istockphoto

 

Living a frugal life means making do for what doesn’t matter. It means not filling your life with things that don’t matter. It means stripping down to the things that matter. It means not devoting time and money to things that don’t matter.

 

There is an inherent value in doing with less regardless of the amount of money you have. Even if you have a lot, there is value in doing with less, eschewing materialism, reducing your waste as much as possible, and leaving the smallest physical footprint in this world as possible.

 

There is something good about living a frugal life. Frugal living can be rewarding in many ways. There is something about doing with less, about trying to have less materialism in your life.

 

Phynart Studio/istockphoto

 

We also need to understand that saving money is a necessity in the world we live in. When you spend all your money on things that you don’t need or you spend your money because you are in the habit of spending, then you are giving up any financial freedom you may be able to have in your future.

 

Good money habits included cutting down on spending and making more money. You need to find places in your budget to cut down so you can save more money and be prepared. Be creative in where you save and work to find more places to save money without compromising on your happiness.

 

There was a time in my life when I was unemployed, and we (my husband and I) had very, very little money. It was a dark, depressing time. I was extremely hesitant to use credit cards or dip into savings because I had no idea if I would ever get another job or be able to pay it back. I had watched too many people sink deep into credit card debt, and I didn’t want that happening to me.

 

I was on a tiny, strict budget, and I really stuck to it. I sometimes look back and wonder how we managed to make it work, and I honestly don’t know. We had so little. Being frugal-not-by-choice is a terrible situation to be in.

 

From that moment onward, I decided that I would actively embrace frugal living whether I had to or not. I would make frugal living as a value that I espouse.

 

Read more:

 

This article
originally appeared on 
ADimeSaved.comand was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.

 

DepositPhotos.com

 

Featured Image Credit: Cn0ra / istockphoto.

AlertMe