Today’s topic is “How To Create A Budget.” And I will cover the 3 best software tools for creating a budget. Although, I no longer find it necessary to create a budget for myself, I have tried 4 different ways to create a budget in the past:

  1. Pen, Pad and Calculator
  2. Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet 
  4. or YNAB

If you’re going to use a pen, pad and calculator – or if you’re going to use a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excelor Google sheet, you’ll list all of your income and expenses in order to create a budget. 

Another option you have for creating a budget is to use is a free, web-based personal financial management service for both the US and Canada.

I find that using to create a budget is a lot quicker and a lot easierthan creating a budget with a pen, pad and calculator or even a spreadsheet. And considering that is a free resource, it’s pointless to use a pen, pad and calculator or a spreadsheet instead of

Another option you have for creating a budget is to use or YNAB. YNAB is a personal budgeting program that is based on the envelope method – or as I like to call it the “canister-method.”  Unlike, YouNeedABudget or YNAB is not a free personal finance platform. It’ll cost you about $84 a year. YNAB does offer a  FREE 34 day trial for you to give the service a test -run to find out if it suits your needs or not.

So which is better Mint or YNAB? It really depends on the person. If you’re not on a very tight budget or if you’re already a very disciplined spender and saver and you’re just looking for a way to track and measure a handful of your main expenses, then will probably meet your needs.

However, if you’re living on a very tight budget or you have a history of having difficulty budgeting your money, then YNAB may be the better choice of the two. Despite the fact that it’s not a  free service.

That’s because YNAB’s budgeting method seems to be more pro-active than Mint’s passive method of budgeting. YNAB’s budgeting method forces you to account for every dollar. This does require more time and effort on your part. But that’s a good thing because it’ll help you to become more conscious about your spending habits and a more disciplined saver.

I personally prefer Mint. Not because of it’s budgeting features. But because Mint’s platform has several features that help me track and measure my investments. Mint also has a feature that helps me to effectively set and accomplish financial goals.

Click here to read “Should you budget or not budget.”