Guest Blog: Free Budgeting Tools to Help Plan for Your Home Improvement

Jul 11, 2018by Jenny Zhu
When budgeting is mentioned, audible sighs can be heard throughout the room. Tracking your expenses can be a grueling task, and it’s nobody’s favorite task on their list of things to do. It can take weeks or months to build your income, and a few purchases to get you off track again.

Budgeting for home improvement

The day is yet to come when money grows on trees, so in the meantime, you’ll have to turn your attention to monitoring what you’ve got. It’s time to get a financial plan in check! With expensive repairs, new plumbing fixtures and other home improvement to-dos on your list, thankfully, there’s a list of tools and resources to keep you on top of your finances and commit to a budget. Continue reading for the best budgeting tools to help plan for your home improvement this year.
If you’ve exhausted all of the traditional budgeting tools like notebooks and planners, you may want to explore a smartphone-based budgeting solution. Whether you have a six figure salary or you’re living paycheck to paycheck, Mint is a budgeting app that help you manage your finances in one place. Based on your spending, Mint gives you suggestions on how to budget, so you’re never in the dark with your financial situation.
In each category, you can see where you need to adjust your spending so you can meet your savings goals. Your bills and money are together in one place so you know what’s due, when it’s due, and what you’re able to pay. An additional feature on the app is the credit score tool, which can make or break big financial decisions. If you have a good credit score, you can save on insurance, credit cards, and loans. When it comes to home improvement, understanding your credit score and the benefits it can reap will save you money in the long run. If you want the best loan you can get, Mint will help you find one.
With PocketGuard, you can compare your current month’s spending to your average, track your change in net worth, and recurring bills like subscriptions. Similar to Mint, it can connect you to all your financial accounts in one place, categorize your finances, and give you suggestions on how to budget. However, it’s unique in that it gives you suggestions on how to actively lower your bills and find savings. All you have to do is tap the “Lower your bills” button from the overview section and see how you can pay less for certain services. When you’re renovating your home on a budget, you want to spend smartly and get that bang for your buck. PocketGuard will give you alternative options for the same product.
It acts as a virtual pocket so you can see how much cash you have in every category at all times, how much debt you have, and your spending habits. In addition, the app uses bank level-SSL encryption for maximum security.
Personal Capital
Personal Capital focuses on Investing. Rather than structuring the functions around budgeting and saving tactics, it strives to maximize your investing, and saving for retirement. With home improvement, the decisions you make are a life investment. Personal Capital has the tools to analyze your investments, and let you know if you’re on the right track. You can discover hidden fees, projected investment fees, investment returns, and more. The ability to analyze your holdings by asset category allows you to organize your investments, and the socially responsible strategy allows users to build portfolios that align with their environmental governance values. If you’re looking for more of a hands approach to financial assistance, Personal Capital provides you with a paid financial advisory service that will keep things transparent.
Rather than tracking your spending after it’s all said and done, YNAB helps you lay out a financial plan ahead of time. If you want to effectively direct your resources months prior to your home improvement project, this is an excellent solution. When you first get a paycheck, it can be easy to get carried away before it’s too late to backtrack. YNAB helps you answer the question, “What should this money do before i’m paid again?” and stop relying on the anticipation of your next paycheck. It focuses on the money you currently have in your account, rather than forecasting the future like Mint. If you want to install new flooring in your house, but you’re not sure if it’s in your remodeling budget, you can utilize the “Target Category Balance By Date” option to calculate how much you need to save each month to meet that goal. If you want to save a couple thousand dollars for a new carpet next season, YNAB will tell you how much to allocate out of your budget to reach that goal. The “Monthly Funding Goal” helps you decide how much you need to set aside from your paycheck to invest in valuable things.
In order to create the space of your dreams with a financially sound approach, these budgeting tools will ensure that you’re allocating your resources in a way that fits your project. Managing your finances doesn’t have to be a nightmare with the proper insight. These tools aren’t mutually exclusive either, so don’t limit yourself on downloading multiple and using their specialties for different purposes.

About the Author:

Guest blogger kelsey taylorKelsey Taylor is a creative writer and lover of all things digital media. She's a poet, educator, and regular contributor to TrustRadius where she continues to write about software and tips for B2B companies.

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