6 Most Important Financial Tools for Beginners

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Are you on the hunt for financial tools to help you manage your money?

If so, you’re in the right place! In this post, I’ll share my top 6 budgeting and money management tools to help you take control of your finances.

Money management doesn’t have to be hard. If you have the right tools and systems in place, you can *almost* put your finances on autopilot.

So if you’re struggling with organizing your finances and keep track of your money, keep reading! I’ll share my best recommendations for financial tools that you can use to manage your money.

6 Personal Financial Tools to Manage your Money

1. Budget Spreadsheet

Having a financial tool for budgeting is so important! A budget spreadsheet is the number one way that my husband and I are able to manage our finances. It’s honestly how we were able to pay off over $47,000 in debt in six months.

Even before we were married, we created a budget spreadsheet to help us plan out what our finances would look like once we combined them. 

The great thing about having a budget spreadsheet to manage your money is that you can access it from anywhere! You can budget from your computer, phone, or even a tablet and it will all sync together.

This is especially useful when you are working with your spouse to manage money. 

Having something that can be accessed on more than one device with real-time updates brings visibility to your finances that can help avoid conflicts about money later.

You don’t have to worry about creating your budget spreadsheet from scratch, though. I’ve actually created one that’s available for you to use.

budget spreadsheet

Not only does it include budgeting templates, but it includes a debt payoff tracker, savings tracker, expense tracker, and more!

The cool thing about this budgeting spreadsheet is that you can see where the majority of your spending is. This is important because you can make adjustments as necessary to get your spending and budget back under control.

You can grab your copy of my budgeting spreadsheets here.

2. Budget printables

Not everyone wants to manage their money digitally. I’ll admit that there is some satisfaction that comes from writing things down.

So if you’re one of those people who like to write things out, budget printables are the right tool for you.

Much like the budget spreadsheet, printable budgets help you plan out your spending and track your expenses throughout the month. The only difference is you’re grabbing pen and paper to do so.

Although I recommend having a budget meeting with your spouse (if you’re married), this can sometimes be forgotten when using a spreadsheet that’s shared. That’s because you can make updates without being together and having to talk about it.

Contrarily, when you have to write things down with a budget printable, you cannot avoid talking.

It’s reminiscent of when our grandparents would come to the kitchen table to balance the checkbook.

If you’re new to budget, I definitely recommend using printables in a budget binder to get in the habit of sitting down and looking over your finances. 

You can make budgeting with printables fun by using markers and stickers to highlight big wins, like paying off debt or meeting your savings goals! Having fun with it will make it something that you want to do and less of a chore.

If you’re the pen and paper kind of budgeter, I’ve created a whole suite of budgeting printables that you can use to help your manage your finances.

budget printables

These printables include everything in the spreadsheet with the addition of a 52-week savings challenge tracker.

Printable templates can be used over and over again by just print new versions of your budget each month.

You can check out my budget printables here!

3. Debt Payoff Calculator

When I was working to pay off my debt, I wish I had a debt payoff calculator like the ones that exist now.

Instead, I created an excel spreadsheet that calculated my estimated payoff date based on my payments.

Thankfully, today there are several debt payoff calculators available for free that take out that tedious (and complicated) work of creating your own template.

Debt payoff calculators come in handy because they show you exactly what you need to do to reach your payoff goals and they also serve as motivation.

Each time I was able to lower the amount of my debt, it motivated me to keep going. But, I wouldn’t have had that motivation if I didn’t maintain a debt payoff tracker.

I recommend using the free debt payoff tracker tool from Undebt.it. This website allows you to determine which debt payoff method is best for your situation and breaks down a plan to help you reach your goal.

Each time you make a payment, you can record it on the app and see your payoff plan update.

If you’re not interested in using an online app, you can always use the debt payoff tracker that’s included in my budget spreadsheet or printables!

4. Digital cash envelopes

Cash envelopes are a great way to help you stay within your budget. Traditional envelopes can be used to separate out cash that’s designated for different line items in your budget.

For instance, if your budget for groceries is $200, you would put $200 in an envelope labeled “Groceries.”

Well, the truth of the matter is that not many people carry cash anymore.

So how can you leverage the cash envelope system without cash? You make it digital.

Qube Money is a new banking app that allows you to use a digital cash envelope system to manage your money.

It literally took the concept of physical cash envelopes and made it accessible to the modern-day, debit card-carrying person.

What I like about Qube is that you have to be proactive about allocating money to your envelopes. If you aren’t, you won’t be able to make a purchase.

It’s the same effect as your envelope being empty.

Because it’s digital, you can also manage your money with your spouse because you will both be connected to the app.

It’s definitely one of my most recommended money management tools.

5. Automatic bill pay services

The next tool that I recommend is something that you can use for free with your bank. That is automatic bill pay.

A huge part of managing money is making sure that you pay your bills on time. 

To ensure that you don’t lapse on your payments, you can set up automatic payments through your bank or service provider.

Each month, your bill payment amount will be automatically paid from your bank account. It will literally be out of sight and out of mind for you, making it one less thing to remember.

Automatic payments were a game-changer for me when I first started taking control of my finances. I didn’t have to worry about logging in to multiple accounts to pay bills, hoping that I didn’t forget one.

It’s super easy to set up and makes managing your money so much easier.

Nonetheless, if it brings you comfort, you can always check to ensure that your payment went through and mark it off on your bill tracker!

6. Automatic savings transfer service

Saving is important. Especially when you’re putting money in an emergency fund.

Although it’s important to save, it can be difficult. That’s where leveraging an automatic savings transfer tool is important.

You can set up automatic savings transfers within your bank account. These transfers can be scheduled for a specific day each month to coincide with when you get paid.

If you struggle with seeing money leave your bank account, you can also set up automatic deposits to your savings account with your employer. Just specify how much of your paycheck you would like to send to your savings account.

Levering this free tool with your online bank can help you reach your savings goals on autopilot!

Summary of Best Financial Tools to Use

As you can see, there are so many financial tools available to you that will help make managing your money easier.

Take advantage of each of the tools that I mentioned above so that you can take control of your finances today!

Also, check out these additional tools and resources that I recommend for your money!

What financial tools and apps do you use to manage your money?

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