Dealing with finances can be difficult, and I’m always looking for tricks and tools to save money and make finances just a little bit easier! In this post, I’m sharing some online tools I currently use for budgeting and saving money.
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Mint is the tool I use to track my spending on a regular basis. Connected to both my bank account and my credit card, it allows me to track all of my purchases in one place. It also reminds me when my bills are due, and shows me which ones have and have not been paid. One of my favorite features is that I can quickly see a breakdown of my spending for each category and whether or not I have met my budget goals.
Ebates is a site I have been using for years that I would 100% recommend to anyone! Essentially whenever you’re going to buy something online you enter the site through Ebates, and you’ll get a certain percent cash back depending on the store. Some of the cash back percentages are quite generous. I love it even more now that I have the Chrome extension because I don’t have to remember to go through the Ebates site – I can add the cash back with just one click! You aren’t going to get rich off Ebates, but it’s a great way to get a little cash back on the money you’ll be spending either way.
Ibotta is the perfect app for anyone who likes the idea of saving money on groceries with coupons, but who doesn’t actually have any interest in seeking out coupons for groceries. Ibotta is an app that offers cash back on items you would normally buy at the grocery store. The items that currently have cash back offers change regularly. I check Ibotta after every grocery trip, and always manage to get cash back on something!
Like Ebates, Honey is a great way to save some money when it comes to online purchases. Honey is a Chrome extension that, before you pay for your online purchase, will enter any coupon codes it can find to see which ones work. More often than not I’ve been able to save a bit of money by doing this.
This suggestion is specifically for other bloggers or online business owners. As I talked about in this blog post, QuickBooks Self-Employed is the tool I use to manage my blog finances. My QuickBooks account is connected to my blog bank account and PayPal account, so it helps me to categorize each transaction and logs them as either a business expense or business income. That way, at the end of the year, I use QuickBooks, in conjunction with TurboTax Self-Employed, to make filing my taxes super easy.
I was able to snag a free subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed when I used TurboTax Self-Employed to file my taxes, so hopefully, they run a similar deal each year. If not, this is still a tool I would happily pay for!
A spreadsheet might seem a bit old school compared to the other tools on this list, but it’s still one I rely on monthly to manage my budget. In my spreadsheet, I have a list of all my expenses. I start with fixed expenses, such as housing, insurance, internet, car payment, etc. Then I move onto variable expenses such as groceries, eating out, gas, etc. I have these expenses each month, but the numbers change from month to month. In the first column, I list my ideal budget. This is what I aim to spend on each category each month. Following that column, I have an additional column for each month. This is where I plug in what I actually spent that month so I can see how well I stuck to my budget.
I like making this comparison each month because eventually, I may start to notice a pattern and realize that I have either over or underestimated a category in my budget and need to play with the numbers a bit.
I find having this spreadsheet really beneficial because it forces me to stay accountable and recognize if I’m spending more than I should be.