How to Create an Online Budget

Track your spending habits with websites such as Mint.com.

Track your spending habits with websites such as Mint.com.

So, you need to budget your moolah. No sweat. It's just a few numbers. You don't even need an accountant to figure out the math for you. There are websites that allow you to create your own online budget and will even do the hard stuff like calculate interest in credit cards.

Step 1

Grab a pen and paper before you grab your laptop. Get to know how much money you're bringing in each month by recording all your household income, including you and your spouse's. Be sure to include any under the table income, such as freelance jobs and babysitting gigs.

Step 2

Create a separate list of bank accounts, credit companies, auto loans, school loans and other companies to whom you are in debt. Make sure you have account numbers readily available. Your online budget will keep a record of these lenders for you and will display how much you owe to each one.

Step 3

Surf the Internet for websites that allow you to create your own budget for free. Many websites, including Mint.com and Justthrive.com, will also give you tips and pointers on budgeting money and scraping together savings. They will also track where you spend the most money in a fiscal month.

Step 4

Create goals for yourself. Part of making a household budget is figuring out what debts to pay first. If you want to pay off your credit card in a year's time or take a large chunk out of your student loans, enter this goal in your online budget if the site allows.

Step 5

Track your progress every day. Most sites will send you weekly, if not daily, email updates.

About the Author

Sarah Brooks has been writing since 2008, contributing articles to various online publications. She previously served as a staff reporter for a daily newspaper in Amsterdam, N.Y. Brooks holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from SUNY Plattsburgh.

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