Creating a budget is the best way to take control of your finances. A budget allows you to review your income and expenses, plan ahead, and review progress toward your financial plans and goals. However, creating a budget isn’t always fun or easy: it can require a lot of data entry, take a lot of time, and require a lot of tracking for every transaction.

At the most basic level, creating a budget simply means keeping track of what you have and what you’ve spent while planning ahead for what you will earn and spend in the future. Your budget may also include financial goals, like paying off a loan or debt or saving for travel or retirement.

Keeping a budget means entering every paycheck and every transaction into your budget and periodically reconciling it with your bank account to make sure your numbers are accurate.

Many people choose to simply create a budget on a spreadsheet or use the famous ‘envelope’ method of setting aside cash for necessary expenses. However, a wide range of apps and tools make budgeting faster and easier, with less data entry, more automation, and more accurate tracking. Here are some of the best ways on how to create a budget.


Budgeting when you have multiple income streams or multiple currencies can be highly challenging. It can be difficult to pull together all the different pieces, get a big picture of your net worth and financial goals, plan expenses, track your cash flow, and make contingency plans.

PocketSmith is a flexible budgeting tool, so you can create and track daily, weekly, monthly budgets, and more. But PocketSmith is so much more than that: It’s a complete package that lets you manage and plan every aspect of your personal finances.

With PocketSmith, you can manage multiple sources of income, so you can manage your day job and your side gig, your Airbnb, or other sources of income. Flexible budgeting tools let you create budgets and schedule them in an intuitive calendar to see upcoming expenses. In addition, you can track accounts, assets, and liabilities in different countries with automatic daily currency conversion.

PocketSmith’s banking tools let you label, categorize, and annotate your transactions and find them with a powerful search. It will also prepare income & expense reports, cash flow statements and let you plan what-if scenarios for your future.

Even better, you can pick and choose the features you want to use, creating a custom mix of financial tools for your needs. It’s a great way to stay on track for your financial goals, whether you want to reduce debt, save money, or retire early.

PocketSmith connects with over 12,000 financial institutions, so you can get real-time information on your accounts. In addition, you can connect with Xero or easily import from Since 2008, PocketSmith has provided comprehensive financial planning tools people need while guarding their safety and privacy.

As a result, PocketSmith has been featured in Forbes, Lifehacker, TechCrunch, and Time and is one of the most popular and highly recommended apps for solopreneurs and people with complex financial goals like saving for a home while paying off student loans. It’s a flexible, powerful, safe way to take control of your financial life.


Tracking your transactions can be the most challenging part of staying on budget and managing your finances. HoneyMoney knows that you can’t meet any of your financial goals if you can’t track your expenses, so HoneyMoney starts by making recording your transactions fast, easy, and intuitive.

Their calendar-based tools make expense tracking simple and natural, combining transactions into related groupings to keep data entry simple and help you build good financial habits over time.

When creating a budget in HoneyMoney, you can simply use the same interface to enter your planned or forecasted expenses in the calendar format and confirm them when they are complete.

For people who like the ‘envelope method of budgeting, HoneyMoney lets you create virtual ‘envelopes,’ allocating your money for different planned expenses, financial goals, and savings.

In addition, HoneyMoney’s cash flow-based system lets you accurately plan and forecast into the future, predicting your financial future and keeping you in control. Simple, visual reporting tools make it easy to review expenses, make comparisons, predict future balances, and track your net worth.

HoneyMoney was launched in 2011 and is compatible with 172 global currencies. To date, it has tracked more than $4M in transactions and manages over $20M in active accounts. HoneyMoney was designed to help you save, plan, build good money habits, and meet your long-term financial goals.

Create a Budget


Moneyspire is a tool designed to inspire you to manage your money. It’s a personal finance tool with powerful features to grow with you over time if you start a small business or manage an organization. It helps track your accounts, expenses, credit cards, loans, savings, and more, with customizable reports and a helpful bill reminder.

Moneyspire gives you a powerful and intuitive account overview, allowing you to set up balances, transactions, and budgets and plan for upcoming expenses. Their bill reminder calendar means that you never pay a bill late again, and you can get real-time budget statistics and tracking.

For people with a side hustle or small business, the Pro version lets you create custom invoices and track them to manage cash flow.

Moneyspire is entirely customizable, so you can manage your money any way you want. It is compatible with Mac and Windows and supports all global regions and currencies. You can easily import your data from Mint, Quicken, or other financial software.

You can also automatically download transactions from your financial institutions or import and export OFX, CSV, and other file types. Moneyspire also gives you the added security of choosing whether or not you want to put your data online – you can use all its features and capabilities offline without sharing your data.

Or choose the online version and use the cloud to sync your financial data in real-time, sharing it with your spouse, business partner, or team members.

Moneyspire protects your data with military-grade encryption and is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs who want to manage a business while keeping their personal and business finances separate. Over time, business owners may want to upgrade to the Pro version and add more powerful business finance tools.


If you want to budget without … well … budgeting, Charlie is the financial planning app for you. The intuitive, gamified interface lets you pay off debt faster or save for financial goals by automating small, achievable amounts that make a huge difference over time.

Charlie has visual tools and a fun approach that helps you manage debt and boost your bank account without the slow process of entering a lot of data and tracking a lot of expenses.

Charlie works by connecting with your debt accounts and your bank account. Then Charlie uses AI to analyze your transactions and crunch the numbers. It notifies you of late payments, interest increases, or potential unwanted transactions, helping you use your money more wisely.

Charlie enables you to prioritize debt, determining what to pay off first. The most fun part of Charlie is that it allows you to create simple rules that automate your savings or debt reduction.

For example, you can create a rule that you pay $1 extra on your credit card debt for every cup of coffee you buy, or save a percentage of every paycheck, or round up every purchase of gasoline to the nearest dollar and save the change.

Charlie doesn’t make you feel guilty for your spending habits – it simply makes it easier for you to save more or pay off debt faster with the spending habits you have. And Charlie celebrates all your financial milestones with you along the way, with a wide range of trophies and achievements to unlock.

Charlie has been featured in TechCrunch, HuffPost, The New York Times, Forbes, Fox Business, US News & World Report, and more.  It’s a financial planning app for people who don’t like financial planning.

Using these tools to create a budget, manage your finances, and plan for the future is a much better solution than doing it yourself. Even when you use professional tools like Quicken, it can be hard to stay on top of all the transactions and get meaningful reports about your goals and progress.

Professional accounting software can help you budget, but it isn’t always designed to help you pay off debt, save for the future, and manage your personal finances.


Our favorite budgeting tools are designed to take the pain and difficulty out of creating a budget and help you manage multiple currencies or income streams, reduce your debt, save money, and increase your net worth.

If you are going to take the time to make a budget, do it right and use a more powerful, flexible, robust tool that helps you make smarter financial decisions every day.

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