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Money is precious and it’s always good to find a way to make it go further. We’ve found some really helpful financial tools (from the US and the UK) for planning your spending and tracking where your money is going, which can really help to plan for the future.

1. Budget templates for Excel

The best way to stay on top of your spending and savings is budgeting. Just about everyone needs to stick to some sort of budget and there is more than one way to go about it.

If you’re a fan of the Excel spreadsheet, you might find the Microsoft Office budget templates useful. You’ll find templates for daily budgets, weekly budgets, monthly budgets, family budgets and you’ll even find a budget template for a wedding or gardening!

2. Online Budget planner

If you would prefer a budget planner that allows you to type in your monthly income and expenses and that does the sums for you, you might like to try an interactive online budget planner.

This budget calculator from CNN is pretty simple to use.

3. Take-home pay

To work out an accurate budget, you’ll need to know your income after tax. There’s a really handy website that lets you work out what you earn after tax – whether you are paid by the hour, the week or the month. This salary calculator will tell you what you can expect to take home after tax or other deductions.

4. Retirement calculator

As life expectancy increases, it looks like many of us will be working longer to pay our way when we’re older. People are being advised to start planning for retirement at a younger age.

This retirement calculator comes from the financial news provider Bloomberg.com. Simply enter the number of years until you retire and how much you would like to live on when you retire and let the calculator tell you what to expect.

5. Debt calculator

Many people have multiple debts these days. Factoring debt repayments (like a mortgage, loan or credit card) into our monthly budgets is simply a part of life. If you are in the UK you can use this debt consolidation calculator to work out whether consolidating your debts might be a good idea.

These are our ‘five useful financial tools’. If you’ve found any tools that you’d like to share, please leave a comment!

Guest post written by Melanie Taylor, a financial expert from Think Money.
 

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