Do you feel anxious or stressed when you think about money? Do you constantly try to think of new ways your family can save money? If so, you’re not alone. A recent study found that money is a daily worry for over nine million British adults, and around 50% of adults worry about money at least once a week.
So if you’re a parent and you want to improve your family finances, we’d like to help. We’ve trawled through some of the most popular budgeting tools in the UK, and we’ve compiled a list of the ones that we think are the most useful.
Here are four useful family budgeting tools you can use to get your finances in order.
1. Useful Family Budgeting Tools: Emma
Emma is a free app that analyses your bank and saving accounts so that you know exactly where your money goes every month. Emma is very easy to set up and navigate, so it is perfect for people who aren’t particularly tech-friendly. You can even get cashback and vouchers if you shop with certain retailers (such as Boots and B&Q), so this is a great way to reduce the amount you spend on food and household items.
There is also a Pro version of Emma that costs £59.99 per year that comes with a few extra features, but we think that the free model has more than enough features to help with family budgeting.
2. Money Dashboard
Money Dashboard is one of the most popular family budgeting tools, and it isn’t hard to see why. The app has lots of different features that allow you to assess your finances; there are customisable categories for different spending (for instance, you could create a category for your child’s upcoming birthday), and you can add multiple bank accounts to the dashboard. This is ideal for parents who both want to assess the budget and reduce their spending.
Plum is a great budgeting app that uses artificial intelligence (also known as AI) to create an affordable budget based on your current spending. The app also tells you if you are overpaying in certain areas (for instance, you may be spending too much on your monthly water bill). The basic version of Plum is free to use, but you can also use Plum Plus for £1 a month, which allows you to invest your money as well as budget.
4. A Spreadsheet
Finally you can use a simple spreadsheet to get your family finances in order. You don’t need to be an Excel pro to do this; you just need to download a free budget spreadsheet template, and then you can customise it to meet the needs of your family. Start by listing all of your income sources, and then write down your monthly expenses. Include both fixed costs (such as council tax) and variable costs (such as petrol), and then look to see if there are any areas you can save money. This is a simple way to get a good look at your family finances, and it is totally free!