Struggling with budgeting? PearBudget is a website that aims to be the simplest budgeting tool on the internet. Here’s how it works:
You land on the PearBudget home page, and there’s a big green button that says “get started now.” So you click on it, and you’re taken into a setup wizard that holds your hand and walks you, step-by-step, through setting up a budget that’s customized for you and your family. It factors in things like “that occasional membership fee that you don’t normally think about” all the way down to mundane everyday things like groceries.
So, then you have a rough budget, which you’ll be able to tweak over time as you need to. And you can begin tracking your expenses.
PearBudget makes it really easy to enter your expenses. “But wait,” you say, “I’m not comfortable with a website having my bank login information!”
Good news: PearBudget never gets your bank information. With PearBudget, you enter your receipts in manually, so you can make sure your information is correct — often, when automatic budgeting tools do the work for you, they put things in the wrong category 40–60% of the time.
PearBudget makes it easy to do it right, though, and it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes a week to stay on top of your finances. They make it simple.
Since PearBudget is online, your budget is safe, even if your computer crashes. In fact, one PearBudget user’s house burned down, but because she’d used PearBudget, her info was safe on the PearBudget server, and she could figure out what she’d lost for insurance purposes.
Also, PearBudget is optimized for iPhones and Androids, so you can enter your receipts when you’re on the go. Oh! And, you get these things called “GoCards” — printable versions of what you have left. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can print your GoCards onto 3×5 cards and take them with you.
After you’ve used PearBudget to track your expenses for a month, you can sign up for a subscription to keep using it. It costs under $5 a month, and you’ll probably see that you save a lot more than that by using it regularly: Where you might have gone $20 or $30 (or more) over in a category or three, you’ll be a lot better at keeping your spending in check.
There’s no long-term commitment — there aren’t any cancellation fees. So if you find that you’ve got “this budgeting thing” under control, you can close your account that day and never have another charge from them.
The team at PearBudget (Charlie, who created it, and Ruth, who manages customer service) are super-friendly, and helpful if you ever have problems or questions.
PearBudget is giving away five one-year memberships to PearBudget to Money Saving Mom® readers this week! Just click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. Five winners will be chosen and posted on Monday. This giveaway ends Sunday, March 4, at 11:59 pm, CST..
Just for fun, in the comments, tell us whether you’ve tried budgeting in the past, and (if it didn’t go so well) what made it difficult to stick with it, or (if it went well) any tips or tricks you have for staying on top of it.