You can get started with budget planning by choosing a free software-based budget planning system such as Budgetpulse or Mint. Register for a free account, and browse the budget-planning tools available to members. Use the easy budget-management tools provided within the account to set up budgets for household spending, house buying or other goals. Follow instructions for entering income, assets and purchases. Budget-planning software allows users to monitor the flow of money to and from bank accounts in real time.
Keeping track of monthly spending patterns is the focus of most free budget-planning software systems. Budgetpulse displays budgets as colorful charts and graphs, and users can view summaries of total spending for the month or year. Users can view account information on a single screen and quickly access information about cash flow and net worth. Budgetpulse also makes it easy to schedule bill payments from its user interface.
Mint helps users create budgets that set goals for big purchases such as a home. They do so by creating new Mint budget accounts and entering details such as annual income, down payment amount and mortgage rate. This type of pre-planning allows users to adjust current spending to meet long-term goals. Maintaining a budget plan requires setting spending priorities by limiting discretionary spending to around 45 percent of total income.