Saturday, July 5, 2008

Free Budgeting Tool

While at the supermarket, my husband, who noticed that a gallon of milk cost higher than a gallon of gas, asked, “Is there a shortage of cows?” Well, there might not be, but the rising cost of gas does seem to affect the price of everything. The key to living within the means of your income and keep your spending under control is to budget. A budget helps you prioritize your spending, keep track of your savings and may keep you from having debts.

Most of the time, it is difficult to stick to a budget, and this is where Spendji comes in. As a budget-planning tool for your finances, Spendji helps you make budgeting simple and manageable. It lets you create spending plans for any activity, be it a long-term project like house renovation or an occasional event such as a birthday party.

I like the "cleanliness" of the website's layout. There are no annoying banners or pop up ads, and everything is just simple, direct and easy to navigate. If you're not sure how to begin a budget, you can click an activity listed on a cloud tag of popular things Spendji users are doing, and see suggested budget items. For example, click on vacation and the suggested budget items include airfare, airport parking, camera, entertainment, etc.

Also, if you do not want to budget alone, you can share your spendji budget plan with friends, family, or even an entire organization. Import addresses from your e-mail account (Yahoo, G-mail, Hotmail, Outlook or Plaxo) and invite your friends to collaborate with you on spending plans. You can even control their level of participation either as administrator, contributor or viewer.

Since Spendji is concerned about how to help you get the best out of your hard-earned money, the budget-website also features "Research Prices." Here, you can compare prices for travel or shopping expenses, such as airfare, car rentals, hotels, and cruises.

More than just a budgeting tool, Spendji also includes a calendar, a to-do-list and a discussion section to keep everybody in your project in sync with everything planned. It even has a money transaction feature, where you can request or receive payments which is powered by Amazon.

There is this saying that "A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward." However, with Spendji, it is not about worrying, but creating a clear guideline to spending your money wisely.
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