Fact: if you wish to work your way to financial freedom, you must track your spending habits.

It is common knowledge that the best route to avoid financial hardships is by monitoring how much money you are spending versus how much money you are bringing in.

It’s imperative that you bring in more money than you spend, obviously.

How do you track this information?

You could spend hundreds of hard-earned dollars on specialized budgeting software to track this information for you.

Most of this pricey software can provide you with the tools you may need to help you in this endeavor.

However, to use these tools you actually have to spend money to get them! Isn’t the point of creating a budget to save that money?

Solution: Use Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets instead!

Some of the benefits of using Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets to plan your finances and manage your budget are as follows:

1. No Cost – Most of us already own and use Microsoft Excel, either at home or at work in the office.

However, if you are one of those rare cases that don’t own or have access to a copy of Excel, don’t bother purchasing it just yet!

You can achieve the same results, and do the same work with Google Spreadsheets, and best of all it is free!

Spreadsheet’s uses are so varied that you can make them do almost anything for you, and your money.

Almost all of the fancy financial software is going to end up costing you hundreds of dollars over time.

It seems to be a waste to be spending that kind of money on software which is supposedly going to be used to save you that very same money.

Save that money and time, just use a spreadsheet to do your financial planning and budgeting.

2. Easy – Neither Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets are particularly difficult to set up and use. If you’re willing to spend a few minutes to learn a few of the simple formulas, you will be able to quite easily have them automatically add, multiply, subtract, and divide where and when you want and need them to.

3. Simple – Most specialized financial budgeting software is just not all that easy or simple to use.

Take the ever-popular software package, Quicken, for example. For simple home budgeting and financial planning, it really was overkill. What I needed was something simple and easy to use, to set up to take care of my personal finances.

However, Quicken was so complicated to set up that I found I just didn’t want to bother using it. When it comes to a personal budget, I want something that’s easy to use, and Quicken was definitely not easy to use. By using a free spreadsheet application like Google Spreadsheets you will save a lot of time when it comes to learning how to use the program, and obviously, it saves you a lot of money, as it is free!

4. Customizable – Wouldn’t you like your budgeting software to allow for easy customization? Excel and Google Spreadsheets allow you to select your own colors, categories, sizes, fonts, styles, and structures to get what you need to be done. Everyone is different, and being able to customize your software to fit your needs is very important.

If you’re looking for a cheap or even free way to keep track of your personal budget and personal finances, I highly recommend using Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets. I wouldn’t waste my hard-earned money on bloated, specialized financial software. At the end of the day, your wallet will thank you for choosing the cheap or free method!…

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