Every small business goes through difficult financial times at one point or another. It is inevitable and should be expected. That is why preparing for these situations ahead of time is so important to the long-term success of your business. Understanding your monthly budget and developing a plan to stick to it can be what saves your business from failing in tough times. You don’t, however, need to pay big money to get robust budgeting and financial planning tools for your business. Check out these free online tools that can help you save money right away.
Mint is perhaps the biggest free online budgeting tool in the industry with an estimated 10 million users worldwide. It is ideal for both individuals and small businesses because it gathers all of your financial data and categorizes your spending. Simply link any of your business’ checking, savings, and credit card accounts to the site’s secure data encrypted platform. You can let Mint organize your spending into categories or create a relevant budget for your business. Create charts and graphs detailing your business’ financial situation, identify any unusual account activity, and pinpoint areas where you might be going over budget and where you can save money. It is easy to stay on top of your company’s finances without any hassle and at no cost.
BudgetPulse is a bit of a unique option in that it doesn’t access any of your personal accounts. This may appeal to the group of users that wants a budgeting and planning tool but is concerned with data privacy and doesn’t want to give up any of its account information. While you can import transaction data from a spreadsheet into the tool, it does require a fair amount of manual data input, which creates more work for the user. On the plus side, the site offers a number of charting, graphing, and budgeting options for small business users.
SavvyMoney delivers many of the budgeting and charting tools of other sites but includes the additional benefit of focusing on your credit score and the impact it can have on your financial life. SavvyMoney provides ongoing access to and monitoring of your credit score, and explains how your credit score affects the rates you pay on business loans. The site also creates a debt repayment plan and identifies spots in your budget where you can save additional money.
If you’re just looking for a simple way to track your spending and keep to a budget, BudgetSimple is a great option. It may be of particular interest to those who are looking to pay down debt. BudgetSimple looks at your income and expenses, and suggests places and ways you might be able to save money and pay down debt. It is worth noting the free version of BudgetSimple doesn’t allow linking bank accounts directly, but its $5 per month Plus plan has this option.