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48-Hour Giveaway: One-year subscription to PearBudget (5 Winners)

Struggling with budgeting? is a website that aims to be the simplest budgeting tool on the internet. Here’s how it works:

You land on the , 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.

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 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.

 is giving away five one-year memberships to PearBudget to December212012® 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.

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15 Comments

  • Kassi says:

    We tried budgeting in college and it didn’t work for us. We tried it my way and then we tried it my Husband’s way. It wasn’t until we discovered Dave Ramsey and we had a 3rd party tell us how to do it that it worked. My husband’s way was more like Dave Ramsey’s way. Every penny needs a category.

    I think when we didn’t see instant results the first month we were both discouraged. We were still spending more than we earned–which wasn’t much with us both going to school. When we finally finished Financial Peace University 13 week course we were committed to keep with it. We are so glad we did. If we continued on the path we were–spending more than we earned–I don’t know that we would still be married today. It saved our marriage. We NEVER fight about money. We budget it out and we both get our own little stash to do with it what we like.

    It is a lot of work but like anything else once you get a routine of how you keep track it becomes natural. (it feels good to control my money rather than let it control me by consuming my thoughts. I know where it is going and I know what I can and can not afford!) . Teaching friends about budgeting has what has kept me on track. It gets me excited.

  • tina b says:

    My husband and I have had a budget since we got married over 6 years ago. It has been essential in keeping us out of debt even when we had barely any income at the beginning of our marriage (we were both in college still!). I guess a “tip” I have is that I look at our budget every few months to see if I can tweak it any to give us more wiggle-room or add more to our “savings” line-item. I find that when I do this every 2 or 3 months, it makes it easier to cut out things that we aren’t using and add more to our savings. Yay for budgets!

  • says:

    I have used Pear Budget for about a year – we have used at budget for 10 years of our marriage and this system is absolutely the BEST way we have ever had to manage it well. THis system is SO simple, so easy to use and worth the $5 a month to use it….I will keep paying it if I dont win but would LOVE to win this giveaway!

  • says:

    I am laughing right now – I just got done updating our budget for the month on Pearbudget!! We love it. Tried to do it on paper for years, but was never as good as it is with Pearbudget. I don’t mind at ALL paying the small monthly fee, but I’d love to put that money towards something else this year.
    Pearbudget is SO SO easy! We love that you can track irregular expenses on it. Also, love that it doesn’t link to our bank account and can be accessed from anywhere.

  • Katherine says:

    I made a budget sheet in excel. It has three tabs – one for how much money I make, one for a grocery budget, and one for “personal expenses.” Since I don’t make a whole lotta money, I don’t have a separate budget category for things like “clothing,” “eating out,” “movies,” etc. That’s all under “personal expenses.”

    The first tab states how much I make per week, and since there are typically four paychecks in each month, I have my weekly check multiplied by 4 to show how much I make per month. Next, I list my monthly bills – which aren’t very many because my husband and I rent our home and we make one simple payment for all of our utilities through the landlord. My monthly bills are: rent, utilities, student loan payments and internet. I added $150 onto my monthly bills as a grocery budget. I subtracted the monthly bill amount from the total I make per month to get my “spending money.” I take out $150/month to put into a savings account, and what’s left over is my “personal expenses” fund.

    The second tab is for groceries. I put $150 at the top to show how much money I can spend each month. I set up a table for the date, the name of the grocery store, how much I saved with sale prices, how much I saved with coupons, and the total spent. I subtract the total spent from what’s left in the grocery budget.

    The third tab is for personal expenses, and is set up the same way with an added column for what I purchased. And again, the total spent is subtracted from the budget each time I make a purchase. By listing the store and what I purchased, I can keep track of what I’m purchasing on a regular basis. If I see a negative pattern, like purchasing too many snacks, I can rectify it.

    If I’m done grocery shopping for the month, I’ll move the left over money to the “personal expenses” tab. If I have money left over in that tab at the end of the month, it gets moved to my savings account.

  • April M. says:

    Right now, I track mine on a plain Word doc but it’s so hard to keep it accurate. I would love to find a good system!

  • Patti Keil says:

    I could really use some budgeting advice…my biggest obstacle is getting my husband to follow it! He has now been out of work since the end of December so basically I’m in charge now!! :-),

  • Samantha D says:

    I am trying to get a budget in place but it is difficult with irregular income. Any help would be great!

  • Debbie says:

    I budget on paper. I know it’s old school, but that’s how I learned to do it and continue to this day. I think this software would be much easier and faster!

  • Cheri A says:

    I would love to win this subscription. Dh and I are struggling to keep things going because we are not on the same page about our finances. We need something easy that we can both work with.

  • says:

    I am trying to stick with a budget, but we just really have not found our groove yet. We have done fine with money by just spending as little as possible. We are completely debt free including our mortgage. But, I would really like to be on a budget so I know how much is going where at this point and work towards saving for some repairs our home is need of. I would love to give this program a try:)

  • Beth C. says:

    I love making budgets in an Excel spreadsheet, but I do NOT love actually following through with it! Until recently we didn’t have any problems spending as little as we can every month, and saving when we could for big purchases, but we recently had a baby and went from two incomes to one and we HAVE to stick to our budget or I am going to have to get a job! I recently signed up for the free trial of Pear Budget in an effort to simplify our budget and make it super easy to track and stick with. So far we both really like it. We’d love to win a membership!

  • Rosalind W. says:

    I have been tracking my budget on paper for 13 years. It would be fun to try something online.

  • Joanna Bixler says:

    I know it is too late to enter this giveaway, but my husband and I just set up our free monthly trial of PearBudget. I LOVE THIS SITE! It is so easy to set up, use, and it does all the “work” for you. It is very intuitive. Plus, I don’t have to wait to get home to update the budget. I can do it from my desk at work, or my laptop when we’re on the road. Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

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