If you’ve tried using personal finance software to take control of your household budget only to find yourself with more questions than answers, take a look and seriously consider an innovative online budgeting tool.An online budgeting program takes an old-fashioned money management concept and updates it for the world of online financing. Remember when all of your transactions involved cash? When the cash was gone, you couldn’t spend anymore. Your personal budget was broken down into categories such as rent, groceries, utilities, and leisure. Many people would split the cash into marked envelopes dedicated to each category. When the envelope was empty, that was the end of spending.With ATMs, credit cards, and automatic withdrawals, we’ve lost the hands-on money handling skills that once defined household budgets. With that in mind, online budgeting was born. Now, you can create virtual envelopes to help you manage your money online.While traditional budgeting tools analyze your spending after the money’s been spent, an online budgeting program takes a hands-on, proactive approach to help you manage your spending before the next purchase. With a powerful personal budget tool in your hands, you are in the driver’s seat as you navigate the complexities of managing your household finances.The old analytical approach points out where you went wrong whereas an online budgeting program steers you in the right direction so that you avoid the common spending pitfalls that will tempt you along the way. End result: spending is curbed and your household budget stays on track.What would you prefer – endless reports at month end telling you where you blew it or helpful reports along the way showing you the financial hazards that will throw you off course?An online budgeting program compiles all of your personal and household finances into one place and allows you to set up a spending plan. As you progress through the month, you’ll have up-to-date information from all of your accounts as well as detailed reports showing your progress. With this key information available 24/7 from any internet-connected computer, you’ll be able to make an informed decision before you spend your next dime.Awareness is a key concept in financial planning. Are you aware of what you’re really spending? Many financial planners will have you keep a diary of all expenditures in order to help you see where your money goes each month. With a proactive approach to your spending, you can set up categories and delegate acceptable spending limits beforehand. Whereas an online budgeting program will let you know if you’re in the danger zone so that you can adjust your finances as you go – long before you go over budget.Traditional budgeting is a bust. You won’t know you’ve exceeded your personal budget until the money’s already gone. Catch those frivolous expenses before they happen by becoming more aware of your spending on a day-to-day basis.Creating a household budget doesn’t mean doing without; in fact, you set up what you are willing to live with. If you simply won’t give up your daily latte, that’s fine. Allocate the appropriate amount of money to your latte category and the software will let you know if you’re going overboard. For example, if you’re willing to spend $15 per week on lattes and each one costs $5, you can indulge three days per week. Your online budgeting software will keep track and alert you if you are going over or under budget. Because of the alerts, you’ll know exactly where you stand and be able to make an appropriate choice.By creating your envelopes, you’ll be able to spend within your limits without the guilt. If you’ve carefully planned your household budget and have covered all of your necessities, you’ll be able to manage your budget according to your standards. Helpful tools will keep you on track and prevent you from going overboard. By uncovering hidden spending – before you spend it – you’ll come out ahead of the pack!