Learn How to Build a Budget

Creating a budget can seem like a stressful thing to do. Where do you start? How much money should you save? How can you track all of your spending?

Luckily, there are a ton of free resources out there to help you manage your money – without the headache.

Some great starting points include taking a financial planning class, downloading a budgeting app or playing financial literacy games online.

Financial Planning Classes

Growing Money Classes at CVOEO
CVOEO offers three classes geared towards growing your money: Spend SMART 1 & 2 (2 sessions), Keys to Credit (1 session) and Creating a Financial Future (2 sessions). If you want to learn about how to manage your money, reach your financial goals, or learn about credit and investing, these classes are a great place to start.

Financial Empowerment Classes for New Americans, which are also offered by CVOEO, cover a wide range of topics and are provided by CVOEO’s Community Ambassadors, who offer classes in French, Lingala, Maay Maay, Nepali, Somali, Spanish and Swahili.

Online Financial Management Classes at SEVCA
Southeastern Vermont Community Action offers four online workshops: Taking Control of Your Money – Creating a Budget, Set Your Goals – Manage Your Expenses, Credit – Tame the Credit Beast and Banks and Credit Unions – Protect and Grow Your Money. March 2022 class dates are listed on their website.

Self-Guided Course Online at Hands on Banking
Through this course, you can learn about creating a spending plan, building credit, managing school loans and how continuing education after high school could fit into your financial future. Hands on Banking is provided by Wells Fargo.

Budgeting Apps

This app syncs to your bank accounts to track your income, purchases and savings. It includes a daily budget planner, automatically categorizes expenses for you, and allows you to create and track your own savings goals. Mint is a product of Inuit, who also produces TurboTax and has a strong reputation for keeping personal information secure.

For help using Mint, watch the YouTube tutorial below:

Goodbudget is a money management and expense tracking app. It is based on an “envelope system” and includes graphics to make planning a budget more fun. Goodbudget, which used to be known as Easy Envelope Budget Aid (EEBA), is a product of Dayspring Technologies, which is another company that prioritizes data security.

For help using Goodbudget, watch the YouTube tutorial below:

Online Games

Lights, Camera, Budget!
This game provides a fun way to learn about financial literacy topics while practicing budgeting skills. Players are positioned as movie producers who have been given $100 million to produce a movie. To get the movie produced, they must prove they have good personal finance skills to keep their budget on track.

The Budget Game
This game challenges players to pay bills, buy food, and plan fun activities on a three-month budget. (Note: game currencies are only available in Euros or British Pounds, but this does not affect the point of the game for users in the U.S.).

Throughout the game, players make a series of decisions related to meeting basic needs, health and education which impact their overall income. Often confronted with no “good” solutions to the issues that arise, players gain insight into the realities of managing a tight budget with few resources.


There are many different ways to begin learning how to manage and grow your money. Whether you choose to take a class, download a budgeting app or play money management games online, the sooner your start exploring, the sooner you can achieve your financial goals!

If you have had positive experiences with free financial planning resources that you don’t see listed here, share them via our contact form and we’ll post them to the site!