Hello, Dinks. With it being the New Year, this is the perfect time for you to take your finances seriously. Many people go into the New Year wanting to change things, but they seldom do so. This is the year that you can make that change happen. If your financial habits aren’t the best, they don’t have to stay that way. You can improve your finances by doing a few easy things.
Watch what you spend
The reason that a lot of people are in debt is because they spend without paying attention. A lot of people don’t have a budget. They swipe until their card doesn’t work anymore. That shouldn’t be anyone’s financial goal. That sounds more like a financial nightmare. Paying attention to how much money you spend will help you attain better finances. Below are three ways that you can track your finances.
The first thing that you can do is use a spreadsheet to track your finances. You can easily create one in Excel. Your spreadsheet will need to have information for money that you earn and spend. It should also have categories for things like rent, the mortgage, utilities, groceries, debt repayments and entertainment. There is no wrong way to create your spreadsheet. You just have to make sure that you remember to update it weekly.
A balance register is another good way for you to track your finances. It might be old school to some people, but it’s my favorite was to update my finances. I update it several times a week. In the past, I used to guess the amount of money that I had in my account. There were a few times when I spent money that I didn’t have. Overdraft charges are not good. It’s not fun having to pay that fee and get your account out of the negative. Using a register has helped me get better with my finances over the years. If you’re considering using a balance register, go to your bank or credit union and ask for a few. The teller will give you a few of them for free.
There are a lot of online sites that will help you with your finances. I use two of them. They are Mint and Personal Capital.
I’ve been using Mint for three years now. Hands down, it’s my favorite online budgeting tool. Mint allows you to link your financial accounts, including savings, checking, credit cards, loans, and bills to your profile. Once things and linked, you can see what you spend and where. You can also see income that you make as well. You can also set up goals that you want to achieve as well. For example, I created a goal for when I wanted to have my Bank of America credit card paid off. It helped track my progress for me. I’d recommend Mint to anyone.
Personal Capital is similar to Mint. They focus a little more on tracking your investments. My only gripe with them is that my main checking account will not link to their site yet. Their website doesn’t pull up my credit union yet.
There are many ways that you can track your finances this year. Find one that you like using and make it happen.