You improve where you track.
In corporate world it is a well-known fact that to improve business performance you need to start tracking and recording current performance first. The same applies to personal finance. If you care about your finances – merely tracking how you spend money will improve your financial situation. Tracking may reveal facts that may not be obvious right away.
It used to be a tedious manual process, that required real discipline. Not any more. Now with bank statement import and on-the-go transaction entry from a smartphone tracking personal finances is seamless and fun.
You don’t need to collect receipts and manually enter all transactions.
Now you can download all your statements, import them all into a single program. And then you just analyze. Interactive dashboards and reports make it easy to see where you are and where you’ll be a month from now, a year from now and so on.
If you don’t use cash and all your transactions are stored in online banking you can import statements only once in two weeks or even once a month.
If you use cash – you have to do it more frequently. Or better use a mobile app to enter transactions right away. And then you can open windows app once in a few weeks and analyze spending. Scheduled transactions will also help to reduce transaction entry when bank statement is not an option.
Here are some essential steps for fast and efficient personal finance tracking:
|1)||Either stop using cash, use only debit/credit cards or use mobile app to record cash transactions right away.||If you live on cash – it is very hard to record where your money go unless you do it right away. With debit/credit card – you can download transactions from your online banking and import them at any time. You can do it weekly, or monthly. If you don’t have time today – you can import them tomorrow – it can wait. But if you forgot to enter cash transaction right away – you will not remember tomorrow where this 20 bucks were spent. Good rule is to keep cash transactions under 5% of your total spend.|
|2)||Record/import all your income and expense transactions for one or two months. Then sit and review your records.||Categorize every transaction. Assign every transaction to a budget category. Build some history. Once you will collect one or two months of transactions you will probably reassign transactions to different categories. And that’s fine. You need to see the big picture before you will realize what and how you want to track.
Note: First time import will take time because you will need to assign every transaction to a budget category. Moneyble will remember your choice. Next time you import a transaction from this vendor – Moneyble will automatically assign it to your budget categories. After some history is built – importing bank statements will only take a minute.
|3)||Set up Budget Amounts based on your findings.||Remember: Budgeting is key to Financial Independence. Try to stick to your budget next month. Do a well-balanced budget. Don’t put all the money into saving account – this is not sustainable in the long run. Your budget should always include Entertainment/Fun/Hobby category.|