Wisely managing finances is key to maintaining a healthy financial status. You don’t want to be spending money you are not earning. You have to properly assess how much you are allowed to spend. The best way to determine this is through tracking.
However, tracking is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more that you need to consider in terms of financial stability and freedom. You have to consider how much your net worth is. You need to assess your debts and future plans. How much money do you owe? At what age do you plan to retire?
Don’t let these things overwhelm you. While tracking is only a small speck in the bigger picture, it makes wonders. Start small.
Listing down every purchase and income can be a tedious job. But you can always enlist the help of tools easily available online. Check out the following ways you can use the internet to track your finances.
The good-old Excel sheets
If you are an expert at using Excel sheets, then you are in the luck. Excel allows easy data entry and computations. You can make an entire document for your monthly expenditure. Use functions and operations so that you don’t have to manually do them.
There are other kinds of financial trackers you can do on Excel. You can create a tracker for your personal loan obligations if you have one. You just need to input the annual interest rate, the payment terms, and the number of payments to be made. Create a table that will show you the outstanding balance and history of payment.
If you think that creating these sheets is too complicated, there are free templates you can use instead.
Watch money management YouTube videos
Sometimes what stops a person from building financial stability is a lack of knowledge. Technology and innovation address that knowledge gap. There are talks on YouTube and other platforms on financial planning. Just type in a bunch of words related to finances and you will see tons of resources.
The best thing about it is that it’s free. All you have to do is set aside some of your time to sit down and learn. Take advantage of the perks and power of living in the digital world. A 5-minute video could change your life entirely. You have the power to select what to learn depending on what you already know.
Finance is a broad topic so you can narrow it down to sub-topics such as investing, saving, and even the psychology of money.
Join a financial literacy Facebook group
If you want more than to sit in front of your computer to learn, you can check out Facebook groups. Facebook groups are more personal and social. You can get first-hand tips from people who are also on the same project as you are. You can ask questions and get immediate answers almost always.
Learning can be more fun if you are doing it with other people. You can even find a community for your specific needs. If you are a millennial who owns a small business, surely, there are Facebook groups for other millennial business owners.
Joining community-based Facebook groups has a lot of benefits. You could be notified of promos from your local banks or grocery stores. This can help you save more.
Use budgeting apps
The Internet space is riddled with apps for different purposes. Some of them are fun and some are questionable. But there are ones that will help you budget and manage your finances.
There are apps that let you link your bank accounts. They track every transaction that you make. These help in showing you where you spend your money the most.
Then there are some that let your set a budget for a specific need. Once you get close to the limit, they notify you. You can also schedule monthly obligations such as rent and insurance premiums. You get a reminder every time they are due soon. Some apps use the ancient envelope-saving method. This time, you have virtual envelopes for gas, rent, shopping, and other expenses.
Aside from budgeting apps, there are ones that compare the prices of commodities to show you which ones are the cheapest. You can compare flights, groceries, and the like.
Once you track your monthly expenses, you will be surprised how you spend on things you don’t really need. This will eventually foster more responsible money habits. You will think twice before clicking that checkout button. The same goes with being in contact with people with the same mindset. In no time, you will be able to plant these productive habits into your lifestyle.