In today’s world, there is a wealth of personal finance tools available to you. These tools come in the form of software and professional services that can help you reach your financial goals. Some of them are free, and there are a few that can cost a few dollars per month. These tools can be effective options in making the learning and growing process easier. Here are nine tools you can use to manage your finances effectively.
Mint is a web-based software that allows you to track your expenses. This piece of software is integral in allowing you to see where your money is going. The first step in every financial management situation is to have a way of tracking your spending and income. By seeing where your money is going, you get the benefit of understanding yourself better, which is an essential aspect of your financial fitness.
2. You Need a Budget
This app is one of the premier pieces of software in the personal finance market. While it is a paid app, it is still one of the best choices for people who want an excellent alternative to other free budgeting apps. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to do zero-based budgeting. It also has features to let you know where you stand financially at every turn.
3. Investment Account
While this is not a piece of software, getting an investment account is critical to your financial health. After you have achieved a certain level of savings, it is a lot better for you to invest your money. Putting your money in various investments will allow you to achieve higher growth rates than the majority of savings accounts ever could. A savings account costs you money in the long term. The rate of inflation is almost always higher than the interest your bank is paying you. This fact leads to you losing money from savings accounts.
4. Index Funds
Index funds are an excellent investment choice for people who are looking to minimize risk. Since the stock market typically trends upwards, you can bet that this is a safe choice to park your money. You also receive a much higher return than if you left it in a savings account. However, it is not for people who are looking to use their money in the short-term. The stock market can have periodic crashes, which means you cannot withdraw your money without taking a massive loss.
5. Managing Your Debt
The most important and fantastic tool to manage your finances is minimizing debt. The level of debt you take on will play a significant part in the quality of your financial life. While it may not seem the case, debt creates a bigger psychological blow than any other financial tool. Debt also stops you from maximizing your options when making decisions. For example, you are much less likely to take a risk or make an investment if you have a lot of debt.
QuickBooks is a useful piece of software for business owners. While it is better to use Mint, QuickBooks is still great for people looking to track their business finances. It even offers options for invoicing.
7. Hiring a Financial Advisor
Hiring outside help can give you a different perspective in your financial life. Experienced Canberra financial advisors know what they are doing, and they can give you the advice you need to maximize your returns. The major advantage of hiring a financial advisor is you will get personalized information. They will also be able to analyze your situation and tell you precisely what you need to achieve your goals.
8. Pen and Paper
While it might be old school, using Pen and Paper can be a useful tool to manage your finances. Some people cannot get anything done with computers. Using this method works for those people, and it is often more reliable if you can keep a good filing system.
9. Microsoft Excel
Finally, Microsoft Excel is an excellent program for managing your finances. Once you get the hang of it, you can do a lot of calculations that are impossible in other applications.
About the Author:
Ray is a sought after thought leader and an expert in financial and money management. He has been published and featured in over 50 leading sites and aims to contribute articles to help novice financial planners. One of his goals is to impart his knowledge in finance to educate and help ordinary people create and achieve their financial goals.