Sunday, May 18, 2014

Smart Ways to Manage Your Money Online

Remember the days just 30 years ago when individuals and businesses would pull out hefty ledgers to track their expenses and income with a pencil? Computers, apps, and technology in general have made leaps and bounds in the past 30 years, bringing us to where we are today with money management and the conveniences we expect. It’s easier and more convenient than ever to track expenses, keep a budget, and reconcile a bank account at the end of the month. Many applications even automatically categorize your expenses, so you can look back at the end of a month and see what percentages you’re spending in different categories. Online banking has also revolutionized the banking world. Here are a few smart ways to manage your money online.

Budgeting Applications 
A number of smart budgeting applications are available, and many of them are free. These applications are safe to link to your online bank account, and they automatically track your transactions as you use your debit card. They will automatically categorize your expenses (i.e. a purchase from a well-known grocery store will be put in the grocery category, a purchase at a movie theater will go into entertainment, etc.), but you can also go in and split transactions for places like Target that might include purchases of toiletries and household supplies. These applications also help you set goals and track progress for paying off debt and saving money. They also help you examine your spending habits, so you can cut back in certain areas and save more.

Online Banking
 Most younger individuals have become accustomed to using online banking to check their balance, but it offers a lot more functions than that. You can use online banking to transfer money between accounts and to other people, and set up automatic bill-pay, so you never miss a bill’s due date again. It’s also fantastic for reconciling accounts or using in partnership with accounting software, because you can export all your transactions for a given month and import them into another program. All expenses and income are entered in seconds, rather than having to go through and enter each one, which can be time-consuming. If you haven’t already explored the possibilities of what you can use online banking for, take some time to check it out.

Apps for Cash Users
 Many may feel uncomfortable with linking a bank account to an application, and others try to use cash for their transactions rather than a debit card. There are also many applications out there that offer the ability to manually enter transactions, and they make it fast and convenient. Set up a rhythm of saving receipts each month and designate a day to enter them into the system. Entering them into a computer system will keep a record of them all in one place, and you can use the data to better manage your spending. With a little management, you’ll be on track to achieve your financial goals.

This is a sponsored guest post