Stacks of money do not magically appear: trust us on this one.
It takes baby steps, lots and lots of baby steps. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run…that sorta thing.
In order to take the financial baby steps, you’re going to need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. Your own cash flow, income and expenses, whatever you call it.
Behold, then, the Three Personal Finance Tools You Should Be Using.
When websites and personal finance first intersected, Mint was there. They integrated bank data, credit card data, and all sorts of other stuff to give you a pretty compelling financial picture.
We’ll admit to being fans very early on: but we also got to the point where we just, frankly, got tired of looking at it. (We also got depressed looking at it, so that’s another issue.)
Money can be a little more emotional – something Mint ignored – and Planwise knows that. Plus, it’s geared less toward Silicon Valley (which, IMHO, Mint always looked like – i.e., it was built to be sold to someone big like Intuit, which is fine for them, but still gives the tool a very corporate feel).
3. The good, old-fashioned spreadsheet
Do you have one? Should you have one?
It doesn’t matter what method of personal accounting you use – just the fact that you actually use one. Can’t know what’s coming in and going out if you don’t actually track it.
Do you need Quickbooks? Probably not. Excel, or a Google Spreadsheet…either will work.
Hey…why such a short post today?
Well: we actually want you to get cracking. Put in the effort to understand how you’re earning, saving and spending. These tools will get you started.
Trust us, there’s MUCH more to come.