Last time, I wrote about automate your finances: simplifying what you do with your money and making sure you keep to five key principles. Here is a recap:
- Put yourself and your savings first
- Put adequate protection policies in place – and then forget about them
- Pay your bills monthly – from a separate account if necessary
- Track your income and expenditure: you’re no different to a business
- Invest in your health as well as your wealth
Do you track your income and expenditure?
I finished that post with a commitment to look at some of the tools that could help you achieve those ends. Using websites and apps for financial planning hasn’t yet achieved the market penetration in the UK that it has in the US, but it will. Hopefully this post will help you stay ahead of the game.
Looking at those five priorities – the collective wisdom of the Xentum team – the one that stands out for me is the fourth one: tracking income and expenditure. Your finances – and/or your family’s finances – really are no different to a business.
Which tools can help you track your income and expenditure?
So have a look at a site like Money Dashboard – it’s a great example of an online tool.
Simply put it allows you to:
- Track your income and expenditure and see the relevant information on a personal ‘dashboard’ – using ‘easy-to-read’ graphs
- Pinpoint the direction your finances are moving in, and see what you can safely spend.
- Set up savings and financial planning goals, with your ‘dashboard’ using previous spending patterns to detect future outgoings.
Something like Money Dashboard is easy to step up – essentially you simply link your bank account to it – and from there it generates all the information you need. And it can’t be stressed too often: if you don’t know what your expenditure is, you have no hope of controlling it.
Let’s be realistic and assume that you’re not a budgeting person: Money Dashboard – or whatever application you use – confirms your annual income and expenditure.
There are an increasing number of online tools that will help you do that. What they all have in common is a commitment to driving down the cost of investing.
Over the coming months will be rolling out our version of an online financial management tool – the Xentum Client Portal. It will combine the best features of Money Dashboard and the other leading platforms and online tools – and go one step further. It will allow you to budget, invest and track your net worth in one application.
If you’d like to see an early demonstration or if you’d like to be kept up to date on progress, simply get in touch and I will let you have a play!