how to manage personal finances

Posted by adgag adgadgvadgv on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In the digital age, nobody likes carrying a lot of cash around – I know I don’t, anyway. This can be especially frustrating when you go to keep track of your expenses, who you owe money to, who you lent some to and just where it all goes over the month.

As always, there are a lot of apps out there to help you do various things with your money. There are apps to figure out how to manage your money, oversee expenses, send money to people, keep track of who owes you, and more.

In this article, I’ll show you some of the applications you can take advantage of to do everything I’ve mentioned here, leaving you free to pick and choose the apps that will make your life easier.

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How to Manage Your Money

I’m beginning to learn just how difficult managing your expenses can be. For the most part, I use my debit card tied to my checking account to make purchases. I use it at the grocery store, when I go out to lunch with my coworkers and on the weekend when I’m out exploring the city.

At the end of the month, my bank statement looks pretty ridiculous. All of these small transactions make it difficult to sift through. I still know what everything is, but if I wanted to see where I could be saving some money I wouldn’t know the first place to look.

Sounds like you? Even if it doesn’t, you could still reap the benefits of visually being able to manage your money. These apps make the process a lot easier.

Mint

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Mint has been on our radar since back in 2007 when Karl wrote about it. Plain and simple, if there is one app I want you to keep in mind it’s this one.

Mint is a free personal finance application that can help you compare your bank accounts, credit cards, CDs, brokerage and 401(k) to the best products out there. It offers a visual representation of your finances and is very easy to set up. Use it to manage your budget, get credit card advice and understand investing.

Here’s a great video showcasing an overview of Mint’s features:

For some helpful tips on how to use Mint, check out Bakari’s article on How To Use Mint To Manage Your Budget & Spendings Online.

Thrive

Thrive (directory app) is also a great application if you’re looking for a simple way to keep track of your spending. With Thrive, you get an overall Financial Health score, which is one number that shows you how financially fit you are. It also shows you scores in other areas and offers you advice on how to make improvements.

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Thrive breaks down your spending for you and shows you where you can save. Compare your current budget to last month’s, as well as view a six month average and target budgets to follow.

Texthog

Looking for an even simpler way to track expenses? Texthog (directory app) lets you easily store, organize and access your receipts, expense reports and more via text message, the web, your email, iPhone and even Twitter.

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A Texthog free account gives one user the ability to track expenses, view unlimited reports and get budget/bill reminders. Take a photo of your receipts and utilize tags and categories to keep track of everything.

To check out Texthog on your iPhone, you can find the application on iTunes.

Venmo

Speaking of text messages, have you heard of Venmo? Venmo (directory app) is a nice little app that lets you pay and charge friends with your phone. Send and receive secure payments by linking your card to your account. This allows you to settle small loans you give/get by eliminating paper transactions for small amounts of money.

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To use Venmo, all you do is create an account. You can then send and receive money to other accounts simply by using text commands in SMS. Accept a “trust” request from your friends and make transactions without having to authorize them by texting a 3 digit code.

This is a pretty solid application that I have been using a lot lately with my friends/coworkers. It’s great for when a bunch of you are out to lunch and not everyone has cash on them. “I’ll just put it on my card and Venmo you all afterwards.”

Owe Me Cash

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Owe Me Cash is a nice app I found recently that is also very easy to use. If someone owes you money, you just sign into Owe Me Cash with your Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, or regular account and tell the app about the debt. The app will send automatic reminders to those that owe you money by phone, text and email, so you can get paid!

This app is more fun than serious, but it doubles as an easy way to keep track of who owes you what. Let the app bug your friends to pay you so you don’t have to do it yourself – it’s a win-win.

Conclusion

With these applications, your finances will never look better. Say goodbye to paper money and change.

What do you think of these money-managing applications? Will you be using any of them?

Image Credit: marema


For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here's why.



Here's an interesting verse from Proverbs 13:20:





He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.





Let me put a personal finance spin on this:





He who associates with and listens to those who are doing well financially becomes wealthy. But someone who follows the advice of those who can't handle their money is destined for the poor house.





Ok, so I'm not a wordsmith (but you already knew that, didn't you?), but you get the idea. If you hang around people who follow the solid financial principles that can make you wealthy, then it's likely those principles will rub off on you and you'll do well too. But if you associate with people who continually make bad money mistakes, you'll probably do the same -- and thus kill your finances.



I'm not talking about having only friends who have it all together financially. But I am saying that it's wise to have friends, on average, who are doing fairly well or at least making good financial choices. And I'm not saying the friends have to be experts on everything. But I learn something from almost all of my friends -- how to save money from one, how to manage retirement from another, how to network for another, and so on.



If I spent most of my time with people who shopped for enjoyment, I'd probably want to do the same. If my friends spent every penny they had on "stuff" to fill up their houses, I'd probably follow suit. And if my friends all had boats and cottages, it probably wouldn't be long before I needed one (or both) too.
Let's face it, you're influenced by who you hang out with. So who do you want influencing you?



I once heard a speaker say that the person you'll be in five years will be determined by the people you know and the books you read. So choose your friends (and your books) wisely!!!



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autosport.com - F1 <b>News</b>: F1 closing on HD coverage for 2011

Formula 1 is close to giving the final green light for High Definition television coverage of the sport to begin from the first race of the 2011 season, AUTOSPORT has learned.

Google <b>News</b> Blog: Credit where credit is due

News publishers and readers both benefit when journalists get proper credit for their work. That can be difficult, with news spreading so quickly and many websites syndicating articles to others. That's why we're experimenting with two ...

New Yorker&#39;s Music Critic Moves to <b>News</b> Corp.&#39;s Daily - NYTimes.com

Sasha Frere-Jones, a music critic at The New Yorker, will become the culture editor of The Daily, News Corporation's so-called iPad newspaper which is currently in development.


alpine payment systems scam

autosport.com - F1 <b>News</b>: F1 closing on HD coverage for 2011

Formula 1 is close to giving the final green light for High Definition television coverage of the sport to begin from the first race of the 2011 season, AUTOSPORT has learned.

Google <b>News</b> Blog: Credit where credit is due

News publishers and readers both benefit when journalists get proper credit for their work. That can be difficult, with news spreading so quickly and many websites syndicating articles to others. That's why we're experimenting with two ...

New Yorker&#39;s Music Critic Moves to <b>News</b> Corp.&#39;s Daily - NYTimes.com

Sasha Frere-Jones, a music critic at The New Yorker, will become the culture editor of The Daily, News Corporation's so-called iPad newspaper which is currently in development.


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