Getting control of your finances is a challenge. One way to get a jump start on financial health is by using personal budgeting software. Reduce your spending and track your expenses easily with the organization this software brings to your financial life.
There are a variety of different software programs available that can put your finances in order. These programs range from about $15 to $45. The top ten personal financial software programs are: Quicken Starter Edition, Moneydance, AceMoney, BankTree Personal, RichOrPoor, Budget Express, Account Xpress, iCash, Home Bookkeeping and 3clickBudget. Any one of those programs is applicable to the majority of budget balancers. Make sure you choose one that works with your computer.
Input Your Information
When you load the software on your computer, have all your files and financial information on hand. You will need to put your information into the program so you can sort through it all. Bank statements, credit card statements, and bills are usually available online as well if you no longer have the paper copies. Take your time with this part; getting all that information in there is key to utilizing the software later.
Pay Attention to How Much Cash You Spend
When tracking your budget, cash is an unaccounted for expense that you often don’t remember spending. When you use cash, make a list or receipt for yourself to record what you spend it on. $5 here and $10 there can really add up by the end of the month.
Get a Free Credit Report
Part of your financial health is having a good credit score. Many people don’t know what their score is, but a free credit report is usually included with your personal budgeting software. Use this feature to find out your score, and use the information in the software to improve that score. When you want to get an apartment, get a loan, or open a bank account, your will need a good score to get favorable responses and interest rates.
Use Online Banking
Most of the software programs offer online banking and bill pay as part of the program. The programs allow you to manage all your credit cards, bills and bank accounts in one place, so take advantage. Using this online bill pay is a great way to make a record of your bills without any effort. Later when you are balancing your budget, the information will already be in the program and you will have less to input.
Use the Software to Prepare for Tax Season
Many of the software programs, most notably Quicken (made by the same company that makes TurboTax) will keep track of your financial information for easy transfer into your tax documents come the April 15th season. Anything that makes tax season easier is worth pursuing, so don’t skip this step.
Using personal budgeting software will streamline your chaotic finances and allow you to regain control and reduce your spending. Follow these easy tips for getting budgeting software and using it, and you will be within budget and in control of your finances once again.