Saturday, November 2, 2013
Your Financial Future - The Decision to Go High Tech With Your Home Finances
With the movement across the nation going toward getting your finances in order, there are more people than ever looking into financial software for their personal use. The old tried and true method of pen and paper (and checkbook registers) still works for some, but others will find they have a need for more. Maybe pen and paper alone don't give you as many options to keep your records as accurate and up-to-date as you'd like. Or perhaps you're just ready to come into the tech savvy world of today.If you're ready for that step, you'll be happy to know that most programs (like Quicken) allow you to download transactions as soon as they become available online with your bank.These kinds of financial software programs also have many features that show you where your money's going, as well as forecasting options that allow you to get a handle on where you want your money to take you. Forecasting can help you in determining a budget that will put you on the path to reducing your debt.While these options might not be first and foremost in your mind right now, you can focus on the simple aspects that will help you in running the day to day expenses of your home.How much do you spend on groceries? How much money do you need to set aside each paycheck to pay your bills? These are just a few of the questions that are easily answered using any number of the home finance software programs out there. And while there are a few free programs out there like Quicken Mint, you might prefer having your financial records available for you to work with, update, or review off-line. That's why I recommend you pick a software that you can actually download to your hard drive or load from a CD you've purchased.Are you still asking yourself how using home finance software is better than your checkbook? If so, here are a few points to keep in mind.1. Software makes it easy to see all of your accounts and balances at one time.You're able to get a listing of your loans (house, car, student loan, etc.) and balances. This is often handy when you're working on debt reduction, but start to forget how much you owe already. It's a real eye opening experience to see the totals on your debt when you're just about to make that total get bigger by buying something for which you really don't have the money on hand.2. You can download the latest transactions for all of your accounts.This also includes most loans where you have online access, 401 K or other savings plans, and credit cards. You'll know if you're about to go over your limits with one glance.3. Budgeting made easy.Most software has a built-in budging feature that guides you step by step through figuring out your monthly expenses and how to use that money you save on dining out to reduce your debt. You can also get visual charts (pie or bar graphs) that let you see where the majority of your money is going.These are just a few of the ways using a home finance software package for your home finances can work for you.