It is very likely that you have multiple credit cards loans, mortgages, bank and investment accounts. Besides the inconvenience of having to remember all of the passwords, this can also cause you to miss payment deadlines, lose track of your goal progress and reduce your ability to make sound financial decisions.
Organizing your finances is very important if you hope to make better decisions with your money, pay off your debt and ensure a successful retirement. It may seem a daunting task, but fortunately the recent technological advances have made it easier than ever to organize your finances.
How Will Organizing Your Finances Help You
When you are on top of your financial situation, you will gain the following benefits:
- No missed payments. It is easy to lose track of your monthly payments if you are not organized. But if you know exactly what is going on with your money and set up automatic payment reminders, you will be much better off.
- Easier to stay within your budget. Living by a tight budget is hard enough as it is, but if you can’t keep track of your expenses, it is near impossible. If you have the ability to see all of your spending in one place, you can see right away if you are on track or need to cut back.
- More likely to meet your financial goals. When you know exactly how much money you have and in which accounts, it will be easy to track your financial goals, such as paying off debt, saving for a vacation or investing for your retirement.
How to Quickly Organize Your Finances
If you haven’t been following the recent developments in financial software, you may be surprised at what you find. Long gone are the days where you had to record your budget, transactions, financial goals and investment returns on paper or in a spreadsheet by hand.
There are many great tools available online or as a software download that can quickly connect to all of your financial accounts, gather and categorize your transactions and enable you to quickly do complex tasks like creating and tracking your budget, goals and investment portfolio returns.
The tools available on the market vary by their cost and features. But surprisingly, the best of them are 100% free. Here are my favorites:
- Personal Capital – this free online tool connects to all of your bank and investment accounts and lets you track your spending and investment portfolio online or through their mobile app.
- Mint – a great alternative to Personal Capital, Mint is ideal for tracking your budget and financial goals. And it’s also free!
- Quicken – Quicken is the undisputed leader in financial software. Although it’s not free, it has every feature you could ever wish for and is extremely customizable.
- You Need a Budget – a great alternative to Quicken, YNAB is a simpler and more lightweight desktop application that has been embraced by many as their go-to budgeting software.
- Excel Spreadsheets – although much less user-friendly than the above tools, these are still great if you want to set up your organization just the way you’d like.
With so many great tools available, there is really no excuse for not organizing your finances. It will only take a few minutes and can be one of the best financial decisions you will ever make!