$5 here, $10 over there, and a fistful of change slapped into the palm of a department store employee. Before you know it, all of that hard earned cash has disappeared, and your wallet is a mess of receipts and lint.
Wouldn't it be nice to keep track of your finances in order to create a savings plan?
It can be incredibly difficult to save a significant amount of money without keeping track of your income and expenses. There are several excellent applications online that will help. These applications can be installed on your computer or smart-phone.
Google Drive is a free application designed by Google that allows you to create files and store them on a cloud. The files can be downloaded and edited from anywhere in the world. Google Drive is similar to Dropbox but it's primarily designed for worksheets and other work-related files.
So how can you keep track of finances with this application?
Create a spreadsheet. It's relatively easy to create a spreadsheet with Google Drive. Just head to the website and click on "create new spreadsheet."
Then follow these steps:
1. Create a column for each aspect of your finances that you wish to track such as income, expenses, or investments.
2. Beneath the label for each column, put in a simple formula to add all the amounts listed in that column. This formula is one of the simplest to use in a spreadsheet: "=sum(A2:A30)".
· Not sure what that means? It's easy: "A" is the column letter, "A2" is the beginning range, and "A30" is the ending range. In other words, this formula will add all of the numbers that are put into the row range A2-A30.
It can take a while to get used to the formulas and math, but the benefits are worth your effort. Plus, once it's set up, you can use the spreadsheet forever without additional math.
One of the most popular applications for personal finances is called Mint. It can synchronize all of your bank accounts and credit cards into one place. However, the application is only available for people who live in North America.
What can you track with Mint? Check the list below.
· Bank account balance
· Personal spending funds
· Budget goals
· Simple and effective budgeting options
· And much more!
What's best about Mint is that it's completely free and you can track your stats from mobile devices as well. It's one of the best budgeting applications out there.
One of the simplest old-school techniques for keeping track of personal finances is to place money into individual envelopes for saving purposes. Most people still use this technique! But it can be inconvenient, if not risky, to stockpile envelopes full of cash in your home.
GOODBUDGET makes it easy to place money into virtual envelopes for effective budgeting.
Consider these GOODBUDGET features:
· Shared envelopes make it easy for loved ones to save for a mutual interest
· Save for large expenses, such as college tuition
· Simple and elegant budgeting system
This program costs around $5 a month - not much for excellent budgeting software.
These apps are 3 of the world's best personal finance applications. Pick one based on your personal preferences and start keeping track of your money today. You'll always know where your money ends up with these applications!