Hello Everyone and Good Morning. For the next post in our Fun Financial Tools for Twentysomethings we are going to discuss online tools to help us manage our money. There are many different free financial software programs and other online financial tools available to help us manage our money; all we have to do is know where to find them. If you want to start managing your money, tracking your spending, accumulating your wealth, paying off your debt, and find good deals then look no further, Green Panda is here to help. Check out these fun financial tools to help us keep a budget and save some money!
Free Excel Spreadsheets are an Oldie but Goodie
Many financial blogs offer a free version of a budget tracking spreadsheet. I like using this old school method because it really gets us actively involved in managing our own money. The spreadsheet is already prepared, but it is our responsibility to manually input our income, expenses, and savings to view patterns in our money management. After a few months we will see patterns develop and it will allow us to see where we need to make changes.
I used to track my spending with an excel spreadsheet and I thoroughly enjoyed micro managing my finances. The excel spreadsheet has the same effect as keeping a spending journal; we become more aware of our spending and we spend a little less. However, as my life got more hectic and my finances got more complicated I no longer have the time to micro manage my finances.
Free Financial Software from Mint
I personally love and use Mint.com to manage my money. It is free to sign up for Mint and it’s easy to get started. Mint links all of our checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and investment accounts to their free financial software. Mint automatically downloads our recent account balances, information, and transactions. This allows us to track progress against our goals as well as see where our money goes. The only way that Mint is not helpful is if we use cash for our purchases. Mint is only effective when the software can track our spending through the use of our debt or credit cards for our everyday transactions.
I found myself spending a lot of money and having nothing to show for it. After a month of using Mint I discovered that I spend a lot of money on fast food meals and eating out in restaurants. Mint also sends me an email alert anytime there is a fee charged to any of my accounts, or if the balances drop below a certain dollar amount.
There are many different websites that offer great deals to clients. Mass discount sites such as Groupon, Dealfind, and LivingSocial offer discounts based on our location. We can get great deals like a 60 minute massage for the price of 30 minutes, or a $50 restaurant gift certificate for only $25.
Before we go out to buy a product we should check their company website for current deals and coupons. I have printed out coupons for batteries, ice cream, and laundry soap from company websites such as Duracell, Skinny Cow, and Proctor and Gamble.
Next time you are surfing the web on your favourite blog or updating your status on FaceBook take a minute to look at the advertisements. Very often ads are placed on a website based on their content; therefore they are tailored to our interests. I found a great new cupcake restaurant from a FaceBook ad.
Here are the Other Posts in our Fun Financial Tools for Twenty-Somethings series:
Fun and Popular Financial iPhone Apps
Everything You Need to Know About Automatic Savings Plans
Learning About Lines of Credit and The Revolving Credit Door
Account Balance Are Just a Click Away with Online Banking
The Advantages and Benefits of Online Shopping
Photo by Tom Boy
Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched http://www.mediamadam.ca/. You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.