Keeping track of your money and accounts is essential to maintaining a healthy financial life. Your financial life could include checking and savings accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and retirement accounts. Once you have been working for a few years, you could be surprised to discover you have over 10 accounts or more. It is essential that you keep accurate records of everything so you are always aware of what’s going on.
The Manual Way
Many people prefer to manually keep track of all their accounts. They do this by maintaining a file system with all of their statements.
Many people take it one step farther and put everything on a spreadsheet to keep it organized. They will then update the spreadsheet monthly or quarterly as their statements come in. This is time consuming, and could be tedious if you have a lot of accounts, but it does allow you to keep everything organized in one place.
The Computerized Way
The next step up in keeping track of your money is using a software program such as Quicken or Money to keep track of all your accounts. This takes spreadsheets to the next level by keeping everything computerized. You can also run reports and keep track of investment gains and losses over time.
Many software programs also offer automatic update options, that will pull information from your accounts automatically to keep your program up to date. This is especially helpful and eliminates the need to manually enter everything. It is also very handy for investments, as it usually updates with live quotes as well.
The Cloud Way
The newest form of keeping track of your finances has emerged in the last couple years, and it involves the cloud. This is keeping everything 100% online, so you can access it from anywhere. A few companies have started this, including Mint, which automatically update your accounts and present them to you when you log in. The beauty of this is the anywhere access, which is why it is the next step up in keeping track of your money.