The vast field of personal finances entails everything from income, expenses, and savings to taxes, loans, mortgages, investments, and retirement funds. With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that many people are finding it hard to manage their finances well and make the most of what they have without hiring professionals to do it for them. However, over the past few years, the management of personal finances has gotten a lot of attention, with the effects of a global recession emphasizing the need to make every dollar count. This led to the development of money management tools that are online and that are largely free for consumers to use. Because this is a new field, a lot of people aren’t aware yet of just how useful these tools can be. So here is a short introduction of the three types of money management tools you can use for free, and why you should consider using them.
The first step in managing your finances better is to get an idea of your current financial state. FlexScore is a financial tool take became available recently and it is a great place to start your money management journey. This tool can help you establish your starting point by giving you a score based on how well you are managing your finances right now. It takes about 20 minutes to enter your information and find out how well you’re doing. One of the reasons why this tool is so successful and well-rated by financial experts is that getting more points really means that you have made impactful changes in how you manage your personal finances that led to tangible results. Hence, this tool is also great to use in parallel with other money management tools – as you progress in learning about your finances, you can check in with FlexScore and see how much effect your new strategies are having.
Using a Budget Calculator as a Tool To Manage Money
When it comes to money management tools, a monthly budget calculator is by far the most powerful. This tool is widely available on the web in many different forms, so that everyone can find a budget calculator that really fits their needs. In general, every monthly budget calculator will have three main categories – income, expenses, and savings, which are then broken down into subcategories. Typically, the expenses category has the most subcategories to make it easy to cover all expenses and quickly fill in the blanks.
One of the reasons why monthly budget calculators are such a powerful tool is that they force you to think about investments, savings, an emergency fund and your retirement fund. These are issues that most people think about in vague terms and rarely take the time to really do something about them. When you make a monthly budget, this is much more likely to change. In addition, some budget calculators, such as BudgetSimple, do more than allow you to plan your spending, income, and savings – they offer practical suggestions on what you can do to save money.
The third type of money management tools you should know about are online investment tools. Some of these tools are free of charge, but most charge a monthly subscription rate if you want to unlock all of their features. For example, Future Advisor is a tool which helps you incorporate low-cost index funds and commission-free ETFs in your portfolio. You can get an asset allocation analysis and their investment picks for free, but if you want them to actually execute the trades for you and automatically rebalance your investments from time to time then you’ll need to get a subscription. Some other similar tools are Betterment, Wealthfront and Quovo.
All of these can help you make better investments – especially investments for retirement.
In order to get a proper handle on your personal finances it is essential to use a monthly budget calculator which allows you to decide in advance how you want to spend your money. The other money management tools can help you address not just the basics of personal finances, but all the important factors. Commit to using these money management tools on a regular basis and you will see quantifiable improvements in the state of your personal finances.
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