Budgeting · How I do it series

How I do it series: Manage Money

My financial labyrinth can get quite complicated but I try my best to keep it simple. As much as I can automate transactions and consolidate information I will do it to keep managing my finances quick, simple and relatively painless. Here’s how I manage my money.

  1. Keeping Track of it all (Mint)

    1. Mint is my life saver. I link all my accounts–checking, saving and investing to Mint and it shows my financial picture all in one place. Mint also has a budget and savings goal feature. I do wish the budget had a bit more flexibility but for the most part it works. At first, I worried about how to document cash spending but my cash withdrawals are typically the same each month and for the same purchases so I either categorize them as ATM withdrawal or for the item I spent it on.

    2. Each week Mint emails me a summary of my spending and each month a savings summary. It takes 2 minutes to glance over; the email also notifies you if there are any issues you need to take care of. Mint will also email you when they notice unusual spending which can be helpful but not a feature I rely on myself.

    3. Mint is perfect if most of your spending is credit card based.

    4. I have the Mint widget set up on my tablet so each day I can check to see which transactions went through and fix any categorization issues that may arise. There are lots more functionality to the site and apps that can be handy at different times.

  2. Bill Pay (Prism)

    1. Prism is my one stop shop for billpay. It’s as simple as can be and helps me stay on track. After downloading the Prism app, link all your credit and bank accounts. Prism is constantly updating to tell you when your bills are due and how much you have available to pay. You can even schedule your paychecks.

    2. How I use it? Each month, I go into Prism and schedule when, from which account and how much I want to pay for each bill. It takes 3 minutes max and I don’t have to worry about it again until next month. Also, Prism tells me when to expect my next payday so I can securely schedule a bill payment knowing there’s money in my account. Prism also sends a notification the day before reminding you of your bill payment.

  3. Investments (Personal Capital)

    1. Personal Capital is a lot like Mint with a focus on your investment account. While PC encourages you to link all your accounts, I only link my investment accounts because I want to see my unfiltered progress here. Unlike, Mint you can manually add investments as necessary.

    2. What I love most is PC’s allocation assessment. It will tell you down to the dollar amount you need to adjust your portfolio. I’ve also used PC to teach myself about portfolio diversification.

    3. PC gives you 1 day, 30 days and a year view of your portfolio versus the most common indexes. You will also receive a weekly email with a summary of your performance. Additionally, there are articles regularly posted if you’re interested in learning more about what’s happening in the markets.

This is how I do it.

More questions? Ask here: letstalk8120@gmail.com

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