New Year, new you, new financial future! Not without the proper tools. Finances are not something that come easy for me. I’m constantly working on my process to progress.
Here are a few tools that have really helped over the years - and some great books too! Be sure to add any of your favorite tools into the comments. We all need all the help we can get!
- mint.com - this is a great entry level way of looking at all your finances in one place. It also comes with a handy budgeting feature. What you track, you can impact. What you observe, you can change. What you monitor, you can master. Those would be Phillip Deas way of saying - if you don’t know where your money is going how can you “get better” at sending it the right place?
- Rich Dad. Poor Dad. - This book is amazing. It helps you identify ways of thinking that may be costing you financially. And, as a parent, it was helpful in thinking through how I plan to communicate with my kids about money. I don’t agree with everything, but that’s not the point! Be challenged! Get uncomfortable! And maybe there will be something that will make you better. One thing I’ve realized is that good financial habits do not just come from “will power” or being naturally “good with money.” We have to change the way we think about money so we can change the way we treat money.
- Radical by David Platt - Yes this is a Christian discipleship book. No, its not about money. However, it is an absolutely BRILLIANT perspective changing book. And you need perspective when making decisions about money!
- etrade.com - I like to invest in certain stocks. E-trade makes it very easy. I also automatically draft a certain amount out of our checking each month. Sometimes I keep that extra as cash in an interest bearing account on etrade. I find that not being able to see the money when I log in to check my bank balance helps me to avoid relying on it during the lean times.
- Quickbooks online - I can’t tell you what a shot in the arm this program has been for my companies. I do all my invoicing, my taxes, and everything through this program. There is a learning curve, but for me it has been worth the initial time investment.
- Mentors - I’ve been fortunate to have a few mentors along the way who have all encouraged me to budget, plan ahead, delay purchases, and think big picture when making financial decisions. Mentors help keep you on track but more importantly let you learn from their success and failure! Who could you take to lunch and learn from this week?
What are some of YOUR favorite money management tools?