Since one of my goals for this year is to save money, I told myself that I should become “OC” when it comes to financial matters so I could track where my money go—every single peso, that is. Before, I would often ask myself, “Saan napunta ang pera ko? (Where did my money go?)” It was only during the last quarter of 2009 that I have decided to use different tools to effectively track my finances.
- BudgetPulse – Since I am in front of my computer everyday, I use an online personal finance software called BudgetPulse. Among the different online personal finance softwares I have tried, BudgetPulse really suits my needs best. BudgetPulse enables me to organize and track my cash flow, expense, and bank accounts in one place. It also generates sleek charts and graphs based on the transactions I have entered. What I like about BudgetPulse is the “Goal/Savings Tracker” feature. I’m currently saving for a couple things and having a savings tracker is a great way to motivate me to reach my goal. Best of all, BudgetPulse works in any country.
- Planner / Notebook – My Starbucks 2009 Planner was released late and it was left unused. Instead of throwing the planner away, I decided to use it to track of my credit card charges. I prefer using a planner when jotting down expenses because I find it organized this way. My usual entry on the planner includes the store/establishment where the purchase was made, the total amount charged to credit card and the my card’s balance for the current billing cycle. Pretty simple and straightforward.
- Envelopes – I recently implemented the “envelope system” on my cash box. It’s pretty simple—different envelopes for different categories like “Weekly Savings,” “Credit Card Payment,” “Life Savings,” etc. Using envelopes is a great way to organize my cash on hand because I know where my money will go and should go.
- Cellphone – I’m not in front of my computer 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, that’s for sure. I still spend a couple of hours outside the confines of our home. Of course, going out of the house translates to different expenses including but not limited to transportation expense, shopping expense and a whole lot more. When away from my computer, I enter my expenses on my handy and ever reliable cellphone.
- Online Banking Facility – I enrolled all my savings account to the online banking facility of my bank so I could check all my transactions real-time and 24/7. A lot of merchants nowadays accepts payments thru ATM Debit Cards. I often use my ATM card to pay for my expenses since I’m not patient enough to line up and withdraw cash from ATMs. When I get home, I could easily track my transactions through my bank’s online banking facility, which is really reliable.