By: Paul Horn, CFP®, CPWA® Senior Financial Planner
In our last blog post, we mentioned the importance of automating your budget. This blog post will look at some different tools and resources available to make managing your finances much easier and less scary! Take a look at the different options below. These are merely a starting point and by no means an exhaustive list. We do not have any affiliation with any of these tools (we do use eMoney as a financial planning tool) and remember if something is free, ‘you’ are the product or they try to cross sell you with other products they may offer.
- Your bank or credit cards website.
Most financial institutions provide free budgeting tools to help users track their spending. This can be a great place to start but works best if all your expenses are done in one account or if your credit card and bank account are at the same institution. If you bank with Chase and have an American Express credit card, then this may not works since the tools will not give you a complete picture.
- Utilize financial management tools offered by your advisor.
Most people use several banks and credit cards, and this can make it difficult to manage expenses. For our clients, we offer them free access to eMoney (our financial planning software), which allows them to link to all their outside accounts and see all their information in one place. Once their accounts are linked, eMoney creates a budget for them and provides one place for them to log in and see all their accounts in one place. This provides greater clarity and is a great way to automatically compare what you planned to spend versus what you spent.
- Look into Mint.com.
Mint.com works similarly to eMoney and puts all your accounts into one platform that can be used to track your finances. This is owned by Intuit, the same company that owns Turbo Tax and Credit Karma.
- Consider Empower PER.
Empower PER is the same tool that used to be known as Personal Capital. It is the same tool but was purchased by Empower so it has a different name but is the same tool for now. Not sure if it will change in the long term since Empower recently purchased the technology.
These are just a few of the more common tools available to simplify personal finance. It will be interesting to see in the next 12 – 24 months how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can potentially simplify and enhance these tools even more. If you would like access to eMoney and are a client of BFSG (or interested in becoming one) please contact us at email@example.com.
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