I have found that one of the key factors in successful financial life management is knowing where your money comes from and where it goes. This information makes it much easier to create a good plan and to identify and fix any cash flow issues.
I have tried and used a lot of systems – from Microsoft Money and Quicken to my own personally-developed spreadsheet. I support the use of any system that works for you and allows you to understand where your money comes from and goes.
Recently I started using Mint.com and I recommend that you consider it for your income and expense tracking.
Mint automatically pulls information from all of your different accounts, so there’s no need for you to update anything manually. All expenditures made are individually picked up by Mint.com – as they are posted – whether they are from checks, debit-cards or credit cards. It also downloads all deposits made to your account.
Mint.com tries to categorize income and expenses as they come, but you will want to review the categorizations periodically to make sure that the categories it assigns are correct. Once you assign a category to a vendor, Mint.com rembembers and continues to assign that category.
It also allows you to “split” transactions – so it you go to Walmart and buy groceries and a car battery, you can record the appropriate amounts under groceries and car expenses. It may take you a while to get it just right for your needs, but it’s really not very hard.
Best of all, this is free. Your finances are tracked for you at no cost.
In shortMint lets you see all all of your accounts in one place (including investment accounts).Mint tracks your income and spending, making it easy to spot trends.It costs nothing, and they don’t send you any spam.
I suggest you take a look at Mint by visiting www.mint.com .