The end of the year and/or beginning of the next year is usually a time when finances and money seem to be top-of-mind. Often when we think about money, we think about how to best manage it and stay organized. As you take this time to figure out your goals, organizing your financial life is a goal you may want to consider if you haven’t already.
Why Organize Your Finances?
Financial planning helps you understand how much money you have coming in, where and how you are spending it, and how much you have left for savings. With this knowledge, you can then set short and long-term financial goals.
Financial planning helps you prepare for emergencies. With basic budgeting and setting priorities, you can sleep better because you have considered contingencies. Financial planning nurtures prudent spending and careful investing in your future.
Ways to Better Organize Your Finances
Ramsey offers these suggestions.
It is shocking to note that over half of earners do not have a budget. They frequently run out of money before their next paycheck without a clue of how that happened. Setting up a budget should be a priority as soon as you start to earn money. It is not wise to delay doing this.
Fortunately, there are several easy apps and software programs (as well as tips) to help you do this.
- Check out these popular budgeting tools for first-time budget organizers.
- Set aside some time for budgeting. An effective budget behavior is to block a day and time (monthly) for budgeting.
- Calculate what to spend on such items as rent, groceries, loans, transportation, work clothes, and leisure. Figure out how much you can set aside for long-term and short-term savings.
- Try to pay your bills online. Almost forty percent of wage earners do this. Pick a time in the middle and at the end of each month to look after bill paying. It also helps to manage those days of the month and try to space them out or consolidate them, depending on your preference.
- Get into the habit of collecting and organizing your receipts. Keep records of them so they are part of your budget.
- If keeping receipts doesn’t sound feasible, you can use a financial services app like Marygold & Co. to keep track of your transactions taking place in the account.
- Create categories for your budget. These will help you get organized and stay within your guidelines.
- Designate a portion of your earnings transferred to savings. When you get paid, pay yourself first. A good aim is ten to twenty percent earmarked for savings. When the money is automatically deducted from your account, it makes saving a lot simpler and more secure. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Get rid of those credit cards. People who use credit cards instead of cash or debit cards spend at least 35% more. Instead, use cash or your debit card. This avoids both overspending and interest on unpaid credit card bills.
- Couples should combine expenses and an account for paying bills. Combine your incomes and do your bill paying, vacation saving, and investing. Working as a team improves money management and communication about financial decisions.
General Tips for Wise Financial Organizing
If you are new to a financial organization, Investopedia.com offers these practical tips for getting started:
- Learn self-control. Spontaneous purchases are one of the major reasons for personal debt. Unless a purchase is essential, hold off until you’ve saved enough to buy it. Many times this delay gives you time to rethink the wisdom of owning the item.
- People who find themselves out of money before their next paycheck (or living paycheck-to-paycheck) often have no idea where their money went. That’s one of the biggest reasons to set up and stick to a budget.
- Find a time-honored financial software that is user-friendly. Learn how to manage various parts of your financial life. These areas should include budgeting, debt tracking, setting savings goals, and investment coaching.
- Check with your financial institution to see if they have free apps or software to help you manage your money.
- Learn how to use spreadsheets like Excel to manipulate and perform calculations on your financial data.
- Look for opportunities to learn and research more about financial planning from sources like YouTube, free seminars, webinars, and podcasts.
- Explore all features of financial apps or software from paying bills, tracking the value of your assets, and computing your total net worth to invest.
- Set up an emergency fund. This should be separate from savings and general expenses. Things happen. Appliances need to be replaced. Your car breaks down. Your business downsizes and you’re out of work. Advisors suggest your emergency account should have enough to pay expenses for three to six months. If you put this in a high-interest account, it will earn money while it sits there.
- The time to start saving for retirement is when you get your first paycheck. Set aside a little each month in an account earmarked for retirement. That way, you will not be part of almost 35% of Americans who cannot afford to retire.
How Has Technology Made Organizing Your Financial Life Easier?
Technology has changed the way individuals organize their personal finances. Business Insider notes several innovations. These include free apps offered by some banking institutions, user-friendly software, and expense trackers.
What are the advantages of using technology in organizing your personal finances? Finance software and apps allow you to increase your efficiency in money management. Using technological aids, you can learn new and improved ways to set and meet short and long-term goals.
Some of the newest finance software teaches you to set up a budget and track your spending. Other software and online courses assist with setting up a portfolio and making wise investment choices.
Key Feature of Marygold & Co.
One of the most important aspects of organizing your finances is to establish specific, money-saving priorities and goals.
Marygold & Co. offers an innovative way to empower clients to reach their financial goals through the apps Money Pool savings options.
What is a Money Pool Savings Account?
Essentially, a Money Pool is a prioritized goal-specific savings account. Marygold & Co. Money Pools provide a complete and transparent view of your progress towards each goal; short and long term. Money Pools allow you to clearly define your goals, set timelines, and track your progress. Say you want to save for a down payment on a house: you simply create your custom Money Pool within the app, set the amount, time frame, and automatically divide a portion of your pay into your ‘Pool’. These interest-earning accounts help you achieve your financial goals faster.
Coming Soon in 2021! Money Pools will be structured around the specific timeframe and target amount of the associated goal. As a Registered Investment Advisor, Marygold & Co. Advisory Services will offer unlimited Money Pools comprised of highly liquid Exchange Traded Funds.
Marygold & Co. lets you create customized, individual accounts for your unique and personal goals all in one place, marrying high tech with high touch solutions.