When I first start working with a client we are focused on business finances. What systems to set up? How do I save for taxes? How much money am I actually making?
It is very important to track your business finances and know where you stand. But how many of your put the same effort into tracking your personal finances?
As an entrepreneur the two are often intertwined, especially if you are all in on your business and counting on it to pay all the bills.
We sometimes get so laser focused on our businesses that we forget that there are other factors playing into our financial situation. You may know what you're bringing in, but do you have any clue how much you spend each month?
Financial health is really about the big picture. What you are bringing in, what your business expenses are, and then what your personal expenses are.
Here are 3 great free tools to help you track your personal finances to let you know where you stand and if you need to make changes.
Mint is Intuit's online personal finance software and it is 100% free. You can sync all your financial accounts including checking, savings, credit cards, loans (including student loans), retirement, investment. You can even enter the value of your home and vehicles. Mint helps you calculate your overall net worth which is really cool (or depressing in my case). Mint also has a killer budgeting tool. You set all your categories and it will track your spending into categories, it's not perfect so you still have to go in a make sure things end up in the right spot. They have also recently added a bill pay feature (not free) and they have services for checking your credit score (also not free). Mint also has mobile apps for every platform.
I used Mint.com for about 5 years to track my personal finances and it really helped me understand where I spend money.
EveryDollar is the newest personal finance software out there brought to us by Dave Ramsey and Ramsey Solutions. If you are not familiar with Dave Ramsey, he is an incredible financial teacher and has written numerous books, courses, and hosts a syndicated daily radio show on personal finance.
This new product he has come out with is a great and easy tool to track your monthly budget. It also teaches you some of Dave's principles for saving and getting out of debt, including budgeting every single dollar for the month. The base program is free if you don't mind hand entering your transactions, or you can upgrade for $99/year to have your bank sync to the site and auto download. You still have to assign each transaction (unlike mint), but that forces you to recognize where every dollar went. They also have mobile apps so you can check your budget wherever you may be.
I bet you didn't know that my favorite business accounting software also tracked personal finances did you? Yes! Wave has a personal side too where you can create budgets and sync your personal accounts as well. It's basically a simplified version of the business side, except it can track your stock trades, which is pretty cool. If you have a business set up in Wave, you can move transactions between personal and business which is very handy for those who have followed my advice in my first Biz Tip Post and don't have a separate business bank account.
To be honest I have not played with the personal side of Wave much because I was using the other two softwares I mentioned above. Also, my personal accounts are an a credit union that doesn't sync with Wave 🙁 Nevertheless, it is 100% Free and worth checking out, especially if you already use Wave for business accounting.
Do you use a personal finance tool? What's your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
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