More and more women are taking on the role of their family’s chief financial officer. We set the budget, pay the bills, make the grocery list and can tell you how much it truly costs to run the family! Women have so many roles, however, that it can become tough and a bit overwhelming to keep track of it all. We have compiled a list of our favorite apps and websites that are easy, convenient, and most helpful to your pockets!
Financial planning can also bring down the anxiety you may feel about your debt-income ratio. According to Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. “Financial planning provides direction and meaning to your financial decisions.” That is, when you have a plan for how to spend your money, and follow through with them, your financial life will be much easier. CFP also refers to financial planning as the process of meeting your life goals through the proper management of your money. Life goals can include buying a home, paying off your student debt, saving for your child’s education, or planning for retirement. We all have similar goals.
Sometimes it is good to seek advice from a professional financial planner such as an accountant or investment adviser but in the mean time, here are some tools to help you keep track of your finances.
Mint allows users to link their accounts- including banking, credit cards, loans, investments, and property. The website also gives each user tips on how to improve their finances based on trends they notice in the person’s spending habits. Downloadable on smart phones and tablets, Mint is also available when users are on the go.
Like Mint, OneBudget also links to users’ accounts and keeps track of their spending. Community interaction is a key trait of this website. Users are able to connect with people who are working toward the same financial goals. The makers of the website believe support is important and wanted to hone in on that by allowing people to share how they budget their money and learn from one another. After all, they say experience is the best teacher. Why not learn from others’ experiences?
This website does not keep track of spending for users but does offer a lot of resources. The 21 Federal entities that compose the Financial Literacy and Education Commission provide the materials that are available via the website and the 1-888-MyMoney hotline.
Last but not least, consider these best practices when approaching financial planning from the CFP:
1. Set measurable goals.
2. Understand the effect your financial decisions have on other financial issues.
3. Re-evaluate your financial plan periodically.
4. Start now, no matter your age – don’t assume financial planning is for when you get older.
5. Start with what you’ve got – don’t assume financial planning is only for the wealthy.
6. Take charge – you are in control of the financial planning engagement.
7. Look at the big picture – financial planning is more than just retirement planning or tax planning.
8. Don’t confuse financial planning with investing.
9. Don’t expect unrealistic returns on investments.
10. Don’t wait until a money crisis to begin financial planning.
The last one may be the most important. It falls under the realm of things you stay ready for so you don’t have to get ready. Take some time out this week to see where your money is going!
Have these websites/apps been helpful to you? Or do you have other financial planning tips that have helped you? Share below…
As 2012 comes to a close, many of us are looking back eleven months and wondering what happened to those New Year’s resolutions we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. While we hope that you’ve had success with many of those, we have found some of the most common resolutions that won’t require drastic lifestyle changes in order for you to keep in 2013.
Fitness and Weight Loss
The push to get to your ideal size is a common goal, especially at the start of a new year. With months and months ahead of you, you might begin to develop a workout plan that you start with vigor, but one that fizzles out after the summer months and bikini season come to an end. In 2013, try developing a workout plan that’s not too complicated and can be kept for an entire twelve months. That way, when 2014 rolls around you won’t find yourself struggling to hit the same goal. Try things like replacing snacks like cookies and chips with healthier alternatives like fruits and vegetables. Also, try not to be a couch potato. Scheduling fifteen to thirty minute workouts into your day either early in the morning or before going to bed are easy ways to help you reach your goals.
One the most common pitfalls, when it comes to making a resolution of better spending, is making an unrealistic goal. Start the year off knowing exactly what your intended income will be and make a monthly budget that reflects that amount. While you might be subject to a raise at your job or monetary gifts from family and friends, consider any additional income money that whichcan be put into a savings account. Crystal Colclough, financial advisor and founder of BlackChicksWithCents.com says, “Determine your net worth by figuring out how much you have in assets and how much you have in debt. Create and budget then find the leaks and plug them”.
If you go to work every day and leave feeling like the day has been wasted on work that hasn’t fulfilled you in any way, setting a goal to land a new gig isn’t a bad idea, and while the job market may seem scarce, it is not an unrealistic goal. The beginning of the year is a perfect time to pull out that stellar resume of yours and update it, adding any new skills or awards you might have acquired during the previous year. Were you named employee of the month? Did your job offer training that allowed you to gain certification in an area you weren’t certified before? These are great examples of resume enhancements that can help you land that dream job you’ve been searching.
Don’t let a fear of not accomplishing certain goals stop you from making New Year’s resolutions for 2013! Write them down so that this time next year you can look back and check them all off.
Tell us some of your realistic resolutions below…
In partnership with the New York Public Library and Souleo Enterprises financial literacy programming – DivasandDorks.com will host a seminar that will help you stay on track of your budget and build wealth right from the smartphone in your hand. This weekend, join Christen of DivasandDorks.com for a Financial (APP)titude seminar this Saturday, July 14th at St. George Library in Staten Island, NY.
Within the digital realm exists a wealth of financial resources that have the abilitiy to empower individuals. In this presentation, Christen Rochon, publisher of DivasandDorks.com, will educate patron on the most innovative and useful digital tools to budget, raise funds, stay on top of bills and more!
Financial (APP)titude Seminar
Saturday, July 14th, 2:00pm
St. George Library
5 Central Avenue (near Borough Hall)
Staten Island, NY
The deadline to file your taxes is closing in (this year, tax day is April 17), and if you’ve got simple forms to file and a few minutes before Tuesday, you can easily file using your iPhone. Both H&R Block and TurboTax offer iPhone apps to help you prepare and file your 1040EZ forms before the deadline. What are you waiting for? Get more info on each below.
- H&R Block at Home – This app makes it easy to file your federal and state taxes on the go. Snap a pic of your W2 and import it into your return, even get alerts when your return is accepted and on its way to your bank account. Plus, your information can be transferred over from your federal to your state return for easy completion. The upside to this app is that it’s free to prepare and free to e-file.
- TurboTax SnapTax – File both your federal and state taxes by snapping a photo of your W2s and answering a few questions. You can e-file both federal and state returns, but it’ll cost you $25.
Thank you to TurboTax for sponsoring my writing about household finances.Learn more about how TurboTax can help you find every tax deduction you deserve. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
As you know, it’s tax season people and if you’re anything like me you’re looking forward to your tax-refund as a little bitty slice of heaven. (Ok, maybe not heaven – but at least it’s a vacation or something…) As I began to pre-plan on what I was going to do with my refund, I thought about it and said to myself “I Need A Magical Gadget To Change How I Save Money?” So here’s my mini-list on gadgets that I’ve begun using to help me keep track of my hard-earned tax refund.
1. Coin-Counting Jar: Like E AND B BRANDS DIGITAL COIN COUNTING JAR found on Amazon.com; CVS.com and available nationwide. This little savior makes it easy to count up your coins without them wasting away at the bottom of your purse. (Personally, once a week I grab up all the loose change at the bottom of my purse and by the time the jar is filled I saved up $67.15 – enough for a pair of VERY cute Steve Madden pumps.)
2. iPad App Review: Budget Easy
The idea of this application is that it offers everything that you could possibly need in order to budget for your month or week. You will be able to do a number of things that will really allow you to organise your money a lot better than you normally would and prevent you from overspending, as well as keeping track of what you have spent. There are a number of great features for this application with one of the best being that way that you can automatically get calculations for the amount that you are planning to spend in a month. You will be able to add categories, details of where you want to spend your money and more. You will also be able to automatically summarize all of your expenses over the course of a month and you will then be able to display what you have actually spent next to what you were hoping to spend for a good look at how you did.
3. Neat Scanning System: No tax season would be complete without receipts and finding a better way to organize them. How about using a scanning system as easy as this? Neat’s integrated scanner and software solutions capture and organize key information from your receipts, business cards and documents – so you can manage it, share it, and securely store it.
From banking gadgets to financial apps to office equipment, there are tons of ways to help save yourself some money, but when it comes to getting the most out of your money – why don’t you control that aspect of your life simple and easy by doing your taxes easily with Turbo Tax. The do-it-yourself, step by step instructions assist you in saving time and money (Hello??? Do you really know how much you get charged by using a tax preparer??) and don’t you feel a little better about yourself, when you save yourself some dough??? #justsaying