The mediums that help us spend our money can add much organization to our personal financial world. The ability to track what we spend, see what we’ve spent, and rely on that information to be correct is very valuable and useful. I almost never carry cash and never use cash in my day to day spending. When you and I spend money with bills and coins, there is no way to track what we’ve spent unless we write it down. I don’t know about you but I have better things to do then to write down on a notebook what I’ve bought or open an app on my phone to input something I bought with cash. I’d rather let my banks track my spending and sync up to their systems. They do a fine job on their own and I don’t need to make it more complicated that it needs to be.
First off, be knowledgeable. Figure out which credit cards are open under your social security and which ones you use. If you have no clue, run a credit report and find out. Start from scratch and make sure you close accounts and cards you aren’t using or have ignored over the last few years that have gone dormant. Just because you have several open doesn’t mean they have to remain open. Keep a few open that you use regularly and cancel the rest. Simplifying this list and amount of cards will make it easier for you to track your finances and spending.
After getting rid of all the accounts you don’t need or use, start to track the spending on the cards you have in your wallet. Note: don’t open new credit cards when they’re offered to you in checkout lines. This complicates things and defeats the purpose of simplifying your life financially. I say, less is more, when it comes to credit card and banking accounts. The more accounts you have open the more you have to track, be responsible for, and keep tabs on.
Tracking spending is super simple when you have all your passwords and usernames set up for each financial account you have. That’s the hardest, most annoying task. Once you have them all organized and signed up you can track your spending through computer software or an app on your phone. Software and apps need those usernames and passwords to sync up to. They are very safe and secure and pretty user friendly. Choose whichever one you’re comfortable with. I love Quicken for personal finances and Quickbooks for business finances.
Finally, the organizing comes into play with being strategic in which card you use for certain purchases. This is the step that can keep you very organized with your money. If you give to charities, pick one card to use to make tax time easier. If you own a small business, pick a card to use for business purchases only. If you drive for work, a salesman for example, a gas credit card might make sense. Regardless of your spending situation or lifestyle, categorize and compartmentalize your spending to work for your advantage. When you need to cancel a membership, return something or find specific information about your expenses and spending, it will be easy to pull the information and get the answers you need.
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