Track Spending Online
From the beginning of this series, we’ve said that the best way to get “un-lost” is to know where we are—to gain context.
Here are some helpful tools that you can start with right away. Each is an online tool to help you track and categorize spending by syncing in real time with your bank accounts, including debit- and credit-card transactions. Start today knowing where your money is going!
The first of the free utilities, and regularly adding features. I’ve experienced a 24-48 hour delay in syncing with my bank account, but other than that it’s pretty smooth.
The newest offering in the free category, from the personal finance giant Intuit. I’m guessing there’ll be easy upgrade paths to more robust paid options. I’m also guessing Intuit will remind you of those upgrade paths often. But hey, free is free!
My personal favorite, because it takes a different approach. It really mimics the physical envelopes you may have used in the past. Each time you have income, you allocate specific amounts to each envelope (spending category). At any time, you can check to see what remains in each envelope, and envelope balances accrue each month for those items you’re saving up for. ($8-$13 per month, depending on length of agreement.)
What do you use? Is there another system you’d recommend? Comment below!