Should you use software to help you improve your money management skills? Some would argue that software doesn’t really make that much of a difference. They love pencil and paper and ultimately, I think that’s just fine.
However, thanks to technological advances, software provides a lot of benefits to organizations and people when it comes to financial management today. As a software project manager by day, I know that software is simply a tool to help you perform your responsibilities many times more accurately, and certainly, with greater efficiency.
You might not be interested in using software. But, some of the best money management software on the market can certainly provide you a number of benefits to help you fulfill your important responsibilities of personal money management.
Here are a number of the benefits to consider when shopping for a new personal finance software, including a few I personally enjoy:
Integrate with Financial Institutions
Today’s software downloads transactions from your financial institutions such as PerkStreet Financial. For example, I use Mvelopes Personal, which downloads my transactions so I can track them against my budget and review my financial situation each day.
Conduct Online Budgeting
Speaking of budget, most financial software provides you the ability to set up an electronic budget and manage your spending against it. What does that mean? You can set limits, or determine how you want to allocate your money to different spending categories each month. Doing so will allow you to see how much money you have left for the category, such as food, as you spend.
Today’s software allows you to be mobile. In other words, you can download the iPhone app and check your balances and allocate your spending to certain budget categories. I’ve found having such technology allows me to have more positive and open conversations with my spouse about the status of our money because we are better informed.
Learn from Communities
Another great benefit to using software is to engage and interact with communities and support forums on the web. These communities are filled with like-minded people who use the same software and can share tips with each other to leverage it even further. (Similar to the way PerkStreet customers share tips with on another on the company Facebook page.)
Let’s face it. Sometimes, it’s hard to manage all the paper work associated with personal finance. Bills pile up, statements cover the desk, receipts are everywhere, etc. I think it’s still important to keep electronic records, but software sort of does away with the need to keep all your receipts since the transactions are downloaded from your financial institution.
Create Debt Plans
Many people are looking for ways to create debt plans, organize their debt, or get the debt help they need. Well, most of the good software out there today provides all these options. You can set up your debt plan and track your payments against your balances as well as see your debt free day in the future.
Technology certainly provides a lot of great options to help you manage your money. It’s definitely here to stay and there will be many more enhancements for the personal money manager in the years to come.
What software do you use to manage your finances? Better yet, what kind of software do you wish was integrated into your PerkStreet account? Let’s get a little conversation going in the comments section below.
Jason Price is a volunteer budget coach, a personal finance blogger at OneMoneyDesign.com and a Christian. His mission is to help people achieve true financial freedom.
Interested in becoming a regular guest contributor to the PerkStreet Blog like Jason is? Email the editor at kyle.psaty[at]perkstreet[dot]com
PerkStreet wants to give our customers a more complete view of their finances, so we’re working on building and testing software that integrates into our banking interface seamlessly to help customers avoid fees and budget smarter. Apply for an account today so you’re already in when our new software is ready!