Money Management: 3 Ways To Gain Complete Financial Clarity
Becoming successful financially isn’t a matter of making more money. When most people make more money, they tend to increase their spending and buy more of what they already have or something they don’t yet have in an effort to satisfy their basic human needs they value the most.
The problem with this type of behavior is that it will lead to financial struggle at a higher level than you were at before, and nothing changes, with the exception of your increased spending.
If you want to get ahead financially, you need to learn how to better manage your money.
Improving your money management skills has the ability to revolutionize your entire financial life, from your income, to your spending, savings and investments!
Improved Money Management Benefits
Increased Financial Clarity
Improving your money management skills will give you a clearer understanding of your overall financial life.
Have More Money
Improving your money management skills will also help you find and save more money.
Intelligent Financial Decisions
When you gain greater financial clarity you’ll also make more intelligent financial decisions that will lead to financial independence.
Make More Money
Better money management will also enable you to identify ways to make more money.
Reduce Stress & Worry
Improved financial clarity and more intelligent financial decisions reduces financial stress and worry.
Invest More Money
Greater financial clarity, more intelligent financial decisions and more money, will enable you to invest more money and increase your net worth.
Keep More Of Your Money
How many fees does your bank charge you just to keep your money with them and use their services? Do they charge you a monthly maintenance fee, transfer fee, overdraft fee? What are the account requirements necessary to waive those fees, if any? What is the interest rate they charge you on your credit card balances and the late payment penalty fee?
In the wake of the Wells Fargo Fake Accounts Scandal and now with Morgan Stanley facing charges, the realization from consumers that they were once again, scammed out of millions of dollars by greedy banks that is reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis, many people are left looking for a safe place to put and protect their money.
Where To Put Your Money
The first step to improving your money management skills is to learn where to put your money and how to protect it so you keep more of it. This means putting your money in a place that is designed to benefit you and your money first, ahead of the bank.
One of Simple’s core principles is that they never want to profit from customer confusion. They’ve built a platform that allows you to save easily and bank beautifully.
We love Simple as our primary bank for our personal bank needs and have been banking with them since 2012.
Simple is a digital bank, meaning there are no bank branches, everything is done online or through their mobile app.
Features include photo check deposit, direct deposit, instant transfers between Simple accounts, bank transfers, a Visa debit card, online bill pay and a unique Savings Goal feature where you set the amount you want to save and a date, and Simple will automatically apply money to your goal on a daily basis.
All these features are great, but our goal is to keep more of our money, and Simple makes this possible because the best feature of all is that there are NO FEES!!
No minimum balance fee, no account maintenance fee, no overdraft fee, no transfer fee, no account closing fee, no card replacement fee, NO FEES!!
For us, Simple makes banking, well, Simple and convenient and we highly recommend them.
If you own a business like we do, you’ll also want a safe and secure place to keep your business income.
Enter Spark Business Checking from Capital One. Like Simple, Spark is a completely digital experience, both online and through mobile. Compared to other small business banking accounts, Spark provides a simple, low-cost way for you to manage your business finances safely and securely. That’s why we love them!
Spark Business Checking has:
- No Monthly Transaction Limits
- No Monthly Fees
- No Minimum Balance Requirement
- No Fees for Capital One and Allpoint ATMs
- Next Deposit Availability
- Photo Check Deposits
- Free Online Bill Pay
- Free Electronic Invoicing
- Free Debit Card
- Spark Mobile App
If you’re a small business owner looking for a way to keep more of your money, Spark Business may be a great fit for you.
You Need A Budget (YNAB)
Now that you have a safe and secure place to keep your money and do your banking, the next step to complete financial clarity is to properly manage your money. And for that task, there is no better tool than You Need A Budget or YNAB.
YNAB is a powerful zero-based budgeting app and the cornerstone from which we manage our financial life. It will give you the most accurate, real-time view of your financial life.
What Is Zero-Based Budgeting?
Zero-based budgeting is a powerful and effective budgeting method that involves giving every dollar you earn a job, whether it be to pay bills, save or invest, until all the income you’ve earned is assigned to a job and the money to budgeted equals zero.
The YNAB system is based on four, very simple rules that will change the way you think about your money and ensure every dollar you earn has a job and is accurately working toward a better financial future for you.
- Give every dollar a job.
- Embrace your true expenses.
- Roll with the punches.
- Age your money.
Sync up with thousands of banks and credit cards to match up transactions with your budget as you earn, save, invest and spend your money. It is always up-to-date and they do budgeting better than anyone.
New users save $200 on average the first month of use and more than $3,300 by month nine.
A Real-Time View
For the most accurate view of your finances, we recommend immediately entering your transactions into YNAB’s register manually as soon as you spend or receive money. Doing so will give you the most real-time, accurate view of your money to help you make better, more intelligent financial decisions instead of waiting for it to sync with your bank in YNAB. As long as you enter the data accurately, YNAB will match up the transaction when it syncs with your bank.
Manually entering transactions also keeps you intimately involved with your budget and in touch with your financial life. Besides, it only takes a few seconds to enter a transaction through the mobile app.
YNAB also provides great support and daily classes to help you get the most out of their app.
They offer a free, 34 day trial for you to try things out and then it’s $5 a month there after or $50 when you prepay a year.
If you need more convincing as to whether YNAB is the best app for your budgeting and money management needs, checkout this YNAB Review on InvestorJunkie.
Focus On Increasing Your Net Worth
The final step to complete financial clarity is to focus your efforts on increasing your net worth.
Most people focus mainly on their income and expenses without ever realizing that your income and expenses are only a smaller part of your overall financial life.
When you properly track your income, spending, savings and investing through a budget, you’ll soon discover that your income and expenses are simply part of the engine from which you can increase your net worth.
One or two expenses you should budget for aren’t really expenses at all. They are actually transfers to your savings and investment accounts. Every dollar you allocate toward your savings and investment accounts increases your net worth.
The more you focus on growing your net worth, the more you will look for ways to increase the rate of growth in which your net worth increases. Before long, growing your net worth becomes a competitive game between you and your financial accounts.
One of the best tools around that we’ve found to accurately track and grow our net worth is Personal Capital, an app that puts more of an emphasis on investing, retirement savings, asset allocation and taxes while still allowing you to track your income and spending.
Personal Capital transforms how you understand, manage and grow your net worth. It starts with providing real-time information about your finances via state-of-the-art technology, and personalized, expert guidance to ensure you’re always moving towards your financial goals.
Their service syncs up with all of your financial accounts and tracks every transaction to provide you with an accurate view and understanding of how your income, spending, investments affect your net worth and overall financial life.
They provide several features designed to help you improve your money management skills and increase your net worth. Best of all, these features are all free!
- Net Worth Calculator
- Retirement Planner
- Cash Flow Analyzer
- Investment Checkup
- Fee Analyzer
- Portfolio Management
You’ll also find they provide a range of wealth management services for you to take advantage of if you have an investment portfolio of $100k or more.
We use Personal Capital every day and highly recommend them. But if you need a little more convincing, visit the Personal Capital website or checkout what our friends at InvestorJunkie. Checkout this great Personal Capital Review by Larry Ludwig.
Money Management With Personal Capital
Personal Capital helps you understand your net worth through their money management dashboard. Take a moment to set up a free account now and know your net worth.
We’d Love To Hear From You
Comment below and let us know:
- What steps are you going to take today to become a better money manager and gain complete financial clarity?
- How will becoming getting clear about financial life improve your life?
Important: Share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Remember to give as much detail as possible in your reply, it may help someone have a breakthrough they need.
Also, if you’ve got friends, colleagues or clients who you feel might need some more financial clarity and could benefit by becoming a better money manager, do them a favor and share this post on social media. You could help change someone’s life!
What’s Coming Up Next?
In our next episode of Abundant You TV, we’ll the 3 step process to achieving financial wealth and freedom!
Thanks for watching!
Sean & Tasha
*These are NOT paid endorsements. We are providing an honest assessment based on our own use and personal experiences in using these services to manage our personal and business finances. We received NO money for recommending the products and services listed.