How to manage your money in the new year
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Jan 13, 2014 | 18687 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(BPT) - As a new year unfolds, many people resolve to kick bad habits and take better care of their health and their finances. After a few late payments, messy receipt folders and carefree budgeting, it's time to make your personal finances a priority. It may feel like you don't have enough time in your hectic life to sit down and manage your money, but with a few secret weapons you can organize your personal finances like a professional in no time at all, from wherever your busy day may take you.

There's no need to take any finance courses or crunch any serious numbers - anyone can do it with the right tools. And with the on-the-go lifestyle people live these days, those tools need to be just as mobile as you are. By tracking spending in real time and monitoring your budget and accounts from your mobile device, getting your money in order has never been so simple. With technology tools available and on your side, you will be set up for success.

A simple solution

If you are new to managing your money or need to dig out of debt, the free money management tool Mint.com is a great way to start. Mint, available via the web and mobile application, links you to more than 20,000 different bank, credit card, loan and investment accounts, making it easy to view most financial statements in one place. It allows you to get a better understanding of where your money is going. You can also set goals, create budgets and monitor spending no matter where you are. The application also delivers account alerts, bill reminders and personalized advice to help you save and stay in control of your money.

Making a change

You can assess where your money is going and make any necessary adjustments by categorizing your finances and spending with a budgeting tool. Go a little over board on shopping? Spend one too many nights at restaurants? Scale back your budget for the upcoming months to get back on track.

Set limits and budget the essentials like rent to be about 30 percent of your income and food expenses around 18 percent, which are the normal rates according to the U.S. Census. The Mint mobile application will let you know when you are nearing your maximum budget. Making small changes could help you put away 5 or 10 percent more every month, so you can be one step closer to reaching your savings goal.

Knowledge is power

For those with more complicated finances, Quicken 2014 offers multiple levels of personal finance and money management software that allows users with varying financial backgrounds to find the software that fits their needs. The Quicken 2014 mobile application allows users to sync data from their computers to their mobile devices so you can make smart decisions even when you're on the go. The comprehensive software even allows users to take a picture of a receipt with their smart phone to keep track of big purchases, project bills, and access account monitoring anytime, anywhere.

Set yourself up for a stress-free 2014 by getting a handle on your personal finances no matter how busy your life is. Once you know where you money is going, you are able to make a plan and consequently spend less time worrying about money. Knowledge is power, and having that knowledge at your finger tips will enable you to take charge of your finances and reach all of your money goals.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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