Money. If your reading this post I can guess you are like me and thousands of others and struggling with your finances. Its horrible, I know when you feel money is controlling your life, and not in a good way. You can also learn How To Manage Your Money in my recent more indepth money post.
Free & Paid Online Software to Manage Your Finances
Let’s start off with working out which app to use that can help you manage your finances.
Managing your personal finances is a lot easier today with free and paid online software. Having as much bookkeeping automated as possible is very helpful to ensure that you don’t miss anything or get lazy and just don’t do it.
These software choices are amazing and will help you. Try a few of them to find the one that works best for you. Remember, the software package that works best for you is the one you like, not the one everyone else thinks is best. If it’s not intuitive to you, you probably won’t use it.
1. Mint – You don’t need to spend a lot of money to manage your personal finances. This software also offers a mobile app and it’s great for what it does. Everything is in one place; it can send bill due reminders, integrate with your bank accounts and credit card accounts, and more. Not yet available in the UK
2. Shoeboxed – If you have a lot of receipts, this is a great option to keep track digitally. You can use this software both on mobile and on your computer to keep track in the cloud of your receipts and documents. You can start with a $15 plan or you can move up to the $69 plan. You can categorize the data you scan and store in the secure cloud space so that it’s all fully searchable.
3. BudgetSimple – Need help setting up a budget? This product is simple, fast, secure, and a great way to make a budget. You will save money because youíll understand your finances a lot better as you get everything organized. Track every part of your income and expenses and get automatic financial tips too. You can even link your bank accounts. You can start free and if you want to you can upgrade to the plus option – that’s less than $5 per month and more than worth it.
4. Personal Capital – This cloud-based solution will help you with hidden fees, investment services, wealth management, data-driven portfolio management and so much more. Itís like a dashboard where you can see where you stand, all in one spot. This is for people who have started investing and have a real financial portfolio. Get started using it right away so that you can keep track.
5. Debt Quencher – This is for people who have credit card debt and want a simple way to pay it down. This software will help you do that. Just enter your balances and interest, pick how you want to pay it down, then follow the plan it provides. It’s that simple.
When you choose your software, do test it out. What’s easy for one person to use might not be that easy for someone else. Choose what works for you so that you will really use it and make the most of it.
Blogs and Websites To Help You With Your Finances
Let’s check out a few blogs and websites that are all about personal finance. If you want to educate yourself, get support, and do more with the money you have, the best way is through education. These blogs and websites will help.
1. FinancialMentor – With this site, you’ll get access to a wealth of information to help educate you about personal finance. Once you sign up you’ll get a free book, free email course, free audio and more. Plus, there are many articles that you can read too.
2. The Budgetnista – Aliche teaches financial empowerment and specializes in teaching financial literacy. She has best sellers, challenges and more. This is a great way to learn more about personal finance from a great teacher.
3. Budgets are $exy – Learn about how budgeting can ensure your ability to retire and live a good lifestyle. Get free budget templates, learn about different side hustles, and so much more from this interactive website.
4. MoneySavingMom.com – Learn about being frugal, couponing, and menu planning to manage your personal finances better. Crystal Paine has authored books and offers a great place to learn about saving money and budgeting for a family.
5. Disease Called Debt – If you want to break free from debt, this is a site that will help. You can learn how to pay off debt, save money, make money, build wealth and so much more. This is a great site with excellent advice.
6. The College Investor – If you have student loan debt, you can learn how to get out of it faster and more. You can even do a credit card debt analysis, learn how to maximize your taxes, and learn all about side hustles and building wealth – even as a young person. This site is geared toward Millennials.
7. Free Money Finance – This site looks a little old-fashioned, but it has a lot of great information following the story of the founder. He talks about multiple streams of income, how to make money on side gigs and how to pay off your mortgage fast.
8. Suze Orman – Suze is a famous financial advisor and she offers so many ways that you can get better with your personal finance, from a personal financial security pack, a wills and trusts pack, and so much more.
9. Everything Finance – This blog is a one-stop shop for everything about personal finance including investing, saving, shopping, earning extra money, blogging, parenting, and more. The goal of the site is to provide a lot of content to help you go back to school, learn to make it on one income, pay off debt, and more.
As you can see, there are many blogs and websites that are geared to helping others make the most of their personal finances through shared experiences.
Apps To Keep Your Finances in Check
We’ve already given lots of different websites, software, and advice that you can use to help you with personal finance. As well as that, there are now a lot of apps that you can use on your mobile device to keep your personal finances in check.
1. PocketGuard – With this app that works on iOS and Android, you can track your spending, save money, and be more financially aware, always in the palm of your hand. Since it connects to all your accounts, it helps you make fast decisions with a glance at the big picture anytime you want to.
2. Home Budget with Sync – This app can be found on Google Play, Android Apps, and in the Apple App Store. You can get a lite version free to try it out. It syncs with Dropbox and a whole host of other software.
3. Anishu – If you need to track your cash flow and investments, you can use this app that has an integrated set of financial features that tracks cash flow, expenses, budgets, accounts, payees and even bill tracking. The paid version has many integrations that make it useful.
4. Good Budget – This app works on all mobile devices but also on a personal computer. Know how much you must spend on anything based on the virtual budget you set up. Set up virtual envelopes and sync with multiple devices and accounts as well as the Good Budget website.
5. Mint – This is a computer-based software program (mentioned before) that also has apps so that you can use it in on a mobile device. If you want to pay for lunch for your best friend, you can quickly check your financial situation right online to find out if you can really afford it before you say, “I got it”.
6. Clarity Money – This budget planner is available via the iTunes store. You can use this app to get organized, find and cancel any type of unwanted subscriptions that you’re paying for, and save even more easily.
7. Varo Money Inc. – This budget and ATM software is available for iPhone in the Apple Store. It’s easy to use, you can see your accounts all in one place, get a real balance anytime, save more money by finding higher interest options, and so much more.
These seven apps are great options to use. But, don’t forget that your own bank or your credit cards have many apps that you can use to help organize your finances too. Check your bank first, then look at the benefits of any credit cards you have to find out what they offer for you to use while on the go.
When you want to learn more about personal finance, itís likely that there are some local resources you may not know about. The best way to find this help is to conduct a Google search for “your area personal finance” to see what’s available. Here are some places you can check too.
1. Meetup.com – This local meeting service helps you find all sorts of local interest groups that may include personal financial planning groups, investment groups, and more. As always, be careful about any groups that ask for an investment of money, although sometimes that is still legitimate. But, do your due diligence.
2. Hire a Financial Planner – Most financial planners should be hired locally because of the way they are licensed locally. Look at your local chamber of commerce business list to find a financial planner. Go with one that takes a set fee rather than gets money based on the investments they want you to make.
3. Your Bank or Credit Union – Most banks and especially credit unions offer some form of financial planning and personal finance education. Look at your bankís website or call them to ask them about the services and solutions that they offer.
4. A Community College – Many community colleges offer courses in personal financial planning that you can take. You donít have to go to college full time to take a class or two to learn more about personal financial planning.
5. Your Place of Worship – Many churches bring in people to conduct seminars or lessons about personal financial planning. If they donít, you can try to organize it yourself. People like Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey like to present in churches.
6. Your Local Library – Some libraries offer a “Mind Your Money” and financial literacy courses, both in person and online. These are usually sponsored by The FINRA Investor Education Foundation or Smart Investing at Your Library, which is a partnership with the American Library Association.
One way to find this help is to ask Google, but another way is to simply call these local organizations and ask them. If you have savvy friends, you can also ask them who they recommend for more personal financial literacy and help.
Personal Financial Courses
Today all kinds of schools are offering personal financial courses, both online and offline. There are no shortages of places to take courses either – from schools or from experienced individuals. Let’s go over some options.
1. LinkedIn Learning – If you want to learn about personal finance, you can sign up and take courses on LinkedIn. They have beginners and intermediate personal finance type courses, such as Managing Your Personal Finances and even courses for learning about Bitcoin.
2. Lynda.com – This platform has a lot of different courses that you can take about personal finance, such as Managing Your Personal Finances, Managing Your Personal Investments, and more. Usually, you can check out a few of the lessons free before paying to make sure you like the course.
3. WallStreetPrep – While these courses are meant for professionals, you can take them too. The more you learn about finance, the better youíll be able to help your family save and invest and thrive.
4. Udemy – There are numerous courses about financial planning on Udemy, including The Core Four of Personal Finance. This is an inexpensive course that will help you get a handle on what personal finance is so that you can make the best choices for your family.
5. Coursera – Coursera have a course called Personal & Family Financial Planning that explains the basics, including how to become financially secure and the time value of money. There are assignments and quizzes.
6. Edx.org – You can take a great course about personal finance that will teach you about stocks, and help you understand more about whatís happening when it comes to stocks, bonds, how insurance works, how to use credit, and so much more.
7. Alison.com – This platform has many courses to offer regarding personal finance, such as Introduction to Simple and Compound Interest.
8. Khan Academy – The Khan Academy has courses on almost anything, created by knowledgeable people. One such course that you might want to try is Personal Taxes, which can help you better understand how taxes work and how to plan better.
9. Your Local College – Most local colleges, both community colleges and universities, offer some form of courses regarding personal finance – even if they don’t have a degree program for it. And you donít need a degree to learn what you need to know to ensure the healthy financial future of your family.
10. Your Public Library – Most public libraries offer courses and workshops about personal finance, including investing, saving, and budgeting. Just call your local library to find out what they offer or look on the American Library Association website to find out more about local and online options.
11. CNN Money – Believe it or not, you can take a free class about personal finance from CNN Money. You can learn about many different topics from getting a job, buying a car, starting a family and more.
These courses are just a start. There literally is a plethora of courses that you can take about personal finance, which will help you get your finances in order so that you don’t just survive but actually thrive financially for years to come – regardless of the bumps in the road.
These are must-have personal finance books that everyone should have in their library. Not only will they be books youíll want to look at over and over, theyíre also great to pass on to your children so that they become financially literate too.
1. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – This highly rated book covers all aspects of personal finance, including how to get out of debt, save money, and invest. Youíll learn how to pay off your debt fast, set up an emergency fund, plan for retirement, pay for college, and so much more. Your family will be happy if you read this and implement this plan.
2. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman – This book sets up bite-sized bits of information and advice devoted to teaching younger people to care about personal finance. It gives practical and truthful (if a bit harsh) advice to younger people who want to make it in this world.
3. The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need by Scott Pape – This is a great beginner book to help you handle your money. We’re not sure if itís really the only guide youíll ever need, but it is certainly a great book to have when youíre starting out and to give to young people just starting out.
4. No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Lessons for Young Adults by John D. Spooner – This is an interesting book that is written by a leading financial advisor. Itís nice to read, because he wrote it as if itís letters to his grandchildren and it’s filled with hard-learned wisdom.
5. From Broke to Breadwinner: A Single Momís Guide to Financial Independence and More by Janaki Chakravarthy – Hint: You can get this one free with Kindle Unlimited. Itís a great read if you want to learn how to become self-sufficient as a single mom, and itís heartwarming to know itís possible too.
6. The Wall Street MBA, Third Edition: Your Personal Crash Course in Corporate Finance by Reuben Advani – This is a good book for a newbie or a professional. It has a lot of information and insight into how Wall Street works and what you need to know. Itís fun to read too, because it has great stories.
7. How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck: A proven path to money mastery in only 15 minutes a week! by Avery Breyer – This is such a great book about personal finance that you should get it right away if you have the problem of living paycheck to paycheck or you are just a couple months away from disaster if you lose your job. You wonít regret it.
There are certainly more books than this that you can read about personal finance, but the ones selected aren’t necessarily the ones that people expect. They’re very down to earth and realistic about personal finance, and thatís what you need to be successful. One reason a lot of people don’t understand personal finance is that classes in schools on this subject have been cut to almost non-existent (and this includes colleges unless you’re trying to become a personal financial planner).
That’s sad because there isn’t much that is more important than your financial present and future. Make it your goal to read at least one of these books each month and youíll be an expert in personal financial planning before you’re done.
Latest personal finance tools and resources for kids
Starting young is important when it comes to teaching children about personal finance. Money is something that we all need to understand to make it in this world. Imagine how much better off you would be had you learned the personal finance lessons that youíve likely learned the hard way before you went out on your own.
These resources and tools can help ensure that your kids don’t start out without the right knowledge.
* Kids Finance – This site provides lots of links to outside resources for teaching children financial literacy. From the old-fashioned “how to write a check” to the Department of the Treasury lesson plans for budgeting and investing, everything is listed here.
* Kids and Money – This site offers workshops, books, a blog and more so that you can find what you need depending on your childís age group. In fact, even grown-ups will enjoy the lessons and understand them better if they are deficient in their financial literacy.
* The Center for Economic & Financial Education – This is a project of the University of Illinois and it has amazing information. Itís essentially a list of links, but the things you can find here to help you either teach financial education or just learn is unprecedented and so useful.
* Sense & Dollars – This has games, links, and information for learning about money. You can find information about kids starting businesses, links to government websites that help explain money to kids (and adults) and so much more. Try not to be turned off by the colors of the website; the information is essential – especially the planning for college section.
* Money as You Grow – This website lives on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureauís page and offers resources for parents to help children learn to earn, shop, save and more. There is a lot to learn about how kids learn about money, and you’ll probably learn something useful in the process too.
* MoneyInstructor.com – This site has games and more that you can use to teach children about financial literacy and responsibility. Whether for children or teens, there is something for everyone here.
Teaching kids about money are arguably as important as teaching them about sex. They need to know all they can about money from an early age to avoid money blocks and other issues that can send them down the wrong money path.
Latest personal finance tools and resources for teens
Teaching financial literacy to teens is super-important because they’re going to be going out into the world very soon. In fact, their senior year of high school will be a time of applying for college money, including loans. If they don’t understand how this affects their future, they may make poor decisions about money. But, if you do all you can to teach them, you may help them avoid serious problems.
* The NFCC – If you want your teenager to start off their adult life on a good financial footing, you canít go wrong if you use NFCC as your guide. This is the organization that certifies credit counselors, but they also have tools that can be used for teaching and educate teenagers.
* Toshl Finance – Using this tool you can connect all your financial accounts so that you can better stick to your goals. Itís great for teens to put on their phone so that they can stay in control with a budget for all their needs. They even have directions on how to set up a budget that will help tremendously.
* Savings Spree – This app won a parentís choice award and works on an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. Your child will be playing a game, but learning about money and saving money at the same time. Itís fun, engaging, and educational all rolled into one.
* SmartyPig – This online piggy bank helps people save money without them even knowing it. Itís great for teenagers. Simply set up an account, set your goals, and then let it work on automatic. You can transfer funds whenever you want and even give money directly to your friends.
* iAllowance – This app can be set up even with more than one child and automates paying an allowance to your children in the time periods you want to pay them. You can even use pretend money called stars for younger kids to get them used to have and using an allowance. Plus, you can keep track of all transactions which helps a teenager learn how to manage their money easily.
Raising kids who understand the importance of personal finance is so important. But, itís all up to the parents because most schools arenít teaching this important life lesson today. You can help your teenager navigate choosing a career, education, and paying for it without ruining their financial future, by teaching them the importance of personal finance and money management.