ARVIND JAYARAM | January 11, 2014 | Business Line
If you face difficulty in tracking your finances, here are tools that can be of help.
It’s that rosy time of the year when hatching plans to start new activities can be fun. So, for those of you who are planning to manage your finances a little better this year, read on.
The Internet and your smartphone have various tools and applications that come handy in tracking your money, lowering expenses and speeding up payments.
The key principle behind successful money management is good accounting. You need to have a grasp of not only how much money is coming into your bank account, but also how much is going out, and where.
But maintaining a register might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Further, if you have more than one account or source of income, keeping tabs becomes more complex.
So, let the Internet assist you in this book-keeping endeavour. One such tool is Perfios (Personal Finance One Stop), a Web-based personal finance application that provides a complete overview of your financial status.
Besides bank accounts and credit cards, the software can track your mutual fund investments, insurance policies, loans and fixed deposits.
You just have to link the relevant accounts with Perfios, which then keeps track of your money for you. With such tracking, identifying patterns in your shopping, dining and other spending patterns is easier.
It can also, thus help identify where expenses can be cut, and how much you can save.
In addition, Perfios can compute and help with filing of your income tax. You can also use the Web site to store financial documents.
Similar products available include Aditya Birla Money’s MyUniverse finances management tool and manageyourexpenses.com.
All these products can be used for free, though there is a fee if you want to access more advanced functions.
Technology can also help you save money by providing you with more choices. If you think your overseas phone calls are getting too expensive, try out a voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) service, such as Skype, which is free-to-use and just requires an investment in a Web camera for your computer.
You can also download Whatsapp, a chat messenger for your phone and PC that allows you to send unlimited messages to other users for free in the first year and for a fee of Rs 55 a year from the second year onwards.
Note, though, that you will need a data plan or Wi-Fi connection.
Turn to Netbanking to save a few bucks, too. Sometimes, paying with debit or credit cards carries a transaction fee which Netbanking does not.
For example, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) levies a service charge on payments made using a debit card or credit card, whereas payments done through Netbanking are free.
Using technology for comparison shopping online can also help you snag the best deals. Online retailers often offer a significant discount on products that would be costlier at a brick-and-mortar store.
And sites, such as Groupon, offer free coupons to avail of discounts on anything from dining out to movie tickets. Every little bit helps in achieving your goal to financial security.
Keeping a tab on your investments is just as important as tracking where you’re spending.
For instance, dabbling in stocks can be a difficult proposition if you are not a full-time day trader.
If you’re busy at work, or on the move, there is a chance that you miss out on selling a stock when it hits a certain price or buying more shares when they’re available cheaply because you’re not monitoring the tickers.
Try out an application called such as Stock Tracker, which provides you with real-time alerts on your smartphone when a stock hits a certain price.
Combine it with other applications, such as Stock Watcher, which provides you with technical analysis charts and other data.
You can also analyse your portfolio with tools such as The Hindu Business Line’s free WealthCheck Web application or MProfit, a portfolio management and accounting software.
So, if a few mouse clicks can help you along the road to better wealth management, don’t fight progress!
Source : http://goo.gl/tyL8h4