How are you tracking financially?

Do you know how well you are tracking towards your financial goals? Maybe you haven’t gotten around to tracking your goals because you didn’t know how. There are many tools on the market that you can use to help you. Here are some of the key things you need to consider when deciding which tool to use:

Easy to use – this is probably the most important criteria for finding a useful tool. If it’s not really easy to use then it’s unlikely you will continue to use it long term. Be mindful that even the easiest of tools will take a little time at the beginning to set up and learn how to use.

Cost effective – you want to get a good service for the cost outlay. There are a number of free tools, however if they are free and you don’t use them they are not cost effective. I don’t believe you need to spend a lot of money on these tools but a small monthly or annual outlay for something that you do use will be worth it.

Automatic – being able to automate the downloads from your bank statements will make the process more time efficient and easier. Most tools today should have an automatic download facility, however this may be a function that you need to pay for.

Local – my personal opinion is that the tools built in NZ for our market are most likely going to be easier to use.

Scenario planning – for a tool to be effective you want to see where you are financially today and be able to do some scenario planning for the future. For example, if you saved a certain amount, or paid off your mortgage or debts at this rate, what would your financial situation look like at various points in the future.

www.financial.me is a new tool on the market that is worth looking at. The company is based in NZ and built by Kiwis. If you want to upload your bank statements manually (which is pretty easy to do) then it doesn’t cost you anything. If you want it to be fully automatic the fee is $9.95 USD per month.

By Lisa Dudson

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