BP Analytics has seen, developed and analyzed many personal finance packages around the world.
It’ has become very clear that consumers are over worked, inundated with too many emails.
Banks, credit card companies, utility companies are changing the rules all the time and late payments is less forgiving!
Here is my advise to stay on top of your finances:
1) Embrace technology- There is simply too much to do in our daily lives with not enough time. For example, if you have the same car payments due every month, then use online banking to auto pay it. There are many Personal Finance Software solutions available for free to use.
A wise person once told me, “A messy mind is a messy house”. I’d like to apply this to organizing finances, “a messy mind is a messy financial life.” Take advantage of the PFM tools out there. Let the software manage your outliers and you automate as much as you can.
2) Set up a budget at the beginning of the year- Sounds simple right.Yet most Americans put in a solid 9 hours a day to earn a buck, but zero controls on how to spend it. Putting a plan in place and using technology to track and monitor it for us, at the very least, focuses us to be cognizant of how much we are spending and on what. The saying that “we can’t manage what we can’t measure” comes to mind.
3) Setting up an Emergency Fund- Advisors that I work with consistently tell me, “smart personal finance management starts with setting aside 6 months of take home pay in an emergency fund.” We don’t know the future and we don’t know what will happen at moment’s notice. Setting aside 6 months of savings in an emergency fund is the smartest defense to protect ourselves from events that our completely out of our control.
4) Don’t play the market unless you know what you are doing- I can’t speak and say enough about this statement. Too many “do it yourself investors” think they know how to invest in the market, but they plain and simply don’t. For starters they are in a world with a huge disadvantage compared to institutional investors. Professional money managers invest millions of dollars into hiring top mathematical engineers to come up with complex forecasts. Let alone the large investments made in sophisticated, top of the line software that can detect any price advantage in the stock market. If you don’t invest for a living, then hire someone that does!
5) Read up- The internet offers a plethora of advice for free. Educate yourself. Join a Linked In Group or Contact others for tips and ideas. Check out your ego at the door, and “listen” to what reliable experts have to say, most of the time what they are saying is simple, sound and applicable advice. Take 1 hour a week and read up on advice, it’s nourishment for your financial soul.
Maurice Berdugo- CEO