Navigating the maze that is personal finance

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Why should you track your expenses and 5 free expense tracker apps



It is of paramount importance to know your expenses. Yes, you must be wondering why expenditure first and not earnings? The thing is that in today's era with expenditures more so than earnings we need to know how much minimum amount we need to spend to maintain our lifestyle. This would include:

·         Regular bills such as phone, electricity, water
·         Commuting expenditure like petrol
·         Rent
·         School Fee of your children
·         Salary of maids
·         Your liabilities such as EMIs, insurance and credit card bills
·         Miscellaneous such as laundry.
·         Others which are occasional but substantial could be spent on entertainment, traveling, etc.

Once this is done it would be prudent to divide your expenses in fixed and variable ones. The last would belong to the variable category while the others would be in fixed category.

I recommend writing down your expenditure to the rupee. This helps you understand your spending habit n in the long run will help you identify areas where you can prevent your hard earned money going down the drain.

You also need to ensure that expenditure done by all family members is noted and not just by you. Because a 1000 rupee unaccounted for expenditure per month would amount to Rs.12, 000 per year, which you could be spending on something as innocuous as a samosa and a cup of tea in your office every day.

List of ways to maintain down expenses

The point is not in not spending it on your pleasure but being aware while doing so. Once you know where you are spending it is easier to save.

The following apps would be helpful in doing so.

Mint

 















Available on Android, iOS and Windows. It does an excellent job of giving you insight to how much money you have, how much you owe, and where you've spent it.  A detailed review of the app can be found here.

Andromoney

AndroMoney is an expense tracker for Android phones. AndroMoney is extremely configurable, you enter an expense and find that none of the existing categories or subcategories fit your need, you can add a new one immediately. A detailed review of the app can be found here

Expense Manager




Expense Manager is simple, intuitive, stable and feature-rich app to manage the expenditures and budgets. A flexible, feature-filled app, it has an excellent range of reporting abilities. More details about the app and how it works can be found here.

Money Manager Expense & Budget

Money Manager is an expense tracking and personal asset management app for Android. It helps record your personal and business financial transactions, generate spending reports, review your daily, weekly and monthly financial data and manage your assets. The free version comes with most of the features, you need to manage your expenses including a pass code to keep things secure, stats about your spending among others.  
Money Lover 



Money Lover is a great tool to track your personal finance: incomes, expenses, debts, and savings. Even though Money Lover is not very flexible, it allows you to add notes, contacts, a picture, location, and reminders.


In conclusion


Personally I use the Expense Manager app to track and maintain my expenses. If however you are not comfortable with this, use excel to track your expenses. What do you think? What tool do you use to manage your personal expenses?
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