At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Taking care of finances is basic to operating a household or a business. In order to manage the process efficiently, it is often a good idea to identify a money management system that will help organize information and allow you to track the status of your finances at any time. If you are in the market for a money management program, here are some points to keep in mind during your search.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are all sorts of personal finance programs on the market today. Some are very basic and are geared more toward helping young people learn the essentials of financial management. Others are more comprehensive, and will be a better fit for an individual or family that has a combination of debts, investments, and various assets to oversee. Still others are intended for business use, and have the ability to generate reports as well as calculate taxes and other essential functions.
For your purposes, the best money management program will be the one that addresses all the basics and any additional functions relevant to your situation. Basic money management software will allow you to set up a budget, monitor income and expenses, and in general keep you on track. More advanced money manager programs will track the status of bank accounts, set up schedules to pay bills on time, and even allow you to project interest payments on your credit cards, based on paying a certain amount on each card per billing period.
If investing is one of the ways you are building financial security, then you will want a money management program that makes it easy to keep up with the current value of your portfolio, as well as the current daily value of each investment you own. Software of this type can also help you keep track of when to expect dividend checks, calculate taxes due on those dividends, and in general make it simple to determine your net worth at any given point in time.
When your needs are somewhat simple, you may find that a free money management program will work very well. Programs of this type are especially good for people who are just learning how to keep electronic records, and may even include some sort of help feature that explains how to use the software to best effect. You may find a free money management program available for download online, or obtain one from a local debt counseling service.
For households that require something more robust, there is still a good chance you can find a money management program with all the functions you need without spending a great deal of money. Check at local office supply stores, as well as shops that carry software intended for home use. In most cases, these fee-based money management program packages will include clear instructions for installation, entering your basic data, and setting up reminders and deadlines to keep you on track. There is a good chance that the program will also include helpful money management tips that will save you money, diversify your income streams, and enhance your ability to strengthen your financial base.