Personal Finance Shouldn't Be A Battle
The MoneyThumb community firmly believes that you shouldn’t have to battle to manage your personal finances. There are no dragons to slay in the financial kingdom – only personal quests to complete for your own profit and peace of mind. Read on for our best suggestions for avoiding battles and reaching monetary goals without hassle.
The Financial Advisor/Money Manager Relationship
A financial advisor or money manager can provide the expertise needed to reach your goals and plan well for the future. It is important, though, to select the right person, and maintain a good relationship with them.
Personal recommendations are a great starting point for selecting the right Financial Advisor. Seek out people with similar financial needs and goals to ensure you find someone that can help with your particular situation. If you’re a parent creating a college fund, for example, speak with other parents. Their recommendations will likely be more helpful to you than those provided by a retiree, or someone with a complex stock portfolio.
Learn Their Philosophy
Every financial planner has their own philosophy regarding saving, investing, and reaching specific financial goals. Make sure to select someone with a philosophy that resonates with you and feels right. A clear, agreed upon strategy and philosophy will help you and your financial planner to stay on the same page regarding money management. Ask to see a sample financial plan so you can know in advance what type of steps they would like to take moving forward.
Monitor Your Finances
Once you’ve selected a trustworthy money manager, and agreed upon a plan, the next step is to monitor your finances. Stay informed about your daily transactions and progress towards goals by checking your accounts regularly. This will allow you to quickly spot any discrepancies – accidental or intentional – that may have occurred under your financial advisor’s watch. Use tools from MoneyThumb, like our 2qbo Convert Pro, to get all of your transactions into one unified, easy to track picture.
The Struggle to See All of Your Finances in One Place
Disorganization can derail your pursuit of financial success. Avoid this common misstep by sorting, categorizing, and prioritizing your financial data. MoneyThumb offers software to help you do exactly that, quickly and easily.
It’s usually easy to collect and keep track of your current financial statements, but data from six months and older is also very valuable. See a complete picture of your finances by downloading historical statements in PDF format from your banks, credit card companies, and brokerage firms. Many find this step to be difficult, because they aren’t sure what to do with the PDFs once they’ve got them. This is where MoneyThumb can help! Use our converter software to change your downloaded PDF into QuickBooks, Quicken, spreadsheet, or other financial file formats.
Once you have all of your statements and balances, you can combine the information into one program for a comprehensive view of your financial situation. Some struggle because they use multiple programs for different accounts – QuickBooks for their small business, Quicken for their personal banking, and an Excel spreadsheet for family budgeting, for example. Use MoneyThumb’s exclusive software to combine all of that data into just one place.
How It Works
A person with the aforementioned accounts might decide to put everything into Quicken, so they can see every element of their finances at a glance. Software converters from MoneyThumb give you the ability to convert QuickBooks files into Quicken files, and convert CSV spreadsheet files into .QIF Quicken format. Those that prefer using QuickBooks can opt for our 2qbo Convert PRO, which allows for conversion of Quicken (QIF or QFX), Excel (.XLS), .PDF, and .CSV files into .QBO QuickBooks online format.
One advantage of using Quicken and QuickBooks is the ability to categorize transactions. This can also be done via simple spreadsheet tools, money management programs like Mint, or tax preparation software like Turbo Tax. Once you have all of the data into any one place, categorization changes from a battle to an easy feat accomplished. This is enormously helpful for personal budgeting, accurate income tax reporting, and a better understanding of your overall financial situation.
The Importance of a Community
Your personal finances are just that – personal – but that doesn’t mean you have to manage it all by yourself. Don’t limit yourself to just your expertise or that of your financial advisor. Participating in a group of like-minded, do-it-yourself finance people can benefit your bottom line and peace of mind. Share your knowledge with others online, and learn from their successes and mishaps. Not sure where to start? Not a problem! If you’re reading this, you are already a member of the MoneyThumb community. Join other MoneyThumbers in discussions and support on the website, forums, and Facebook page. You can begin by commenting on this article with your own advice or concerns about avoiding personal finance battles…we look forward to your feedback.