Apps and Books to Help Plan Your Financial Future
So you’ve decided you need to get your financial house in order. You see the need to save for emergencies, future purchases, and retirement. Now that you’re ready to take those important steps, you’re wondering where to start and what to do first. With such an important task before you it’s necessary to make sure you do it right.
I suggest starting with a budget. The foundation of any successful financial strategy is a budget. You can’t know how much to save or where to save if you don’t know how much money is coming in and how much is going out each month. A budget is nothing more than a detailed list of your income and your expenses. You can start by simply making a list on a piece of paper showing how much you bring home each month, and how you pay out for things like cable, cell phone, food, gas, and car insurance. It’s a simplified version of a budget, but it’s a great place to start on your journey to financial freedom.
To help with your budget task I suggest checking out some of the latest budget apps for your smart phone. A recent article reviewed two of the latest budget apps and it’s probably a good place to start. You can check out this app, or this one. The thing about these apps that is different than the old-school budget is that they are connected to your checking account and credit card. So these apps know exactly how much you are spending the moment you spend it. That’s some quality accountability.
Once you have a basic budget in place I suggest looking at some quality books on the subject to learn tips and tricks to saving, paying down debt, and growing your money. Here’s a post reviewing some of the top books for anyone wanting to take the leap into investing.
The nice thing about this list is that the books range from beginner to a savvier investor. You can get a step-by-step book showing you how to organize your finances in a year to a book teaching you the history of the world’s most successful economic system: capitalism. There’s something for everyone.
Hey, the bottom line is that it’s your money. If you want more of it and want some hanging around when it’s time to retire, you have to be proactive. I hope these resources are helpful in your efforts to secure your financial future.