Keeping track of expenses in business operations such as maintenance costs or the price of working with the best moving company to expand your company is one thing. However, there’s also the question of how you can manage personal finances—leading you to balance two budgets instead of one. So, where should business owners look when monitoring personal spending habits? The digital realm!
With that in mind, here are some of the best tools to help manage personal finances while running a business.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
The “You Need a Budget,” or YNAB app is one of the best tools to track and manage personal finances. It uses a familiar spreadsheet layout that’s relatively easy to use and understand, allowing users to create monthly budgets in a few minutes. It’s designed to encourage business owners to live on last month’s income, meaning rather than making budgets based on your future income, you budget based on existing funds. In doing so, you offer every dollar you have a job. Additionally, YNAB provides detailed reports and graphs, making it easier to see where your money is going.
However, it may take some time to get used to this approach, but the result is worthwhile as it helps you maximize your personal finances while running a business. Plus, it’s worth noting that YNAB doesn’t automatically connect to financial institutions to download transactions, so users need to download transactions from their banks or credit card providers separately then upload them to the app. Although this may lengthen the process, it’s generally safe as it doesn’t force you to provide usernames nor passwords.
Quicken is one of the pioneers of budgeting tools, designed to handle all finances, ranging from personal budgets, investments, bills, and reports. Unlike YNAB, this app connects to your financial institutions while downloading transactions, allowing you to sync data between different devices, giving you swift access to your accounts. Although it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of YNAB, this old-school digital tool is still a fairly “solid” money management app. However, its Mac version isn’t as efficient.
Mint is one of the most popular free digital tools that help users plan budgets, track personal expenses, and send alerts when they’re close to going over budget limitations. It’s also owned by the Quicken developers, serving as a more efficient online version of the older app. Once you link all your bank accounts, credit card statements, and investment accounts, the app offers a wealth of information regarding spending, budgets, and trends.
After linking any of your financial accounts, Mint can show you your spending category alongside income, assets, liabilities, and overall net worth in mere minutes. The best part is, Mint is 100% free as the app relies on advertising revenue, so you’ll often see offers of financial products such as credit score monitoring. Mint is best for business owners who want to see the big picture of their personal finances.
Don’t underestimate the power of traditional spreadsheets. Although tracking personal spendings with a spreadsheet doesn’t come with the fancy features that other digital tools do, it gets the job done relatively quickly. A notable benefit of this is complete control over the data you track and how you monitor it. Plus, it lets you avoid giving online account aggregators your financial information. You can find the best spreadsheets to try for free on Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.
When you’re trying to save more personal finances, SavedPlus is the perfect tool that helps you set aside a certain percentage of every purchase you make—and then this amount is sent to your savings account in lump sums through weekly deposits. Using this app is a great way to ensure you’re saving money every time your business generates profits, allowing you to passively save and have more time to focus on your company’s operations.
If you’re looking to manage personal finances without the frills, a great example is Daily Cost. This digital app helps business owners enter and track expenses in a few seconds, boasting clean designs and easy-to-understand data, allowing any user to get an overview of their personal expenses without doing any additional digging, leading them straight to the numbers. It’s a great budget tracking app to use on the go.
Finding the best tools can make most jobs more manageable, which applies to all aspects, including personal finance. Choosing the right tool can make the management process for personal finances more efficient and easy to understand while running a business, allowing you to focus on operations without going over budget yourself.