December 31, 2009
Financial honesty not literacy in the new year...
By Cindy Ivanac-Lillig
2010 is quickly approaching and your favorite financial resolution is probably back on the table. It is most likely some form of: I will spend less on frivolous coffee or I will make a budget and save x% of my paycheck. These resolutions are not related to financial literacy, but perhaps to financial honesty. I always joke that I am extremely financially literate and could even happily chat at a holiday party about equity risk coefficients, but I can't seem to bring myself to create a budget. After all, the budget may require that I eat at cheaper lunch locations and well, the "costs" of going to eat at the cheaper lunch location just seem too high relative to the "benefits." Or could it be that I am just not being that honest with myself about the "costs" and the "benefits" of my lunch hour?
I read a short article today about 6 things we can all do -- regardless of age -- to help make the best financial decisions. It was pretty hum drum in terms of advice but it hit on a few new "apps" available on the iphone that are designed to track daily expenses. I know that there have been small notebooks and pencils around for this same purpose for hundreds of years, but something about these "apps" made me think that this could work. You see, there is no need for a grand budget right away (as I tell myself), but perhaps just tracking spending alone would help with the honesty bit. And perhaps this is the time to look into this tech option as we are all attached to our darn phones all day anyway -- how hard could this be?
My new New Year's resolution: figure out easiest way to track daily expenses and see if it changes my cost/benefit analysis.
Some of the application suggestions and my unqualified first impression:
Every Nickel: Seems super easy -- just tracks daily expenditures
iexpenseIt: Seems pretty easy as well; allows you to incorporate a bit of budgeting if you so choose
Splash Money: Something for those that are more adventurous and want to connect to their bank accounts (also available for blackberry)
Let me know what you think.... (and if you have ever used anything similar in a classroom setting, I would love to hear about it). Happy New Year and Good Luck!
Posted by Cindy at December 31, 2009 4:00 PM
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You could also look at the website Mint.com, which I've been using for a while for this purpose. If most of your expenditures are made with a credit card it's quite helpful. The disadvantage is that you have to provide login credentials for you credit accounts (they implement a system that supposedly makes this pretty safe and describe it on their website), and that they were recently acquired by Intuit.
Posted by: Daniel Grady at January 8, 2010 9:29 PM
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