Surprising Ways a Budget Planner Can Find Money and Help You Save It
Are you feeding your pig?
It's reasonable to want more money in savings, but money doesn't appear out of thin air. You have to find it, and you have to claim it. But if you've pored over bank statements a hundred times to no avail, you might just think it's a losing battle. What you need is a budget planner that knows how to find what you haven't.
Here are four things that the right software can do:
Know When There's a Better Offer Somewhere Else
There may be a better offer just around the corner, but you'll never know it without looking every day. With budgeting software that does the work for you, those hidden gems are revealed so you can take advantage.
Maybe your checking account doesn't offer the best interest, or your credit cards have higher interest than they should. If your mortgage doesn't have the lowest going rate, you could end up paying thousands more than you might with a different lender. With budget software that keeps an eye trained on your options, a better deal that saves you money could just be a few clicks away.
Identify Mysterious Money Leaks
If your checking account dwindles twice as fast as you think it should, it's time to investigate. A budget planner can show where every little penny goes, which might come as a surprise. Small purchases are a usual culprit, but any unplanned expenditure can be a money leak.
Budget software not only imports credit and debit card transactions, which show updated account information in real time, but it also lets you enter cash purchases. Nothing is a surprise when everything is accounted for. It may take a few days or weeks to see a pattern in spending, but it will emerge. Then you can redirect future money where you want it.
Keep an Eye on Investment Performance
Investments should make money, not lose it. In one handy place, a smart budget planner gives you an overview of performance, and makes suggestions that can earn you more.
Wouldn't it be nice to have someone else to read the fine print so you don't have to? Hidden or buried brokerage fees are no match for the investigative prowess of Mint.com's budget products. A penny saved is a penny earned, and some fees are an awful lot of pennies.
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Send Alerts for Everything, or Just Major Things
Most people don't throw money to the wind and wonder what happened to it. You pay your bills, manage investments, and slide a little into savings, but sometimes that's not enough. Alerts let you know when there is a money-saving opportunity, even when you're not looking for it.
Alerts can tell you when interest rates change, bills come due, checking accounts dip below your comfort level, or almost anything else that you'd rather know sooner than later. The sooner you know, the more you can save.
Budget planners can be simple, sophisticated, or something in between. More than keeping track of what you have and what you spend, these tools help you use what you've got wisely. Mint.com offers a suite of financial products that fit practically any lifestyle.
Sign up for your free Mint.com account today.
Carole Oldroyd is a freelance writer who helps families develop and stick to a budget.