If your spending tracker process still involves spreadsheets and paper receipts you need to know about Moneyhub and other personal finance apps.
Using the spreadsheet method as a spending tracker is not only time consuming, it leaves you open to financial fraud.
It’s time to try the new way of money management!
Let me explain.
Why use a spending tracker?
Ever since I was young and first started managing my own money I always liked to reconcile my bank account with my record of spending.
Not only did it help me understand how much I had in my account (so I never went overdrawn) it also helped me understand where my money was actually going.
As I got older there was another reason I was always so keen to match my record of spending with my bank statement and that reason was card fraud.
I remember the time my old boss received a phone call from her bank explaining there had been a fraudulent transaction on her account. They asked her to confirm her card details for security. The problem was, it wasn’t actually her bank on the phone but a criminal using clever tactics to catch her unawares.
This resulted in the criminal gaining her card details and making a transaction in Turkey for several hundred pounds!
When my old boss went back through her bank statements it turned out there were quite a few smaller fraudulent transactions that she hadn’t noticed before.
So this definitely reaffirmed my spending tracker process every month.
My process went a bit like this…..
#1 – Keeping receipts
#2 – Recording all my spending in a notebook (which later upgraded to an Excel spreadsheet)
#3 – Ticking this off against the corresponding line on my bank statement.
There were a few problems with this process though. Not only was this a bit time consuming, I had to have all the paperwork with me if I wanted to reconcile, it was prone to error (me not being able to add up properly), unsecure (as my records could get lost), and I had to wait until the end of the month to get my bank statement.
Do you check your spending on a regular basis to make sure you haven’t been a victim of fraud? Perhaps you are still following a spending tracker process like my old manual one to reconcile?
Well, wouldn’t you like a process that allows you to check your transactions in seconds on a more regular basis?
This is where a personal finance app like Moneyhub can really help save you time and ensure you are on top of your spending at all times.
Seeing all your transactions, live in Moneyhub means you can spot any suspicious transactions straight away.
Here’s how I use it.
Using Moneyhub as my spending tracker
Once you have linked your bank accounts, Moneyhub will go back through the account data and pull through your last 3 months of spending. You can then go through it and categorise it. Moneyhub will attempt to categorise it already and it’s pretty good at it but by performing a sense check you can help it learn what goes where.
Then going forward, anything you spend will show in a ‘transaction inbox’. You can then check this inbox on a daily or weekly basis and tick off each transaction that you know is genuine.
Anything that looks suspicious can be left in your inbox and investigated further.
As the Moneyhub app keeps records of all your accounts and spending, and as the items in the transaction inbox are a direct feed from your bank account, there’s no need to manually record your spending and to reconcile it against a bank statement. You’re reconciling it every time you tick and remove a transaction from your transaction inbox! Super easy, super quick!
Not convinced yet? Here are 5 reasons to use a personal finance app like Moneyhub:
5 reasons to use a spending tracker app
#1 – Protection against fraud
As already mentioned above, by using the transaction inbox feature you can spot any suspicious transactions straight away.
#2 – Know your spending
All your spending is categorised so it’s really easy to see what you have spent where.
You can also compare spending to a previous month.
One of the best ways to get on top of your spending is to forget about trying to budget and just start noticing instead.
If you find you have spent £250 on coffee and it’s not in line with your values and goals then at least you now know and can do something about it.
#3 – Budgeting
But if you are into budgeting, this can all be set up on the app and you can receive alerts when you are close to your budget.
You can even set savings targets that help motivate you to save for things like a special holiday or house deposit.
#4 – Remember all your accounts
Did you know there is nearly £15 billion lying in forgotten old bank accounts, pensions, life assurances and investments?
By linking all your accounts to one app, you can see everything in one place. Never again will you forget about an account!
#5 – Easier for your loved ones if something happens to you
If the worst was to happen and you were no longer around how would your family currently know what money you had where?
With a personal finance app, all the information is in one place making it much easier for your family to locate everything and complete probate quickly.
Honestly, the time I’ve saved using a spending tracker and all round personal finance app has been huge. But not only that, I always feel I’m on top of everything and if I need to check something, all my finances are right with me, easily accessible on my phone.
There are quite a few spending tracker and personal finance apps out there now and I’ll shortly be carrying out and writing up a review of the leading tech. If you would like to receive this review just enter your details in the box below and I’ll make sure I send it to you when it’s ready.
Have you started using a spending tracker or personal finance app yet? If not what’s stopping you? I’d love to hear your views. Join the conversation here.
Stock market linked investments and any income from them, can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. Any figures quoted are for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as a forecast or guarantee. Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future returns and clients may get back less than they have invested.