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Financial Software – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series at www.JoeSangl.com – Financial Software!

In Part 1, I shared the reasons that I use Microsoft Money.

Now I want to share how the use of this software has enabled Jenn and I to take our finances to another level.

First, let me go back a few years to explain how I discovered this software …

It was in early 2000, and I was sitting in a leadership meeting for NewSpring Church.  It was me, Perry Noble, and Jason Wilson.

The new church was just getting off the ground (less than four months old), and Perry pulled out these incredible looking financial reports.  When I say "incredible", I mean just that.  I was floored.  I was amazed about two things – (1) the incredible reports and (2) that PERRY had them!

"What …?  How …?  Where did you get those?", I stammered.

"Your wife printed them out for me.", Perry said.

They were INCREDIBLE!  These statements were more professional than anything I had seen in Corporate America.

I asked my wife (who was the church secretary at the time) how she did it.  "With Microsoft Money", she said.

I immediately switched our personal finances from my paper-based system to Microsoft Money and have never looked back.

Here is how this software has helped us take our finances to the next level:

  • It made me realize how crazy we were spending our money.  We were debit card kings!  Everything was a debit card purchase.  $2.46 purchase.  $1.03 purchase.  $3.21 purchase.  We averaged 90 transactions per month.  When we switched to cash envelopes, we cut our transactions by over 60%!  We now average less than 30 transactions per month.
  • It made me realize that we did not have a plan for our money.  When you have to categorize an average of $500 of spending as "Miscellaneous" each month because you don't really know where it went, you have a problem!  That is exactly what we were doing.  By using this software, I SWIFTLY realized where it was going – the grocery store, restaurants, and impulse purchases on "wants".
  • It makes me vote.  When I enter paychecks, I enter the gross income and all of the deductions.  When you see how much you pay in taxes on an annual basis, it will drive you to the polling booth every time you have the chance!  I want to ensure that tax money is managed well.
  • It helped me become even more organized.  Microsoft Money (and I'm sure other personal finance software) allows you to set up recurring reminders on certain bills.  It ensures that I pay them on time!  AND if someone ever disputes a payment, I can quickly find the transaction and end that discussion.
  • It allows me to track multiple accounts at the same time.  I love having all of my financial information in one place.  It allows me to quickly see a snapshot of my overall financial condition.  That's a good thing!

I highly recommend that you use Microsoft Money, Quicken, or other similar software.  Many times it comes already installed on your new computer.  Check out your computer and see if you have it.  If you do, try it out right!

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Financial Software – Part 1

Welcome to the latest series at www.JoeSangl.com – Financial Software!

One of the keys to maximizing your financial potential is to GET ORGANIZED.  Organization helps in so many ways.  It helps ensure that bills are paid on time, helps you locate a financial record swiftly, and allows you to focus on "doing" instead of "searching".

I am a huge fan of financial software, and in this series I will be reviewing different types of software that is available.

I personally use Microsoft's Money Software.  Microsoft recently changed the name of their Microsoft Money software to Microsoft Money Plus.

I have used Microsoft Money software since 2000.

The top reasons I use this software are:

  • Ease of use  Above everything else, financial software needs to be straight-forward and easy to use.  Microsoft Money is exactly that for me.
  • Multiple Accounts  I can manage multiple bank accounts and investment accounts within the same program
  • Reports It has tons of built-in reports that allow me to see where my money is going!
  • I always know exactly how much money is in all of my accounts!  This alone is worth the entire cost.  I know my balance to the exact penny, and I know if a transaction has cleared the bank or not.
  • When I earn or spend money, I am able to categorize the transaction.  For instance, when I pull out money for my cash envelopes, I am able to split the transaction into multiple categories.  Let's say I pull out $600.  I can split the cash withdrawal into the different categories I will use the money for – $300 for groceries, $100 for clothes, $100 for spending money, and $100 for restaurants.

In the next part of this series, I will share how I use Microsoft Money to better manage my money.

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