With our busy schedules and the often frenzied pace of life, it makes sense that we may struggle to get a handle on our finances as we balance all of our priorities and responsibilities. Are you looking for a better way to manage your money and put yourself on the right financial track? Many people who are financially successful today credit Personal Financial Management (PFM) tools for providing them with invaluable help in monitoring their spending, setting and maintaining a budget, managing debt— and ultimately growing their wealth. Explore the many benefits of using an online money management tool here:
Easily organize all of your financial information in one place: If you’re like many of us, you probably have several types of accounts at more than one financial institution. Typically, you would need to log into several different websites to view recent transactions and check the status of accounts such as checking and savings, mortgage loan(s), credit cards, investments and other lines of credit, etc. On the other hand, a PFM enables you to easily combine all of your financial information from separate accounts together to view your overall financial position in one central place. You can also add manual accounts for any cash you spend or to track property values, which can help you balance your debt and increase your net worth. What’s more, these tools automatically update your accounts and properly categorize them in real time to give you a clear picture of what you own and what you owe, whenever you might want to know!
Take the guesswork out of budgeting: Most of us recognize that a budget is an integral part of building a solid financial foundation. However, creating realistic guidelines for how we spend our money and carefully monitoring spending to adjust it to healthy levels is a different matter altogether. Thankfully, PFMs do the heavy lifting for you in creating a budget and maintains an accounting of your spending to eliminate the need for you to painstaking record transactions using antiquated methods such as pen-and-paper or spreadsheets. Once you’ve added in all of your accounts to a PFM interface, you can quickly auto-generate a budget that calculates your average monthly spending in different categories from your recent history (e.g. 90 day spending)—giving you the option to edit your budget as you see fit.
Helps prevent late fees and other penalties: Not only do online money management tools offer unprecedented insight into your financial health, but they also provide you with an efficient system to streamline your bills and keep you on top of important payment schedules. By logging in to a PFM dashboard, you’ll get a fast rundown of upcoming payments, and can take action quickly if necessary to avoid missing payments that can add up to late fees, growing compounded interest and potentially increased interest rates. And of course, you’ll also prevent the very damaging impact on your credit score that occurs from delinquent payments. In addition, alerts sent to your hand-held devices through mobile apps can help keep you updated on payments and critical financial information such as when account balances dip below a certain level.
Keeps things simple with colorful visualizations: If you forever find yourself bogged down by too much information, you’ll sure to find the visual features that PFMs provide enormously helpful. Color-coded features like graphs, bar charts and more allow you to quickly drill down to critical areas of your financial life. Without having to pour over innumerous details, your attention is naturally drawn to just those areas where you need to focus most. As a case in point, SF Police Credit Union’s PFM allows you to see the status of your budget categories along with the size of each category in relation to the rest of your budget. Green bubbles signify that a spending category is well within healthy limits, yellow bubbles tell you that you’re between 80 to 100 percent of what you should spend and red bubbles alert you to when you’ve exceeded your budget.
Ready to enjoy a more stress-free and successful financial life and easily manage your money in just one place? SF Police Credit Union is pleased to announce MoneyTrac, its free and secure online money management tool available to all SFPCU members. While there are a number of PFMs now available, you’ll find it refreshingly easy to get started in MoneyTrac, and you’ll enjoy an advertising-free experience as you take the simple steps you need to get a handle on your finances! For instructions and online videos that will guide you smoothly through setup, go to http://bit.ly/MoneyTracSFPCU.