Organization can play such a huge role in every aspect of your life – including finances! Here’s a few resources to get those green ducks in a row.
Two of the most prominent financial programs are based on the same principle: zero-based balances and separating your money into categories.
One of the original personal financial management systems, the Financial Peace University focuses on identifying where your money is going and how you can keep more of it. There are a few different ways to learn Dave’s lessons: the Financial Peace University course, Dave’s Total Money Makeover digital application, or implementing the strategies on your own through the resources on his website. Dave’s focus is on a “zero-based balance,” where one divvies up each paycheck into specific categories (envelopes of cash). This forces one to stick to the budget, as there is no way to spend money you don’t have – as long as you are dedicated to not using your plastic cards. The common concerns with this program are that they cost a pretty penny and Dave has some pretty strong opinions.
Our personal favorite, YNAB, is an electronic version of the envelope system – and very good one at that. The same “zero-based balance” foundation is applied, except it is done in a smooth desktop/mobile application. They also offer a large variety of online classes and tutorials for using their system. Forums and blogs are accessible to continue to the financial organization journey. Common concerns with this program is that the system requires manual entry and downloading of transactions from your bank account’s website. Although, YNAB argues that keeps an individual involved in their finances.
If you’re not quite set on a financial program and want to explore more ideas regarding finances in general, here are a few books to start that journey. Your Money or Your Life, Financial Peace Revisited, The Richest Man in Babylon, and The Millionaire Next Door are great resources for general money management. The 4-Hour Workweek, The Soul of Money, Thou Shall Prosper, and Linchpin focus more on the philosophical basis behind how and why we work for our money.