Keeping on top of your finances and keeping all of your cash in order is something that you don't just do in the evenings or at the end of the month – despite what many people might think. No, if you want to stay on top of your money and avoid getting into trouble then this needs to be something that you think about all the time. In other words, you need to think about your cash when you're actually spending it, when you're making plans for what to do for the day and every time a bill comes in or out of your bank account.
This is why many people carry a cash book with them, so that they can keep tabs of what they are spending as they go throughout their day and write notes as they go. That way there is less to do at the end of the day, week or month, and furthermore you won't be as likely to miss things that you spent or to forget to write things down.
But why just use a dumb notepad when you can use a smart phone? Most people always carry one on them already so it's no extra hassle, but at the same time with a smart phone you have the added benefit of being able to use mathematics and other fancy features to make a much more interactive and effective log of your money. Here are some ways that you can use a smartphone to do things that perhaps your old cash book couldn't.
Cash Book Apps: Whether you are on Apple or Android there are a gamut of cash book apps out there that can help you to keep track of your daily spending. Of course if you're from the old guard then at this point you might be asking – what's the point of a cashbook app when a pen and paper will do the job? Well the answer is simply that a cash book can be very useful, but doesn't have much by way of features. For instance you won't be able to save your numbers, or move them across into a spreadsheet, and you won't be able to back up your data. Likewise using a smartphone means you only need to carry one thing with you – not a cashbook and a phone.
Spreadsheet Software: There are many different kinds of spreadsheet software available on Android or iPhone, many of which come as part of a full office suit with word processing and other features. These are perfect then for being able to keep a permanent record of your cash, and for being able to visualize your finances as a graph or as a chart. Using this you can even use your spreadsheet as your cash book and then have a full picture of your finances on you at all times. Mint is a great app for following your finances.
Calculator: Not all of the software you use on your phone for keeping track of your cash needs to be fancy and made for accounting. The good old fashioned calculator is a reliable old friend and one that can help you to work out figures and precise numbers whether it's at the checkout or for your cash book.
Bank Apps: Some banks now have their own apps which allow you to check your account on the move using your smartphone. This is highly useful to let you see precisely how much you have in the bank and even transfer money – but if your bank doesn't offer that you can still just use the browser to navigate to your online banking page that way.
This post is originally written by Kat Edwards, a personal finance writer. She offer money savings tips and helps people come compare car insurance quotes online.