Ideas for Managing Your Money (and Golf Budget!)

In the NY Times Your Money section of today’s newspaper, there is a treasure trove of ideas on how best to handle your finances. There is also an interactive online checklist which I also recommend you take a look at. Over the coming months, the MorePars team will use this as one of our main areas of discussion. We don’t know how long the link will remain current, but for now go to www.nytimes/yourmoney and you will see an area there for the financial tune-up.

One of the big trends that folks trying to get a grip of their spending habits are doing is tweeting their cash expenses to online budgeting tools like Wesabe. Another popular online budgeting tool millions use is Intuit’s site called Mint. At MorePars, we just got done processing our personal tax returns using Intuit’s Turbo Tax. Personally, we are fans of Quicken’s desktop software as well.

Tracking your spending is one of the first rules of personal finance, and online banking is one of the easiest ways to do so. You can download transactions (checking and credit card) and then “categorize” them into budget areas (dining out, utilities, clothing, etc.) The problem is always those pesky ATM cash withdrawals at $50.00 – $100.00 at a time. So where is all that cash going? For many of us, we have no clue, because it is too painful to track. Only the most anal will keep every receipt and then go plug those expenses into categories on their home computer. As the NY Times points out though, more and more apps are coming out, using cell phones, to track these expenses as they are made, making you far more likely to stick with this method of expense tracking. They promise to be far less time-consuming than the more cumbersome methods of holding receipts and keying them in on a periodic basis.

Track your spending and be sure to include plenty of budget for your golf game. Clubs, lessons, training aids, green’s fees, range finders and side bets will really add up! Wishing you MorePars and more cash in the years ahead!

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