7 Best Blogs To Follow About Expense Management App
When schools equip the ‘apprentice adults’ in their care with skills for life, some areas that are sadly neglected – such as how to be an expense manager. That means too many people live life beyond their means. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Solo Expenses team has highlighted these great blogs to provide anyone with useful advice to stay on top of personal finances.
Years ago, a client took me out for a modest lunch. At the end of the meal he pulled a string of credit cards from his pocket and speculated which one he should use to pay the bill. All, it appeared, were close to being maxed out.
At the time, I thought he’d driven himself down a financial cul-de-sac, habitually spending more than he earned, but it transpires that he wasn’t alone; every other person in the UK apparently does the same, sometimes by as much as £150 each month.
Those numbers were uncovered in a survey by Aviva, which also found that expense manager skills were so poor that two in five of those surveyed saw credit cards and overdrafts as an extension of their bank balance; that one in seven never put any money aside, and, at the time, only about half paid into a pension scheme.
The reasons they gave for being so ‘relaxed’ about their expenses included not being able to live within their means; being unable to resist the temptation of buying; and wanting to appear more wealthy than they actually were.
And it’s in that last aspiration that hope is to be found. By controlling what you spend, it’s possible to actually have more disposable income, rather than just appearing to have more. Check out these money management blogs as a way to teach yourself what they never taught you in school.
Number 1: www.moneysavingexpert.com
This blog by money-saving guru Martin Lewis is a constant source of advice about how to buy things cheaper than list price, and how to make savings you didn’t know were possible. Expect to read advice on switching bank accounts, where to put any savings you might have to earn the best interest, how to save on broadband, and tax-saving tips too. (More than 3m married or civil partnership couples fail to claim the marriage tax allowance, which could be worth more than £430 – every year.)
What we like about this: Regularly refreshed; real offers
Number 2: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/
This is where like-minded individuals share their advice about how to use less energy – and spend less as a result. Advice about how to use washing machines and ovens features here, along with (You can use energy for more than one job if you cook vegetables with a steamer. Compartments stacked one above the other on one burner or ring allows rising steam to cook all the veggies in the same time, using just the one ring). Who knew that stabbing a spud would cook it faster?!
What we like about this: Practical tips that anyone can implement
Number 3: www.getrichslowly.org
Life’s a marathon, not a sprint. Get Rich Slowly is about mindset, and nudging yours to encourage the right kind of thinking to make more of the money that’s available. Look for lots of dollar references, because it’s an American web site, but the messages work just as well in the UK. Honey Smith, writing there, encourages readers to play to their strengths and understand weaknesses on the way to achieving financial goals
What we like about this: Really offers lessons that school overlooked
Number 4: www.earlyretirementextreme.com
Here’s a collection of thoughts based on the education theme. The post reads: “In an economic society a basic knowledge on retirement savings, stock markets, tax vehicles, and mortgages should be required knowledge on par with putting on one’s clothes, cooking a meal, and filling up the tank. But it’s not!” It might have gone on to say that cooking lessons weren’t what they might be either, but that’s another story.
What we like about this: No-nonsense advice that encourages different thinking
Number 5: www.moneymanagement.org
Here in the ‘blogging for change’ pages (great title, by the way, you’ll find everything bad about your money management but weren’t prepared to admit. This site offers great advice about not ignoring debt (which won’t go away), why you might be your own worst enemy when it comes to money, and how to put the brake on impulse purchases.
What we like about this: Bite-sized advice about home truths
Number 6: www.archive.boston.com
This site explains wonderfully the potential benefit of saving. Once again, it’s a mindset thing, suggesting that you should consider saving as ‘paying yourself’, which arguably makes it more palatable. Using a simple piece of maths, it points out that £25 a week is worth £1,300 a year. Don’t have £25 a week? Perhaps it’s time to look at Number 1 and Number 2 on this blog; chances are you do have the money, but just don’t realise it.
What we like about this: Contains advice anyone can follow
Number 7: www.enemyofdebt.com
One particular post caught our eye at Enemy of Debt; it’s the one you’ll be taken to from the link above. This is not about detail of how to reduce debt, but broad brush strategies that are simple in the extreme. It fits perfectly with the thinking behind Solo Expenses, which is that you can’t control what you can’t measure.
What we like about this: Tells it how it is, in an easy read, with simple suggestions
Those blogs cover the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of understanding money as you’ve never done before. To cover the ‘how’ of benefitting from expense management software online, make that must-have smartphone work for its keep and get a good expense tracking app. Our expense management app Solo Expenses is free to download here for individual use, which in itself is a lesson in effective money management. We’re able to offer it free because of all our great clients (they’re in 90 countries) willingly paying each month to keep on top of business expenses using our cloud based expense management software. We’re happy to have you use it for nothing, as an individual, in combination with these blogs, to keep your finances on an even keel.