Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?

It is very important to track your finances. Whether you own a business and want to ensure everything is in order or you want to keep an eye on your personal expenses, there are many benefits that come with tracking your finances. Experts recommend using either a financial tracking app or a spreadsheet

There are benefits and advantages with each, so you need to decide which suits you best. In this article, we will be discussing financial banking apps and spreadsheets to help you decide which will be more useful in tracking your financial activity. We will also mention which tool experts recommend

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  • The Importance of Keeping Track of Your Personal Finance
  • What Are Your Options?
  • Why Use an App?
  • Types of Personal Finance Tracking Apps
  • Why Use a Spreadsheet?
  • Benefits of Using an App
  • Benefits of Using a Spreadsheet
  • What Do Experts Advise?
  • Use the Tool That Suits Your Preferences
Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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The Importance of Keeping Track of Your Personal Finance

As we have already mentioned, it is very important that you keep track of your financial activity. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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By recording all of your purchases and expenses, you will be able to make a monthly budget in order to ensure that you do not lose money. 

More so, it is absolutely vital that you keep track of your income. By keeping track of your salary and other incomes, you will notice if you ever have a shortage of money coming in. 

This is extremely important, especially if you own a business or run your own company. 

Businesses and Companies

When you have a variety of sources of income, it can be incredibly difficult to keep track of your profit made every month. 

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Because of this, business and company owners should always hire a professional in order to keep track of their finances. 

For bigger businesses, recording expenses and incomes can prevent financial disasters.

What Are Your Options?

As we have already mentioned, there are plenty of options for you to choose from if you are looking to track your financial activity. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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From a variety of apps to hiring a personal accountant, you will need to decide which method will work best for you. 

If you are only looking to track your own personal financial activity, it is highly recommended that you download an app or make use of a spreadsheet. 

We will discuss these tools in much more detail later on. 

Plenty of Tools to Choose From

When it comes to selecting a tool that will work best for you, it is very important that you consider all the features and benefits included.

It can be a lot of work making a record of your expenses and incomes, meaning that finding a tool that suits your lifestyle is of utmost importance. 

Why Use an App?

There are a number of benefits that come with using an app as a finance tracker. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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There are thousands of options for you to choose from, making it very important that you consider a number of options before signing up with one specific service. 

It is important to note that you will have to pay in order to use one of these tools. 

Some of the best apps can cost a reasonable amount of money every month, making it very important to research the tool properly beforehand. 

An Automated Tool

However, if you simply do not have the time to track your finances on your own, an app is definitely the way to go. 

One of the biggest advantages of using an app is the fact that they are automated. In other words, you will not have to physically input your expenses and incomes every month. 

Instead, you can connect the app to your bank account and have it register any time money comes in or goes out. 

Types of Personal Finance Tracking Apps

Each personal finance tracking app comes with a number of features and benefits. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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For this reason, it is essential that you select a tool that will suit your personal preferences and lifestyle. It is a good idea to choose a platform that is popular and commonly used. 

Six great apps that you should seriously consider are YNAB, Mint, Simplifi by Quicken, PocketGuard, Personal Capital, and Zeta. 

However, there are many more that you may also want to add to your list of considerations.  

A Variety of Features to Consider

As we have already mentioned, different apps include different features. 

If you value one service above another, it would be a good idea to invest in a platform that includes that particular service. 

When you find an app that captures your attention, be sure to do your research on its official website to better understand how it is used. 

Why Use a Spreadsheet?

There are also a number of benefits that come with using a spreadsheet to track your finances. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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Unlike with an app, you will not have to search through hundreds of options in order to find a platform that works for you. 

Most people simply make use of Microsoft Excel. 

It is incredibly easy to create a spreadsheet, making it a great choice for just about anybody. 

Your Personalized Financial Tool

With a spreadsheet, you will simply insert your financial information into the different rows and columns in order to keep track of your incomes and expenses. 

Spreadsheets are very easy to use and make staying organized a simple task. 

Benefits of Using an App

Many people decide to make use of an app for several reasons. For starters, an automated platform makes keeping track of your finances much easier. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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If you connect the app to your bank account, you won’t even have to log a transaction every time one is made. 

However, it is important to note that this service will cost you a fee every month. 

With that being said, if you have a lot of money coming in and going out, investing in an automated system may be the best way to go. 

Notifications

With an app, you will be made aware every time money goes out or comes into your account. 

This is a great service, as it automatically increases the security of your money. 

If you are experiencing a loss every month, you will also be made aware, making it much easier to stay on budget. 

Benefits of Using a Spreadsheet

One of the biggest advantages of using a spreadsheet to keep track of your money is the fact that it is completely free

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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You won’t have to spend a fee every month in order to have your expenses and income monitored

With that being said, you will be completely responsible for logging your money usage

For many people, manually keeping track of these finances is simply too much work. If you are one of these people, using an automated app will be the best way to go. 

No Downloads or Complicated Forms

If you use an app, you will have to fill out long forms and questionnaires beforehand. 

More so, you will have to go about connecting your app to your bank account. 

However, there are no complicated processes involved if you opt to use a spreadsheet instead. 

What Do Experts Advise?

Surprisingly, most experts claim that spreadsheets are the way to go when it comes to keeping track of your finances. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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On top of being free and uncomplicated, you will be able to customize how you record your financial information, making it much easier to stay organized. 

Another major advantage is the fact that you will be able to build your own reports. If you are using an app, one massive issue is platform risk

In other words, the platform may be discontinued by software developers for a few reasons. If this were to happen, you would lose valuable information and data and have to restart your tracking. 

Taking Notes 

Another massive benefit of using a spreadsheet is the fact that you will be able to take notes

If there is an abnormality in your spending or income, you can state exactly why it has taken place. 

For this reason, if you ever notice a missing sum of money, this note will help keep track of things accurately. 

Use the Tool That Suits Your Preferences

As we have discussed, there are a number of tools and features that you will need to consider. 

Spreadsheets or an App? What Is the Best Way to Control Personal Finance?
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To get the most out of your tool, be sure to choose one that suits your preferences.

For example, if you do not have a lot of time on your hands to record all your spending, an automated app will definitely suit you better. 

On the other hand, if you would prefer not to spend money on unnecessary tools, you should consider using the spreadsheet. 

Consider Your Past Experiences

Another major factor to consider is your past experience with financial tracking tools. 

If you have used an app before and find it unnecessarily complicated, spreadsheets will be a better option. 

Summary

It is very important that you go about tracking your financial activity. There are a number of tools that can be used to do this, including automated apps and spreadsheets. 

You will need to consider your references in order to decide which tool is best suited for you.