Friday, December 30, 2011

Tracking Money

My step mother used envelopes to keep track of her and my dad's money each month.  I can remember her little end table in their bedroom contained actual envelopes and inside each envelope she would place the appropriate amount of cash needed to pay that bill each month.  She had envelopes for rent, power, food, ect... and every time my dad got paid she would put a certain portion of money in each envelope and when the bill was due she would pay it.  The idea was, each dollar had a purpose and if you wanted something you saved money and when you had enough money in the envelope for it, you paid cash for the item.

Now I know that the envelope system has been around for years, so this is no new concept here.  But, what is new for most of my generation, which would be Gen X, is that we have to wait for what we want.  Years ago I found a computer software from Crown Financial that was called, Money Matters and it was based on the old envelopes system.  Unfortunately, now the software is a bit outdated and Crown Financial replaced the program with a web-based system called Mvelopes. Mvelopes is a great system, but I did not want a web-based system, so I started doing research to find a better program.

Here is a very brief list of programs I found online:

 YNAB (You Need A Budget) is not a bad program and they will give you a free trial without having to give them any credit card information.  It is affordable, $60.00 for the software and it has the purpose of getting people out of debt and helping them to save for the future.

ItelliPenny is another good program that uses the basic envelope idea and they will also give you a free trial for 30 days so you can try and see if this is a program that may fit your lifestyle. The software is only $34.95 so a bit more affordable and they have a discussion board for those that may have questions or concerns.

Those are just two of the wonderful programs I found while doing research, but I still longed for an updated version of my Old Faithful, Money Matters.  Then it happened, three days ago I was researching programs and I found it, Crown Financial came out with a new, updated version of Money Matters.  It is now called Crown Money Map, and it is just as wonderful as I remembered with some updated features and the bugs have been removed.  It also offers a free 30 day trial and it is also affordable at $60.00.  I should also state here that Crown Financial is a Christen based organization, and although I am not pushing their beliefs on anyone, when you get the software is does have daily Biblical devotions on the home screen.  I have decided for me personally that the benefit of the program outweighs the fact that I have to read a devotion every day.

So, I am teaching my husband how to use this program and it is going to be what we use as a team to not only dig our way out of this crushing pile of debt, but also to use the concept of saving for purchases for the rest of our lives.

How powerful it would be to be able to pay cash for everything you buy???

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