Best Ways to Track Your Personal Finance


Keeping track of your personal finances is almost a must today if you want to know where your money is going and want to avoid being deeply in debt. For many of us, it’s easier said than done. Whether it’s matter of not wanting to know what needs fixing or just lack of time, too many consumers fail to track their finances. Here are some very effective ways of tracking finances.

AppsIn this mobile and technology-filled world we live in, there are apps for almost everything. If you’re one of the many who carry their phones with them 24/7, you can really benefit from a finance app. There are so many available, you’ll have trouble finding the right one.

Many of these apps are almost like having your own financial advisor right by your side at all times. Here are some of the most popular types of financing apps

• Apps to help budget and keep track of accounts – These apps help you see where you’re spending too much and how much you have to spend. Some will even send out an alert if you’re spending too much.
• Apps to help monitor and pay bills – Need reminding when a bill is due? These apps do everything but provide the money to pay your bills.
• Apps to help with saving – These apps show you ways you can cut back and offer ways to help save and monitor your savings.
• Apps to help with investing – Any questions you may have about investment options can be answered. You’ll get suggestions on hot stocks and favorable investments.

The Internet

Is there really anything that can’t be found on the Internet? There are so many financial websites that offer great tips on financing as well as spreadsheets, graphs and charts showing you how to balance your checkbook, where your money is going and ways to save. Many of the websites can link right to your personal bank and other accounts so they’re always on top of things.

Old School Methods

Regardless of how many of the newer forms of technology that seem to come out, I still always go back to my trusty old Xcel spreadsheet. It adds and substracts, which are the two things I need most to see my debits vs. my credits.

Spreadsheets also allow you to sort by accounts or dollar amounts. While they won’t give you the helpful tips on how to save, they can keep you on top of how much money you actually have to spend. I can also use the same spreadsheet on my mobile device.

Credit Scoring Models in the United States

The credit scores that are used by most banks and lenders in the United States are the ones provided by FICO. This company has a proprietary formula that uses information from the three credit bureaus in the country: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

The formula for calculating a credit score

Although the specific formula has not been revealed, FICO has revealed the general weights involved in calculating a credit score. There are five areas that influence a credit score and each of these factors carries a different influence.

Your payment history

This is a category that includes such things as a bankruptcy, foreclosures and various liens on your property. However, the majority of this category, for most people, will reflect the negative marks on a credit report that relate to late payments. Everything together is this category represents 35 percent of a consumer’s FICO score.

Amount of debt

FICO is vague about defining this area of a credit rating calculation. They claim that part of it relates to how much a consumer owes relative to how much credit they have, but they also take into consideration the type of debt that is owed. Credit cards, for example, are given different weights than installment loans that have been paid down over time. The number of open accounts with balances is also factored in. Together, the debt owed by a consumer will affect a credit rating by 30 percent.

The three minor factors

The length of time a consumer has had a credit history is given a weight of 15 percent. The second minor factor is the type of credit that shows on your report. For example, FICO gives different weights to a mortgage versus a credit card. This accounts for 10 percent of the score. Finally, there is the number of recent inquiries into a consumer’s credit report. An inquiry happens when an individual applies for a loan, credit card or other such borrowing. It is only the last two to six weeks that is factored into the formula. It is given a weight of 10 percent. Together, these three factors add up to 35 percent of a consumer’s credit score.

It should be noted that beginning in late 2014, FICO will be changing its formula slightly. The most significant change will be debt from medical bills. Consumers who have outstanding debt from medical bills will have less emphasis placed on them, so it is possible that people with medical debt may see their credit scores increase moving into 2015.

A Guide to Management Consulting from Kirk Chewning of Cane Bay Partners

Companies around the world are realizing it takes a variety of services to make them competitive in today’s global economy. One of the services more companies are taking advantage of is management consulting. By seeking the input of experts who have years of experience in the corporate world, businesses can gain a better understanding of what it takes to succeed. This is becoming very true for financial services and other related businesses, where building customer trust and staying on top of the latest rules and regulations can often be the deciding factor when investors decide where to put their money. For those businesses wanting to stay ahead of the competition, the consulting firm they choose is Cane Bay Partners.

Building relationships with clients is what makes Cane Bay Partners the best of the best. Having forged solid relationships with companies in all corners of the world, Cane Bay Partners is able to offer many specific services to those who place their trust with them. Specializing in financial services, Cane Bay works with brokerage firms, hedge funds and other businesses to provide risk management and process improvement consulting. Collections firms also call on Cane Bay for assistance with many issues, which can include debt sale strategy, modeling and analytics and compliance with regulations on all levels of government. As collections becomes an even bigger industry worldwide, Cane Bay Partners will be called upon time and again to share their expertise and provide real solutions to real problems.

Of all the services provided to clients by Cane Bay Partners, some of the most crucial involve providing consultation to those firms involved with hedge funds and other services. For any of these businesses, complying with federal and state laws and regulations is a must to be successful and gain the trust of new clients. As a result, more companies are eager to know how to improve their customer relations while staying compliant. By utilizing the advice of Cane Bay Partners, clients can maintain excellent service while being sure investor relations gets the attention paid to it that it needs. Cash management, tax planning and portfolio management are some of the services offered by Cane Bay Partners, helping to ensure a business achieves the highest levels of success possible.

By utilizing the consulting of Kirk Chewning and others at Cane Bay Partners, businesses can learn from the best just how to become the best.