The primary advantage of tracking financial accounts and transactions is that it allows you to continuously monitor the status of your financial health. It helps with budgeting and year-end taxes. Money serves as a database for all my expenses and income and investments. I use Money to track my stock trades, asset allocation, and trading history.
One of my favorite features of Money is the reporting tool. I can run reports to see how much I have spent for selected categories during a specified time frame. I can also see my net worth over the time. These reports give me a very good understanding of my finances and allow me to see where I am with my goals.
It is also good to be able to see all my accounts in one place. With credit cards, savings and checking accounts, investment accounts, mortgages, and loans, I have over 20 accounts. It would be a disaster to keep track of these accounts by hand. I wouldn’t remember all the credit cards or investment accounts I have opened. But with Money, I have all my accounts listed in one place and I can see which ones are still active. I can always look back at which accounts I no longer need and I can close them.
There are many other features in Money, such as Budgeting and Bills Summary. Budgeting allows you to set up a monthly or yearly budget and the software alerts you when you have exceeded your budget. Bills Summary keeps track of when your bills are due. I have already set up email reminders for myself from the individual companies so I don’t use the bill payment reminders feature in MS Money.
Keeping track of your expenses is a good way to see where you have spent that paycheck. And you can compare how much percentage of your paycheck goes to rent, food, travel and other categories. This way, you will know where your money is going, as opposed to guessing where the money has gone.
The bottom line is that having a program, such as Money to keep track of your financial accounts will make your finances much more organized. Whether it’s budgeting, reminding yourself to pay bills, or to run reports to see your monthly expenses, financial bookkeeping allows you to be constantly updated with your finance.