I have always been someone who tracks and monitors my spending. Throughout the years, I’ve used so many different budgeting templates, apps, and the like. I have tried EVERYTHING… from free downloadable templates, to different budgeting apps and everything in between. Through all of this trial and error, I was never able to find a single tool that captured everything I wanted to see.
The free templates I downloaded from the internet were either too simple, too complex, or just difficult to understand. They never really worked for me because they weren’t catered towards ME; they weren’t really customizable, and adding in where I spent my money was a hassle because there was no real or easy way to log it. And don’t even get me started on budgeting apps.. I hate them! They never capture my expenses properly or give me insight into areas that need action, and I have to fork over all of my sensitive personal information. To top it off, I really don’t like getting weekly emails telling me where I overspent. It makes me feel like crap, and it doesn’t help me make better decisions.
After years of bouncing between templates and apps, I have finally built my own tool that has EVERYTHING I could ever want for managing my personal finances from one place!
The Personal Finance Dashboard
Enter the Personal Finance Dashboard, my new holy grail financial planning tool! This dashboard has finally given me every insight I need to make empowered financial decisions. It shows my:
savings progress towards goals I set
month over month and annual income and expenses
my net worth progress and growth
And so much more! Having this information available to me at all times has changed the way I make financial decisions. I’m able to map out what my year looks like months in advance so I can adjust my spending and savings goals accordingly. By using this tool only for 2 months so far, I’ve been able to project reaching $100K in savings in 2020, which I didn’t think was even REMOTELY possible! But it is, and it’s because I have this dashboard at my disposal.
How the Dashboard Works
I have a lot of issues with budgeting templates and apps, but the biggest issue with them is logging and tracking expenses. With the templates I’ve downloaded off Google, there really is no way to log individual expenses. They aren’t efficient or accurate, and it requires a lot of extra calculation from my side, which just leaves me feeling unmotivated to update it.
Enter budgeting apps, which claim to solve this problem by doing it for you. My issue with this? It disconnects you from the expense. When you aren’t tracking expenses on your own, it is so easy to not realize how much money you are spending and become completely disconnected and out of control with your money.
So, I’ve created a tool that solves all these problems. The Personal Finance Dashboard is broken up into different sections, including a plan, expenses log, savings tracker, investment tracker, debt payoff plan, and net worth tracker. Each section has its own log, so all you have to do to keep track of everything in it’s related log, and enter the date, category and amount. Each user is able to fully customize their expense categories, savings goals, investment accounts, and debt categories so the insights that you receive at the end are based on what you’ve entered.
As you continuously log your data, the insights populate in the dashboard! This is excellent because at any point in time, I can see LIVE information that is directly related to my current situation. Now, I know where I stand at all times and any guesswork is gone. This gives me so much more confidence and security in my financial situation; I can’t even put into words how it has changed my mindset around money.
The Highlights of the Dashboard
Savings Progress: You can enter in your own personal savings goals and the accounts they are associated with. So, as you work towards saving more money each month, you can actually track your progress towards each individual goal! Planning a trip to Hawaii? It’s time to break down what needs to happen to get you on that plane!
Saving and Expense Rates: Curious how much of your income is actually being used for savings vs. expenses? The dashboard calculates this for you based on the expenses you enter. No more struggling to figure out if you’re on track towards saving 50% of your income; all you need to do is check the savings report!
Net Worth Progress: Your net worth is your financial pulse check. It’s arguably the most important indicator of financial health, because it shows you how your assets are growing, and how your debts are decreasing. Knowing what your net worth is and how it’s growing is critical for financial decision-making.
How You Stack Up to Your Plan: An integral part of the dashboard is creating your spending plan for the year. While a plan is simply just a plan, having insight into how your actual income and expenses stack up to your plan is really valuable. This is because you can easily identify where you need to adjust to reach your goals!
Investment and Debt Progress: These are two metrics that are not commonly tracked on a typical “budget” and as a result, they can be easily overlooked. Investing is a critical part of any financial plan, so setting investment goals and working towards them is equally as important as setting savings goals. On the other hand, debt can feel super overwhelming, so having a visual of your debt goals for the year and how you’re stacking up to them? Incredibly motivating. It’s time to smash the debt!
This dashboard has changed the way I look at financial planning. While I have always been on top of managing my money, I’d be lying if I said that there were periods where I felt unmotivated and disorganized, and it’s because I never really had a tool that included everything I need. Now, I have actionable insights available to me at all times, so if I ever need to make a decision, I know I have the information to do so. It has given me so much confidence and comfort in my financial situation because I know where I stand, where I want to be, and what it’s going to take to get there. And that, in itself, has changed my life.
Want to get your hands on the dashboard? Click here to check it out!!