Today’s lecture is about expense management. That’s right. You’ve come to the right place. This is where the cool people hang out.
If you have an online business, managing your money should be in your top 2 things to keep an eye on. The other one is snacks.
To keep track of your money, you’re going to have to manage 3 primary things.
And let’s thank the Internet people together for providing us with the expense management tools to do that. Let’s take it from the top.
What you’ll need firstly is a fantastic budgeting tool for your business. I have been using these decaying old Excel spreadsheets I created, and the propensity for errors is outrageous. And I’m no idiot (depending on who you ask).
I have some old ones I made for my husband’s business and he’s always asking me why the ‘dickens’ it’s not working. And I say it’s ‘flipping’ obvious. Well then where are my ‘blasted’ totals? Well you typed over my ‘flaming’ formulas didn’t you…
Never have I used a spreadsheet without considering putting my head through the monitor. Or someone else’s head. ‘tis the horse and cart of expense management.
But behold the online tool. Managing expenses was never more accessible. Cheaper than onsite budgeting software and you don’t need a team of accounting whizzes to manage it for you.
Online tools like Planguru and BudgetTracker allow you to set yourself up right from the start with managing your expenses. You can set financial goals, link bank accounts (or not) and even run analytics to see where money is slipping through the cracks. You can manage all your invoicing, spending, bills, and income in the one place.
There’s a wide range of expense management tools online for you to choose from, so think about what your business needs. There’s no sense in signing up for the biggest and best of everything if you only need something basic. But make sure you check out the features and see what you like.
Do you find that you sign up for things, have it debit from your credit card then totally forget about it?
I’ve had a gym membership that I haven’t used in six months and I just found out the gym moved to another town and then subsequently closed down. So at least they finally stopped charging me. But if I hadn’t received an email about them closing down they would have continued taking my $11 because I’m too hair-brained to notice.
Ask Trim is a great online tool that takes your details, filters through your credit cards and accounts searching for recurring payments. Then it sends you a comprehensive list of everything that is being debited on a recurring basis.
The user just has to respond with which items they want cancelled. You get none of the hassle of trying to get out of it yourself by sending angry emails and filling out forms. Perhaps it’s a gym membership like me, or maybe some unholy magazine subscription you haven’t read in months.
And it keeps you up to date so you always know what subscriptions you have active. No sense paying for stuff you don’t use. How cool is that?
If your money has to abandon you, know how it’s leaving you. You’ve got all these subscriptions. Online budgeting software, Netflix, Dropbox, car insurance, electricity, plus a truckload more. Everything is being debited on a different day. You’ve got trials going on that are going to expire. It’s a tornado of virtual money and you need to stay in the eye of the storm. It’s peaceful there.
A web app like TrackMySubs can keep you from getting sucked up. It will send you alerts when trials are over, let you know when your bills are being debited, and even send alerts to other people to pay you. You can even list your grocery shopping as a subscription. You can have all these alerts sent to your device so you can manage your expenses with confidence.
Banks don’t like it when direct debits bounce, especially if you need to borrow money. This is the just the tool to help you keep your credit in top shape as well as keep track of subscriptions.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Don’t let managing your expenses frighten you. You are in control, no matter what. It’s when you don’t have a system for managing it that you can lose your way.
Even though finances can be dreadfully boring, some of these online apps are really cool. Be motivated and positive and use some of the features these online expense management tools have and see how you go.
Losing cash because you don’t have a handle on where it’s going is a problem. With these tools, there is usually the option to do a trial with the product and that trial almost always turns into a monthly subscription. If you’re trialling three products but only going to use one, you need to be ready to cancel the others before you throw away your money.
When you have an online business you need to be the master of your expenses. You can only spend the money you have, and it’s important not to over commit yourself. You want to know how much you have to put back into your business and build it into a money-making machine.
And don’t forget the snacks.