Our client dashboard is a wonderful tool that allows you to link all of your financial accounts so that you can see exactly where you stand financially every day without having to remember 50 different passwords. Most of our clients are taking advantage of this and have given us positive feedback.
A lesser known feature of the dash board is the powerful Cash Flow Tool that tracks all of your income and spending to help you get a better picture of your budget with a minimal amount of work. Knowing more about your spending habits, naming each dollar you earn, and matching your spending to your values is one of the best things you can do to get financially fit for 2017 and beyond.
We have helped several clients with cash flow planning and we would love to see more people take advantage of this free tool. If you would like to get a better handle of your spending, this is how we can help:
- Log into your dashboard and click settings in the upper right and then privacy. The default settings only allow your advisor to see the balance of each bank account. Click full and this will allow us to see every transaction made in your checking account and on credit cards.
- Underneath our logo you will see the word Add next to Accounts. Click Add and add all of your bank accounts and credit cards if they are not already linked to the dashboard. This will give us several months of transactions to work with from day one and start recording your future purchases.
- Reach out to Kim Gonzalez, CPA at 214-587-7885 or firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her that you would like to set up a budget inside of your dashboard. She can send you a spreadsheet to fill out and she will enter it into the software for you or she can work with you to build one based on your current spending. She has years of experience with helping people with their budgets through volunteer work and she knows the software inside and out.
- Once Kim has built the budget for you, she will call to set up a time to review it and make any changes that you want. She can also answer any questions you have about how the software works.
When you log into the spending part of the site, you will see that the software does a pretty good job of categorizing each transaction. We recommend that you spend ten minutes at the beginning of each month reviewing your prior month spending. The first thing you will want to do is to click on spending, then transactions, and make sure every expense is categorized correctly. You can make rules that automatically label Paypal as a clothing expense or a check for $500 on the 15th a charitable donation.
Once you have ensured that your monthly expenses are properly labeled, click the budget tab, and change the date range to last month. I like to go through and look at all the areas that are red and see why I over spent in that category. Sometimes being aware is all it takes to make the right changes to take better control of your money.
The tool is valuable on a monthly basis, but even more valuable after you have a year or years worth of data. I didn’t have a good handle on how much I was really spending on restaurants, travel, and clothes. It has been really good for me to capture those variable expenses and get a better hold of my financial situation.
If you would like to reap the many benefits of this tool, call Kim at 214-587-7885 and get on track to better cash flow management. Once the budget is set up, she can also serve as an accountability partner to you to help you stick with your spending plan by setting up a quarterly call with you (and your partner). As we outlined in The Best Ways to Save Money, a lot of people are wasting money every month by having the wrong cell phone contract, cable provider, or alarm company. Kim is happy to give you a second opinion on your providers and see how much money you can save by getting the right plan for your family.