Why Use The BuildMyBudget Solution?
When I graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Finance, I became a financial planner. All I wanted to do was find a way to help people manage their finances so that their lives would be easier. Well, I started working for a company and soon realized that selling insurance and other financial products really wasn’t my thing. Far too often I would meet individuals who had no idea what was in their bank accounts, how much money they were investing each month, or even how much extra cash they had available from each paycheck! I thought to myself, how can you plan for big purchases or survive financial emergencies if you have no idea how much money you have left over after you pay all of your bills? So shortly after ending my career as a financial planner, I began a new career dedicated to helping individuals learn to see where they are headed financially. I mean, what good is any financial solution if it doesn’t clearly spell out where you will be in six, twelve, or even sixty months?
There are many financial solutions out there: Quicken, MSN Money, Mint.com, Yodlee…the list of financial programs goes on and with so many popular finance programs available, it’s very easy to ask the question: Why use BuildMyBudget? When you consider all of the available options and an ever increasing product offering from each, it’s not an easy question to answer. Simply put, the most significant benefit BuildMyBudget offers is the ability to quickly forecast where your current budget is taking you. Ultimately, BuildMyBudget is about finding a way to build a strong financial foundation without dealing with all the annoying ads and sales pitches or giving away your sacred personal information. Many people need these types of robust software programs that will manage their many account balances, but for those of us that are just starting our financial plan, it is simply unnecessary.
But let’s get specific about what these mainstream programs do for you. You provide your bank, investment and credit card account information which is stored in a database and used to connect with your accounts to download and categorize your transactions. For some programs such as Mint, you even have to provide the answers to your “secret questions” so that the software can successfully connect with your bank. Your account balances all appear together, and graphs and reports show you how your spending compares to the budget you’ve already set up. Programs like Mint also sort through your personal information and provide suggestions on where your money would be better off, or how you could save more money.
If you want to keep all of your information in one place, hand over limited power of attorney (handed over in the terms and conditions in many cases!) and a constant stream of notices telling you what to do, than this solution is perfect for you. For me, I don’t want all my personal information in one place and I don’t want constant messages telling me that I should change banks or my spending patterns…but that is just me. This isn’t the biggest problem I have with these solutions though! Far too often the expenses are categorized incorrectly or the accounts don’t even sync properly and a gap is created in the account history. This leaves you spending hours and hours trying to figure out how to fix annoying errors, often leaving no time to actually use the information to make good decisions.
But I still haven’t gotten to my biggest problem with these financial programs yet! After your expenses are categorized, it tells you how much you went over(or under) your last budget period. So how does that help you going forward? For example, if your car breaks and you have to spend $500 to get it fixed, how are you going to come up with that extra $500 if it’s not in your bank account? And if you use your credit card to pay the $500, how are you going to be able to pay off your credit card? Are you going to spend $50 less on food for the next 10 weeks, or are you going to wait a little longer to purchase that new computer you wanted? The fact that you can’t forecast your income and expenses in these programs limits your ability to see where you are headed and how to adjust your spending to compensate for unexpected emergencies or changes in your financial goals. This is why I created the BuildMyBudget method of budgeting. It is a method which helps you pay your bills on time, see where you are headed financially and best of all, doesn’t require any of your private information.
- An inexpensive budgeting solution based on a tool we all have available: Microsoft Excel!
- A custom budget tailored to their lifestyle
- A weekly budget that forecasts exactly where they will be in one year
- Complete security(we don’t ask for any of your personal information)
- And much more!
As well as offering a budgeting solution, BuildMyBudget.com offers a forum where you can come for budgeting help. If you need assistance in setting up your budget or want to help others set up theirs, this is the perfect place for you. Start building your financial foundation today!
Chris Fitzgerald, CEO