7 Ways to Better Manage Your Spending and Improve Your Financial Well-being with Simplifi
Taking control of your day-to-day, month-to-month finances is one of the primary keys to improving your financial well-being. To do this effectively, you need to know where you stand so you can make good choices and better manage your spending.
The average American between the ages of 25 and 34 makes around $61,000 after taxes and spends about $49,000 of it.1 In other words, we’re spending about 80% of our income. For those under 25, it’s close to 100%, leaving even less for emergencies and unexpected expenses.
The first step toward improving that margin is to track your cash inflows and outflows, understanding how much you’re really bringing in and where it’s going. Simplifi makes it easy.
1. Understand your expenses with automatic categories
When you connect your financial accounts to Simplifi, the app automatically downloads your recent transactions and separates them into buckets: car insurance, groceries, utilities, and so on. It does this across all your accounts, so it doesn’t matter whether you buy gas, for example, with your credit card or debit card. Simplifi tracks every gasoline purchase for you under Gas & Fuel.
By categorizing your transactions across all your accounts, Simplifi lets you see all your finances—and all your spending—in one place. Because the first step to seeing where you can save is understanding how you’re spending your money.
2. Identify your own unique spending patterns with custom tags
Once you start tracking your finances, you’ll probably discover a few things you’d like to keep an eye on that cut across those categories. Maybe you want to know how much you’re spending on impulse buys, for example. Or how much you’re spending on food whenever you go away for the weekend.
Simplifi lets you create custom tags so you can track your spending any way you like, without affecting those categories. That way, you can see how much you spent on restaurants and groceries last month while also specifically tracking how much you spent on food during that weekend getaway. By letting you track your money your way, Simplifi makes it easy to find ways to save that fit your lifestyle.
3. Know what you can spend with a personalized spending plan
When you connect your financial accounts, Simplifi identifies your income as well as your regular bills and subscriptions. By starting with your income and subtracting out your predictable expenses, your automatic spending plan shows you at a glance what you have left to spend while making sure you have enough to pay your bills. It even shows you how much you have left per day for the rest of the month.
4. Protect your financial needs with custom watchlists
Knowing what you can afford to spend is half the battle. The other half is making sure you don’t overspend on “wants”—like video rentals or games for the kids—and end up not having enough for the things you really need, like groceries. One of the ways Simplifi solves this is by letting you create your own watchlists by category, tag, or payee, so you can track the spending that matters.
For example, you could create a tag called “Wants” and create a watchlist for that tag, even setting a monthly limit for yourself. When you get close to that limit, Simplifi will notify you so you know it’s time to slow down and wait for that next paycheck. Simplifi even lets you change your alert settings, so you can be reminded as close or as far away from your limit as you like.
5. Cut down on things like late fees and missing refunds
There’s nothing worse than leaving easy money on the table. Simplifi helps you stop letting things slip through the cracks so you can keep what’s yours.
- Use the new shopping refund tracker to make sure you get your money back for the things you return
- See all your bills and subscriptions in one place so you can cancel the ones you don’t need or want
- See all your upcoming bills at a glance so you can make sure they get paid on time and avoid unnecessary late fees
6. Plan for future spending and lower those interest fees
Let’s say you know you spend a certain amount on groceries every month, at least more or less. You can add that planned spending to your spending plan on a recurring basis and Simplifi will include it in your spending plan, setting aside enough for that expense. You can also use planned spending on one-time expenses to make sure you have enough for your kid’s birthday at the end of the month. Or for that hiking trip you’ve been planning all summer.
For long-term planning, Simplifi lets you set up savings goals—as many as you need. Create a goal for that hot tub you’ve been wanting, another for your holiday vacation, and a third for an emergency fund, just in case. By saving up ahead of time instead of buying things on credit, you’ll save a ton of money in interest fees, helping you pay down any debt you do have even faster.
7. Explore your financial trends with custom reports
The longer you use Simplifi, the more data you accumulate about your own financial patterns. From day one, your monthly summary report gives you a high-level view of last month’s total income and expenses, comparing them to the month before. It also compares your top spending categories and payees and shows your progress toward your spending goals.
Over time, your spending reports will provide you with more and more insights into your spending habits and patterns. Do you go into the red every year after the holidays? Start planning ahead for that. Is your bank balance growing bit by bit, month after month? Consider using that money to build your emergency fund or even to start investing.
Finally, use your net worth report to make sure your finances are headed in the right direction. Arguably the most important report of all, the trend line of your net worth shows you whether your finances as a whole are increasing or decreasing in value. If you’re not happy with your current trend, you can always turn it around. Cut your spending where you can, go after that promotion at work, and make a plan to pay down your debt.
Remember, information is power. If you can see a problem, you can fix it.
Make your financial well-being a habit
The more you use Simplifi, the more it grows with you, helping you reach your financial goals with confidence. Set yourself up for financial success by making Simplifi a habit, checking in every day and getting the information you need at a glance to make the right choices.
1Desjardins, Jeff, “How Americans Make and Spend Their Money, by Age Group”, Visual Capitalist (2019).
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