First and foremost, my favorite tool is Excel. I guess you can call me old fashioned but I like to be able to see the numbers in front of my eyes and to actually keep track of them manually versus everything automated. Manually typing in all my expenses has helped keep me accountable with my day to day expenses. I also use this to keep track of all my finance goals as well as my annual ROI on all my different accounts or investments. This has remained my number 1 favorite tool since I like to see actual break downs of my numbers.
For keeping track of my net worth, yes, you do want to know what your net worth is at any point in time. Net worth would be all your assets (savings, checking, investments, real estate, car or anything you own) minus your liabilities (debt, loans or anything that still needs to be paid off). I use the website www.PersonalCapital.com. It is a free tool just like mint.com but they're more geared towards investments versus on budgeting like mint. I personally like Personal Capital because it gives information investors can find useful like how much allocation I have in certain investment type, what was the highest gainer for the day for ALL your accounts. A warning before you transfer all your money there is that they might call you and offer to open an account and manage your money for you since they are also an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor). Just be assertive and say you are not interested unless you really want someone else to manage your money. I personally don't think you need an investment manager to manage anything for you. Investments is all about asset allocation and managing risk so just make sure you have your investments allocated or in other words, don't have all your eggs in one basket.
The third tool I use is www.CreditKarma.com. This is another free tool that allows you to check your credit score. It pulls from two credit bureaus TransUnion and Equifax. This is just a good way to get an idea on where you are at credit wise but it does tend to give a higher score than what financial institutions actually get. I like this tool since it gives a breakdown on why your score is the way it is and it also give a free credit report.
That's it for now. Holidays are coming and it's a tempting time to spend money. Try not to forget your long term financial goals and have a budget for how much you are willing to spend for the holidays while still maintaining your financial health. Happy Holidays!!
Christine Teh Finance Coach, Teh Financial Coaching