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Spentable: Track Your Expenses Quickly and Easily [Giveaway]

Spentable: Track Your Expenses Quickly and Easily [Giveaway]


    You buy a cup of coffee every morning, and you probably think it doesn’t amount to much. How much does it really add up to during the course of a month? Then you make a bunch of impulse buys. It really adds up and those coffees and impulse buys may have tipped you over the edge of your monthly budget…but it’s too late! You only notice the cost is significant afterwards!

    It’s usually the reason we don’t have much money left towards the end of the month and when “tax season” is approaching we ask ourselves, “Where did my money go?“

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    Enter Spentable.

    Let’s take a look to see how Spentable can help us to track expenses. It’s available on Android and iOS. The basic version is free and there is a pro version that provides many more features.

    How to use Spentable to track your expenses

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      Spentable has some pre-created categories for your spending. The default categories are food, transport social and retail. To record what you have spent, simply select the category and type in the amount. This makes it simple to segregate your spending into different areas. It shows you how much you have spent and how much you have left in your monthly budget. Before you make a purchase, add it into the app and you can see if you will go over budget.

      Customize and adjust your budget

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        Do you have extra categories that you want to add or want to adjust the amount of your monthly budget? Press the “cog” in the top right corner and from there you can create new categories and set the budget. You can even export the data to a file and send it by email to use elsewhere. (Note: These options are only available in the pro version.)

        Track your history

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          To see an overview of your spending, press the button on the top left and it switches to a list view, detailing everything that you have spent. Made a mistake in one of your entries? You can delete it by swiping across the incorrect entry and you will be given a delete button to remove it. At the bottom, your total spending for that month is displayed. You can scroll through the months to look back at your spending habits.

          Spentable is a convenient, in-your-pocket app that helps you to track your expenses and make purchasing decisions. Spentable helps you to see how your spending is distributed so that you can rebalance if necessary. And because it’s an app, it can always be in your pocket — making it easy to form a habit to track your spending.

          Free offer for 30 Lifehack readers

          We’re giving out free copies of the pro versions of  Spentable for Android and iPhone to the first 30 people who register using the following form:

          Click here to register for Spentable

          And if you miss out on the pro version, give the free one a try. It very well could be the app that saves you time — and money.

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          Last Updated on June 6, 2019

          The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

          The Average Retirement Savings and How to Save Wisely

          Are you on track for retirement?

          If not, don’t worry, I’m not sure either. I save each month and hope for the best.

          Fortunately, I’m at an age where most people don’t save so I’m ahead of the curve.

          But, what if you aren’t in your 20s? What if you’re near retirement and are looking to gauge where you stand?

          If so, keep reading. Here’s how to prepare for retirement and save wisely during the process.

          What Does the Average American Have Saved for Retirement?

          Saving for retirement is tricky.

          Tell someone straight out of college to save $10k a year for retirement and it’ll be next to impossible.

          Make the same request to someone decades older and they’d be more likely to be able to save this amount. But, a 20-year old college student can be “financially ahead” of someone saving more than them. Why?

          Age matters in your financial journey. The younger you are, the more time you have to save and put compound interest to work. As you get older and have more saving power, you’d have less time to put compound interest to work.

          Here are the average savings Americans hold by age bracket:

          20’s – $16,000

          During this stage, most people are paying loans and moving up the corporate ladder. Your best bet during this stage is to focus on eliminating debt and increasing your income. Don’t focus only on getting a high-paying job neither.

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          Instead, focus on learning via Podcasts, reading books, and taking specialized courses. Doing this will make you more valuable and give you more career options.

          30’s – $45,000

          At this stage, you’ve hopefully escaped your entry-level salary and work at a career you enjoy. Your earning power has increased but you now have more obligations. For example, marriage, kids, and a mortgage.

          Set a plan to pay off all your debt and focus on eliminating unnecessary expenses. Leverage financial tools like Personal Capital to ensure you’re on track for retirement.

          40’s – $63,000

          This is the stage where you’re at the prime of your career. Top financial institutions recommend you have at least 2 to 4 times your salary saved up. If you’re falling behind, start maxing out your 401K and Roth IRA accounts.

          50’s – $115,000

          During your fifties, you’re close to retirement but still, have time to save. You may be helping your kids pay college tuition and other expenses. Since you’re at the peak of your earning power, max out all your retirement accounts.

          60’s – $172,000

          By this point, you should have about eight times your salary saved up. If not, you’ll depend primarily on social security benefits averaging $1400 per month. Max out all your retirement options as much as possible before retiring.

          Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget

          The sad reality is that most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement.

          Even high-earning power isn’t enough to secure one’s financial future. You need to have the discipline to save for retirement while time is in your favor. Don’t wait for you to have a high salary to save, start with having a small budget.

          First, get a clear picture of where you stand. Write down a list of “needs” and “wants.” For example, Netflix and Amazon Prime are “wants” and a “cell-phone” is a need.

          Use tools like Personal Capital to analyze your spending patterns. Personal Capital allows you to add all your financial data in one place–making it a powerful option to gauge where you stand.

          Once you know all your expenses, organize them from highest to lowest expense. When you can’t cut more expenses, call your service providers to negotiate a lower price. If you’re not good at negotiating, use services like Trimm to lower your monthly expenses.

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          How to Save Money Each Month

          By this point, you know the average amount of money you should have saved for retirement based on your age.

          But, breaking this down into monthly goals can be challenging. Here are some rule of thumbs to follow:

          Aim to contribute 10%–15% of your salary each paycheck. Review your progress each week.

          Why so often? The reality is that life gets in our way and you will have many financial setbacks. Your goal isn’t to be perfect but to get back on track instead.

          Reviewing your finances weekly lets you know where you stand with your retirement. This doesn’t have to be a long process either. All it takes is login in Personal Capital to view your net worth and check how much you have saved for retirement.

          Turn saving into a game and aim to save more each month. It will get challenging but you’ll get creative and find more ways to save.

          Top Money Saving Challenge Tips

          To prepare for your financial future and not be another statistic you need to be different.

          How?

          By adopting new habits that’ll help you become a saving machine. Here are some ways you can save more:

          Automatically Contribute Towards Retirement

          If you’re working for a company, you can automatically contribute towards your 401k. If you’re not currently contributing more than 10%, make this your goal. Contribute 1% more today and automatically increase this amount a year from now.

          Odds are that you’re not going to be negatively affected by contributing 1% more. Many times we spend our money on things we don’t need. Contributing more towards retirement is a great way to secure your financial future.

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          Use the Right Tools to Know Where You Stand

          Once you’re contributing more towards your retirement accounts, gauge your progress. Make use of finance tracking apps to help you view the big picture of your retirement.

          When I’d first signed up for the app Personal Capital, I didn’t know I had a negative net worth. Despite saving thousands of dollars, my debt brought my net worth to the negative. Knowing this motivated me to save more and spend less.

          Now, I have a positive net worth. But, it was because I was able to view the big picture using the app. Find out what your net worth is using a finance tracking app and you may surprise yourself.

          Bring in Experts to View Your Blind Spots

          If you have too little or too much money saved, you should consider hiring financial experts.

          Why?

          You may need someone to hold you accountable to help you reach your financial goals. Or, you may need help managing your money as effective as possible.

          Regardless of the reason, getting help may help improve your financial situation.

          Before you hire an expert, find out which areas you need help the most. For example, if you’re constantly overspending, find a debt counselor. If you’re struggling with choosing the best investment options, hire a financial advisor.

          Speed up Your Retirement Contribution

          After learning how to manage your money well, the next best thing is to earn a higher income.

          You’re capped at how much you can save but not much you can earn. Even if your employer isn’t giving you a promotion, you can still take charge of your financial future. How?

          By starting a side-business.

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          This will be something you’d work on after you’ve finished your day job. Once you start earning income from your side-business, you’ll be financially better off.

          The best part is the more work you put into your side-business,[1] the more potential it has to earn more money.

          So start a side-business in an area you’re familiar with. For example, if you enjoy writing, do freelance writing for small e-commerce businesses.

          Once you’re earning a higher income, you can contribute more towards your retirement. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to secure your financial future, create one.

          Reach Financial Freedom with Confidence

          What if you were able to retire tomorrow with no problem, all because you’d have enough money saved up and little to no debt left to pay off? How would you feel?

          My guess is that you’d feel happy and relieved.

          Most Americans are falling behind their retirement goals for many reasons. They’re not prepared, they carry bad money-habits and are thinking short-term.

          For you to retire successfully, you need to work backward and adopt better habits. Contribute more towards your 401K and focus on growing your income.

          If you do, you’ll save money and pay debt faster.

          Don’t beat yourself up if you’re behind your retirement goals. Take the first step today towards a brighter financial future. Isn’t retirement worth the hard work and sacrifice to be at peace?

          Featured photo credit: Huy Phan via unsplash.com

          Reference

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