How do you manage your finances (and how the hell am I supposed to manage mine)?

I’ve been thinking it might be time to rethink the way I approach my finances. Everything’s under control and there’s no cause for alarm, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to simplify things, or to come up with a better way to chart my progress and plan for the future.

Closing a couple of accounts would be a good start. I’ve got money spread across a host of chequing and savings accounts, and that’s unnecessary. When you throw in a joint chequing account with my wife – plus a mortgage, an RRSP, home and life insurance and so on – it’s an awful lot to view in terms of a single big picture.

Every once in a while I chart my daily spending. Inevitably, though, I wind up dropping the habit after a few weeks, because I’m never really sure what I’m supposed to be taking away from all those figures. Clearly, having more of an overall plan would help.

I was pretty excited when I heard that Mint had started offering service to Canadian users, because I’d heard great things about it. Unfortunately, my credit union isn’t one of the ones they serve. I’ve been hoping that will change, but until it does, the service isn’t very useful to me; if I can’t use it to chart everything, there’s not much point in using it to chart anything.

How do you manage your finances? What tools and routines do you call your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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One Response to “How do you manage your finances (and how the hell am I supposed to manage mine)?”

  1. Nick Searle says:

    Hi Matt, I’ve been using Mint myself for a little while now, and recommend it anytime the conversation comes up.
    As a financial advisor, I have seen nothing that sums up so efficiently spending habits and trends. Obviously the scope of institutions needs to be fully comprehensive for the product to appeal to all.
    Great post.