Organizing your finances can be an overwhelming task. Everyone knows they should have a budget and keep track of their income and expenses, but doing so can be complicated, tedious, and stressful. With so many options out there, how do you choose? I received recommendations for free services like Mint as well as paid services like QuickBooks or FreshBooks. However, I found a different solution—and I’ve been using it for my personal and business finances for the past three years. Here’s why it works for me.
I first heard about FinanceWorks when I was standing in line at my bank (which is a credit union), flipping through the brochures on display because I had left my phone in the car. (I know I’m not the only one out there who needs constant mental stimulation.) There was a pamphlet on FinanceWorks, and the description sounded very much like QuickBooks. I had been researching QuickBooks, but was reluctant to add yet another monthly business expense.
Much to my surprise, FinanceWorks is offered free of charge to all credit union users. Yet none of my friends or family knew about it. I’ll be honest, the website isn’t as pretty as some of the other tools I’ve seen. However, I love that FinanceWorks was made and is maintained by Intuit (the same company that created TurboTax, Quicken, and QuickBooks). Unlike some other financial management software, FinanceWorks is an online application, which is great for me as there is no software to purchase, install, or maintain.
FinanceWorks keeps track of your income and expenses from all of your credit cards, bank accounts, and investment accounts. Once you create your FinanceWorks account and link all outside financial accounts, you have one login point to see an overview of all your finances. And all you need to have is a bank account at a financial institution that offers this service!
To give you an example of how helpful this is, I’ll tell you how my family uses it. My husband and I have two checking accounts (both with their own savings account), my business account (with checking and savings), and two credit cards, and I connected all of these to FinanceWorks. Like other accounting software, FinanceWorks categorizes your expenses and memorizes them for future expenditures. For example, the first time FinanceWorks registered Staples, I categorized it as a business expense for “materials and supplies”. Now, every time I purchase from Staples, FinanceWorks automatically categories it for me.
Maintenance is easy—I recommend checking FinanceWorks weekly or monthly (which is what I do) to categorize anything that wasn’t done automatically and to adjust anything that may be incorrect. (For example, if my husband purchased a phone charger for our home, that’s not a business expense.)
Having this free financial management tool in my back pocket has been so beneficial for my business and personal life. So the next time you’re at the bank, ask them if they offer this service!
**One other quick app recommendation: I also love MileIQ!**