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Reading through several of the blogs that have inspired me to document my own journey, I've begun to notice a trend. Both J-Money of BudgetsAreSexy.com and Jason from DividendMantra.com actively track their networth. This is intriguing and does serve a valuable purpose, thus I've decided to begin implementing this as well in my tracking. Of course at this present stage in my life, my networth is negative. :P So not exactly the most attractive figures to share, but I'm excited to continue rolling those negatives back. Last year was primarily spent getting on my feet financially. This year is primarily aimed at destroying the bulk of my high interest credit card debt. 

The recommended tool for tracking net worth and expenses at both Budgets Are Sexy and Dividend Mantra is PersonalCapital.com. I'd read about it several times and seen some of the charts and graphs being used on both blogs. It looked nice, but I didn't want to be bothered with it for the time being. I am busy working on a lot of my own projects and taking the time to figure out the passwords to my myriad of bank accounts and get things all synced seemed like an onerous task.

However, as I've been trying to figure out how to track and represent my expenditures for this blog, I realized I could probably benefit significantly from some of Personal Capital's tools. So I decided I would sign up and see what all the fuss is about. I spent about an hour and half syncing various accounts for tracking purposes and in the end managed to get all my main accounts synced. There were a couple I had to finish setting up the next day, but surprisingly, everything synced up except for three small accounts that I've been experimenting with. The accounts that haven't synced smoothly being Acorns.com, which I had to manually add (although this was a breeze), Digit savings (which I will get into on another post when I've been able to tinker around with it more), and surprisingly PayPal. This isn't really that big a deal as my paypal account is more of a pass through account anyway and my Acorns account still has a tiny balance in it. 

Of course all this account syncing meant that all my debt is finally visible in a single location. Presently, I have a negative and quite sobering net worth of -$42,650 and change. :P Not super fun to see how little one is worth. In any case, I'll be reversing this number by $7,166 by December 31st is the goal. That is the total of my high interest debt (with the exception of my Premier Line of Credit which has an 11% interest rate, much lower than all my other credit cards and hence I shan't be concerning myself with it until next year when the higher interest debt is gone). Once my high interest debt is gone, I'll have a Debt Repayment Snowball of approximately $1,000/month rolling into that Premiere Line of Credit. This is the human plan. We will see what actually comes to pass.

Now I am not at all surprised by the figures. I've known roughly what my net worth has been for over a year. Last year I was tracking my income and expenditures on spreadsheets that I updated almost daily. I don't track my expenditures as closely now (though i experimented last month with my Handy Dandy note book, which helped, however the overall budget restructuring helped me even more). Personal Capital has helped tremendously however in that it tracks all your expenditures and even automatically categorizes them for you. Essentially it does all the hard tracking work for you and at the end of each month spits out your income, expenses, and net worth in easy to digest reports. This simplifies things significantly! Starting next month, I'll begin using snap shots each month from this to provide readers with a quick look at my expenses from the following month in addition to the proposed budget for the coming month with adjustments and explanations for said adjustments listed. :) 

While Personal Capital is super convenient, I have noticed that it also failed to include one of my checking accounts. This isn't a big deal for me personally as I haven't used that account for much in the past 2 years. I have recently taken to using it as a clearing account, where I can deposit funds to ensure they are there for important transactions (at the moment my tax payments are sitting in it awaiting the IRS to withdraw them). Thus the money in the account will soon be distributed elsewhere, therefore no point in counting it.

My last little qualm with Personal Capital is the cash flow tracking features tendency to understate my expenses (I can't find a listing of my credit card payments). This is fairly minor and overall they list pretty much everything else. In any case, as the credit card payments I make aren't listed in the normal expenses section, I feel that my cash outflows are under represented by the program. I'll definitely be tinkering around further with it.

Overall, I've been extremely pleased with Personal Capital. The set up was much easier than I anticipated and it is extremely convenient to glance over your accounts and see where your cash is going. Editing expenses is also quite simple to do which ensures continued accuracy. I love that they track investment portfolios as well! I plan to continue utilizing them to monitor and track my spending and grow my debt snowball. Catch you next time!

 


Comments

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01/22/2016 10:21am

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