As I have said many times in the past; the number one step in your financial game plan is your cash flow plan (a.k.a. your budget). It is the very foundation of your personal finances. Your finances are never safe without this. So with that being said, I would like to speak about one of the ways I use which is available to put together a detailed cash flow plan. Today I’m going to talk about an online service called PowerWallet.
Power Wallet is an online app that allows you to put together a customized budget, manage your monthly expenses, and get an overview of your financial picture. It’s free, and it’s really quick and easy to join. You just provide the following info:
Click here if you would like to get started now.
Once you join, you will add your financial accounts (PowerWallet makes this easy to do as it has a search feature). You can add checking, saving, credit card, bank and investment accounts. Now, instead of having to log into all of your different accounts to check balances and transactions, you will have all of your accounts accessible in one place.
This will allow you to have an overall view of your finances. This includes a view of your financial accounts, your monthly income and spending, any upcoming bills, and any recent transactions you’ve made. Below is a sample view of the dashboard
After your accounts are in, you can now view all of your transactions. The Power Wallet app will automatically categorize your transactions (income and expenses). If something is put into the wrong category, you can easily recategorize the transaction yourself. And the next time, PowerWallet will remember that transaction type’s category. So it will take some time in the beginning (recategorizing transactions), but once you get through it, it will pretty much be smooth sailing from that point forth. You can also add keywords to certain transactions, and then search for a group of transactions based on that keyword later on.
On this page (labeled “My Plan”), you create your own monthly budget. What you do here is go through and tell the system how much money (expected spending amounts) will be allocated to each of the categories that you have set up. PowerWallet’s flexibility allows you to budget your spending from month to month, or for longer terms if you like.
It may take a couple of months for you to monitor this and see exactly what you spend and where you spend it. That in turn will allow you to see where you may need to curtail your spending and also where you may have an opportunity to save some extra money.
Below is a sample of PowerWallet’s Budget Page
Cash Flow Page
This is where the rubber meets the road. This page is your overall monthly financial picture. Here, you can monitor your cash flow (inflow – outflow = money leftover) in real time. Obviously, your objective is to be in the positive.
Below is a sample of PowerWallet’s Cash Flow page.
Finally, you will also have access to a calendar. This calendar has a build in alert function that features bill reminders, and alerts on low balances, large purchases and when fees get charged. These alerts will show up on your dashboard. You can customize these alerts, and have them emailed to you if you like.
So if you are one that has trouble keeping track, this can make it easy for you. And a feature like this can also be important because paying bills on time play a major role in your credit rating.
Below is sample of PowerWallet’s Calendar view.
So this is a basic overview of what PowerWallet is, and how it can work for you.
PowerWallet vs. Mint, HelloWallet & Others
Now there are a lot of similar budgeting programs out there like Mint, HelloWallet, Personal Capital, YNAB (You Need a Budget) and more (with Mint being the most established). Each of these programs do a lot of the same things (some programs may be strong in certain aspects, and weaker in others and vice versa).
However, Power Wallet (the new kid on the block) proposes to have a leg up on the competition because it also allows you to save additional money by taking advantage not only of coupons, but also daily deals that are based upon where you are located. This is why they ask for your zip code when you join.
On your budget (my plan) page you will see listings with special offers next to some of the categories that you have set up. This will show you personalized deals based on where you are located. This is the reason they ask for your zip code when you join.
You can browse shopping offers, get rewards points (although I’m not sure how rewards points can be redeemed), and also receive daily deals. The daily deals feature will show you daily deals from sites like Living social, Amazon Local, Groupon etc. And in the offers section, you can receive special offers on a variety of things including food, clothing and electronics.
All of this can be a blessing and a curse. So use this with caution. Getting a deal on something that you were not going to purchase is not a deal. So if you get carried away with all of these saving functions, you can end up spending more money. However, if you use it wisely, you can benefit greatly from it.
The PowerWallet App
As of right now, you can access your account from your Smartphone’s browser, and the company promises that soon there will be a PowerWallet Iphone app as well as an Android app.
Is PowerWallet Safe?
This is the million dollar question. Is PowerWallet secure? Or better yet, exactly how safe and/or secure is it? One of the big concerns with any online money management system is security. Many people shy away from these programs because they don’t feel secure having an online system access their financial accounts. This is a legitimate concern.
Power Wallet has addressed safety in the best way that it can be addressed (in my opinion). It utilizes some of the industry’s top monitoring, systems including Comodo WebInspector, Comodo and TRUSTe. And the site also goes through daily testing to ensure maximum protection against hackers, identity theft, spyware, viruses and other online threats.
More importantly, it is a “read only” service. Because of this, even if someone were to access your account, they would never be able to access your money as you cannot transfer money through PowerWallet. Also, you have the option of entering your accounts manually. Now of course, doing this will be more tedious. But it wouldn’t be any more tedious than doing a manual budget on your own.
Well ladies and gentleman, this has been my review of the PowerWallet app. I do believe that it is a great way for you to take control of your personal finances. This is the reason that I use it, and promote it. And for those looking for the the Iphone and Android apps, I will update this page as soon as I find out they come available (or you will certainly be alerted when you join).
Like I said at the beginning; having a cash flow plan is STEP ONE in moving from where you are to a state of financial security. So whatever method you choose to use, make sure you take this step! If you want to give PowerWallet a try, then click on the photo below and give it a whirl.
And until next time,
Free Your Mind… Online
A while back, I exposed how an IRA can actually be an individual rip-off account (that is, if you don’t understand the right one to choose). But today I want to talk about IRAs in a different context.
Because the market has collapsed, a lot of “diversified” IRAs and 401ks have suffered greatly! But the truth is that, it doesn’t have to be that way. Enter below and find out one of the ways that you can take control of your retirement funds.
Check out the Free Your Mind Online E-Book Store and get a large variety of e-books to improve your life. And of course, the price is right!
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Originally posted 2013-08-13 14:38:21.
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Lesson on “Options to Eliminate Debt” – CCCS, Debt Settlement, Bankruptcy… Corey Gray, CEO of Credit Assistance Network provides a quick and powerful lesson on your options to eliminate debt.
Options to Eliminate Debt
If you are in debt and pay only the minimum payments on high interest debt you should already understand that you are spinning your wheels and are going to take forever to pay off your balances. The minimum payments are designed to keep you in debt. Your creditors are sharp, they are looking for the absolute highest return on their investment and structure your minimum payments to simply pay the interest and barely scratch the principal. They continually monitor your credit reports to offer you increased lines of credit so they can get you right where they want you; paying only the minimum payments. This will get you nowhere. Paying more then the minimum payments and not using additional credit are the sure way to eventually get out of debt. If you are unable to do this then you must explore your alternative options to free yourself from this burden.
The consumer credit counseling services industry or C.C.C.S. was a popular form of debt relief for many years. The C.C.C.S. industry took a nose dive after many misleading companies like Ameridebt took advantage of consumers by promising the world and not delivering anything but problems. Consumer Credit Counseling Service Companies advertise that they work with your creditors to reduce or eliminate your interest rates, consolidate everything into one easy monthly payment and get you out of debt in 12-48 months, when in fact they are actually working for your creditors and are getting paid what is referred to as a “Fair Share Contribution”. A “fair share contribution” is a percentage of your monthly payment which is paid to the C.C.C.S. Company for their efforts. Credit counseling does work for many people if you enroll creditors that are willing to reduce interest and pay a fee to the CCCS Company. We have been referring clients to Debt Management Credit Counseling in Lighthouse Point FL because we know them and they have an excellent reputation. You can learn more at http://www.dmcccorp.org/ or calling (866) 618-DEBT
Debt settlement commonly referred as debt negotiation is an old concept but is becoming more and more commercialized and popular for people that are burdened with unmanageable debt situations. Debt settlement means: paying a creditor less then the amount owed by negotiating the balance. Debt settlement is only possible with debts that are seriously delinquent or in collections. The reason for this is, once a debt is seriously past due or sent to collections; the creditor has already charged the debt off. You see, for most creditors when a debt is past due, there is a specific process in dealing with the debt. They will add late fees, over limit fees as well as excessive finance charges. Once the debt has increased due to the account status, the creditor will look for ways to reduce their loss. The second step is for the creditor to charge the debt off. This means that the creditor believes the debt is UN-collectible and the creditor no longer wants to pay taxes on the debt as an asset for the company. So when the creditor charges the debt off, they get a tax break. At the same time they are now restricted form attempting to collect the debt, so usually they will sell the debt to a third party debt collector. Once the debt has been sold, the new debt collection agency will attempt to collect the debt. If they are unsuccessful, chances are it will be sold again and again until they are successful. After the debt is sent to collections you have a much better chance of settling, that is if they don’t sue you. Many creditors and collection agencies would rather settle then sue because it is much more cost effective. Even if they sue, they still need to collect which leaves them in the same situation. The older the debt is, the more likely it is that they will settle. We refer consumers to Consumer Debt Help Association in Delray Beach FL because we know them well and they have an excellent reputation. You can learn more at www.NoFeeUntilWeSettle.org or call (888) 722-3361
Bankruptcy is a federal court process that can help consumers eliminate overwhelming debts. Depending on your circumstances and income, bankruptcy laws may give you a way to “wipe out” and erase many financial obligations and start over fresh so to speak. Be careful, even though bankruptcy may help the debts go away; it may very well have an extremely negative impact on your ability to obtain credit, get a job or insurance, a bank account or apartment rental. If you are considering bankruptcy, we recommend you call Tony Ditocco at Ditocco Law Group for a free consultation at (561) 487-0200 or visit http://www.ditoccolaw.com.
Learn more at www.CreditAgenda.com
Originally posted 2013-08-06 15:45:07.
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In the past, we have talked about the reason why credit is important,
even if you intend to pay cash for everything. So with that being said, one must know how to play the game. Credit agencies are “For Profit
” and do not
work with your best interest in mind.
In this video, you are exposed to some of the secrets of your credit rating, and why you might be among a large number of people who are suffering from poor credit rating because of a fraudulent system that has been put in-place. And even though this particular information is based in the U.K., the same principles apply everywhere.
Recent foreclosure statistics suggest that foreclosures are falling. However, this year, we are still on pace to have well over a half a million homes enter the foreclosure process. And we are also on pace to reach close to 350,000 home repossessions.
The goal of this article is to empower everyday citizens by letting them know all of the options that are available to them, and also where they can seek assistance to stop the repossession of their home.
Are you about to lose your home? Ultimately, you want an outcome that is good for you and good for your family. And that’s what we want too. If you have real issues, you need to speak to a real person. Click below for assistance.
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In the past, I addressed the question of whether or not having a good credit score was even important (that is if you don’t plan on taking on new debt).
Now that we have addressed that, the next question is, “If I have bad credit, how can I raise my score?” Is credit repair the answer? Is credit counseling the answer? We will address this in today’s newsletter.
There is no doubt that national paper currencies are collapsing all across the world. Gold is a much safer place than any other for your money. Learn how to protect your savings
Originally posted 2009-09-30 19:33:46.
verb (summarize, ing)
1. To prepare a summary of something.
2. To give a recapitulation of the salient facts; to recapitulate or review.
verb (summeriz, ing)
1. To prepare ones living space to be more cost effective during scorching hot summer months.
Today I would like to talk about the second definition. Yes, I know that summer is not technically here, but these next couple of months will be the hot! Want to save some money? Consider the following.
Learn everything you need to know about producing your own energy using Solar and Wind Power. Create renewable energy sources from your own back yard!
Originally posted 2009-05-31 06:34:00.
I woke up one morning and I realized that I needed a change. I had been getting up in the same way day after day for so long there was a track in my carpet and a dent in my chair and kitchen table where I always drank coffee and sat, still, fading the brain away until it was 8:08 and I got up to drive the fifteen minutes to my work. There were times I literally got to work and did not recall a single thing about the drive to work. If you know that feeling, you know that it’s a little scary. I mean, we don’t live infinitely, or if we do, then that’s great but I don’t think we do because then we’d all be working on our first lives and that’s too great of a coincidence.
So I woke up and sort of snapped to, like awaking from a dream, a very lucid dream, but a dream nonetheless. Instead of going to work, I decided to find a mba admissions consultant and ask them to help me start a new way, and get quickly into a new schooling program that could really lead me to greatness. The folks at amerasiaconsulting.com, the place I found by using the world wide web, made the whole process quite simple, and that’s what I needed. Being someone who needed my brain to basically be restarted, I wasn’t ready to wade through all the details about applying to an MBA program, I really wanted to be told what to do, led to water if you know what I’m saying. Not because I’m dumb or lazy, but because I knew I had to get this next chapter started while I was feeling jazzed about it, a not let the weight of everyday life drag me back down and down and down.
Thankfully, that didn’t happen, because I was coaxed through the process by www.amerasiaconsulting.com. It really made all the difference.
Originally posted 2013-06-07 01:15:14.
Don’t be discouraged, but over 50% of start-ups fail in the beginning. This isn’t a formulaic, fatalistic conclusion, and there’s no “right way” or “wrong way” to start up your start-up, but with every start-up comes the risk of failure.
However, there are certain tactics that are bound to fail. Having no online presence, for example, is one of them… Failing to have a clear business plan is another.
To start a successful start-up, it’s extremely important to be aware of scalability. This means staying smart about where time and energy is spent. Learning how to reduce time spent on finding solutions to critical problems helps free up time for more important tasks.
More importantly, and especially when a start-up is off on a volatile path with an undetermined future, it’s so important to stay flexible in your vision. Keep your social media presence alive and healthy, and be willing to change personalities if your current one isn’t working. A new company isn’t exactly the prototype of a human – you can redesign your start-up’s soul at will.
It’s also extremely crucial to take advantage of today’s increasingly global world; connect your business plan to it. Some of the highest 4G coverage is in random countries like South Korea, Japan and Australia. Stay afloat by staying open to what may change – either in your competition or within your company. Know how to scale yourself and delegate your time well.
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According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), America’s last recession ended in June of 2009. However, some would say that they don’t feel like it. And since that time, numbers and statistics (like the GDP) have been put out suggesting that the economy is on the up and up. But is the economy really doing well? What if the numbers were being manipulated?
In this clip, Bill Still speaks on how the government has been using Quantitative Easing numbers to show us the picture of the economy that they want us to see.
So as not to end this post on a negative note, let us reach back into the archives. The importance of you being financially independent is for you to have your own economy. Go here and read the article, “Are You In A Recession?“