The iCash manual starts with the following: "The first step in getting your finances under control is keeping records!", I wrote that sentence a long time ago, actually before entering 16 years of data into iCash! Now I am the happy owner of information, 3 lustrums of data at my fingertips. All about my economy, incomes, expense habits, loan and mortgages repayments, etc.
I believe January is the Personal Finance month. It is the time for budgetting. It is when you see what you did the previous year and what your goals are for the next one. It is also when you look at your spendings, especially the fixed ones. Since you entered everything in iCash you can easily find out what your money was used for, how much you really earned and what's left.
Do you remember the formula: Wealth (what's left) = Incomes - Expenses ?
Well, if W (Wealth) is low you have two solutions, you either increase I (Incomes) or decrease E (Expenses). Not everybody can increase its incomes but almost everyone can lower its expenses. Yes, believe me! Look at your iCash reports and charts. I am sure you are paying too much in electricity, phone, water, cable TV or whatever. Look at your invoices, sure they include things you no longer need. Look for mistakes so you don't repeat them. Take a few hours to analyze your fixed spending invoices and other important expenses. You will be surprised. So yes, you have been collecting and entering data, now it is time for analysis and decision making.
Decision making definition: The thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options. When trying to make a good decision, a person must weight the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that particular situation.
In my particular case and as an exemple, after checking my phone bill, I found out I was paying around $15 in useless features. I cancelled them all. That represents a clear $180 saving for the year(s) to come. I actually found lot of useless stuff I was paying for nothing. Then you can check your electricity and water bills, there are lots of ways to reduce consumption. I have decided to set limits.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So remember, the first step in getting ones finances under control is keeping records. With iCash I am able to view my daily, weekly and monthly incomes and expenses anytime. I can monitor my spendings, understand my household consumption habits and adjust them to reduce on the monthly bills.
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