Using Technology to Gain Financial Independence

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360.Tracking Pixel

A while back, in order to achieve financial independence, my husband and I sold our second car, and became a one car family.  We also sold our main car, and purchased a cheaper car.  We were a one car family for 5 years.  It was a pretty long 5 years, and I’m definitely glad to have graduated from that status.  It was a lot of juggling, coordinating, and walking over to my sister’s house to borrow her car.  This is a picture of the money we got from selling our cars.  It quickly went towards our debt so that we can become debt free… but it was a fun night until the bank opened!

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Now that we don’t have any consumer debt (the only debt we have left is our home and debt to family), and we are back to having two cars, we needed to manage our money a whole lot better so we didn’t get caught up in bad money habits again!

The biggest key to managing money is creating a budget and STICKING to the budget.  In the past, when I would look at my bank account, it was easy to see that money and go “oh I have plenty to spend on this really lame thing I think I need right now.”  So I have to employ the “envelope” budgeting system.  This way I place money into various categories so I can look at the entertainment category and go.. “oh I have $50 in entertainment, yes we can go to the movies tonight.”

Since I’m completely insane, I actually use 3 programs and make sure they all match up every day.

First is one I just can’t seem to let go of, it’s the excel spreadsheet that I created, probably about 10 years ago.  It’s grown in complication since then, but here’s a download of the basic format.

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I make sure the totals of that match up with…

My second program, which is Quicken.  I download my transactions from my bank and make sure the total in Quicken matches the excel sheet.  I also keep track of when my bills are due with notifications within Quicken.  I can look at the month and see which bills I’ve paid and which ones I still have due.  (I forgot that I have a 4th method of financial checkup, which is I entered all of my bill amounts and due dates in a google calendar called “bills” associated with my main google account.)

The third program I use is called mvelopes.  I like mvelopes because it can also download my transactions automatically.  I make sure the envelope amounts match the various “column” amounts in my excel sheet, and obviously that the final balance matches with the other two programs as well.  What I especially like about mvelopes is that they have an app as well, so I can see exactly how much money is in a specific virtual envelope when I’m out and about.  This is very helpful in case I run into a sale!

The truth is you could use any one of these programs by themselves and be perfectly fine, I get a certain amount of comfort when they all match up though, so I know I’m exactly on the right track!

Capital One 360 wants to know how YOU are getting on the right track.  They are looking for Americans to declare a different kind of independence from the BBQ filled celebration we just recently had, which is your financial independence. By entering the #my360independence sweepstakes and sharing the ways you are charting a path toward financial freedom, you’ll be entered to win one of sixty-one $1,776 prizes.
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From now until July 14th, Capital One 360 will give away one cash prize daily!  You simply have to visit http://bank360.com/my360 and submit a photo that shows how you are gaining or plan to become financially independent!
While it may not be a great plan to include winning this cash in your budget (something about counting chickens…), it can definitely help you meet some financial goals if you DO win!  So, good luck!

So, to make myself feel better… is anyone crazy like me, and balances their money with more than one application?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360.


This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com

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