Masterclass

Knowledge is power – know where your money goes

Published on August 11, 2016 2:45 pm, by

MoneyBrilliant is a personal finance app that brings all your money together and helps you identify where you are overspending. This, in turn, can motivate you to make changes and free up money to put towards other things like repaying debt or saving towards a goal.

My very favourite thing about using MoneyBrilliant is the categorising and tagging functionalities. They are simple to use and give you awesome detail for very little work.

Categorising – how it helps you spend less

Seeing where I’m spending grouped into categories gave me the knowledge of where money was going and the motivation to ask questions when the numbers looked too high. Once you’ve looked it’s not hard to make changes leading to savings, after all, you have your benchmark and anything you save is a win.

After using the service for a year, this is where I’ve saved –

  • Grocery spending has reduced to the tune of $120 per week (averages)
  • Impulse buying has dropped significantly, by at least $300 per month
  • Change of insurance company for home and car, saving $1,400 this year
  • Change of electricity and gas provider, savings unknown just changed
  • Change of internet providers, saving $20 per month

Total savings for the year were $10,240

Categorising – how to do it

Once you have connected your accounts to your profile your spending is automatically categorised for you. You have the option to change things and if we don’t recognise something then we alert you and ask you to categorise it for us.

Just the passive act of checking your spending every day can help you be more mindful of where your money is going. Driving that extra block to Aldi instead of the local convenience store all of a sudden isn’t a chore, but a really positive thing.

How to change a category on a transaction

What’s the big deal about tags?

What’s not to love about tagging? With tagging you get all the benefits of categorising with a whole new level of detail on your spending. You can add more than one tag to each transaction and keep track of the things that are uniquely important to you.

It’s fantastic for things like understanding who is spending what. For me, I tag my trips to the local café with my name, and my husband’s with his name. No more, ‘you spend more than me conversations’. Not without proof anyway!

Keeping track of investments

A little more seriously, we use it to track our spending on our investment properties. Any interest charge as well as income for the property we tag with the property name. We also tag it as “tax”.  This means that if we report by tax, it includes everything we have tagged as tax, and if we report by the suburb it includes everything relevant to that specific property.

Keeping track of what you spend on each kid

If this is something that you like the idea of its super easy. Every transaction that is spent on one of your children simply tag it with their name. This may be a great way to keep track of school expenses, extracurricular activities, or purely for an understanding of how much you spend on your children.

We have teenagers in our house, and we just find it helpful when we get those “why won’t you buy it for me? You don’t buy me anything. You spend more on him” moments.

How to tag

And the side benefits of knowing where your money went –

  • Being able to forward plan either with a budget or by spending mindfully
  • Using the knowledge to talk finances with your family (partner and/or kids), so they understand what is being spent where
  • Identifying where you can spend less and re-allocating that money to any debt you may have or a holiday fund
  • Knowing the right questions to ask when you are comparing products and services

Related Articles –
Getting the best deal on your credit card
Creating new and better money habits
5 steps to creating your (achievable) budget

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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