Your Money or Your Life’s subtitle, ”9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money & Achieving Financial Independence,” says a lot about co-authors Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s philosophy about personal finance, which is that personal finance is as much as emotional exercise as it is mathematical. Your Money or Your Life was first published in 1992 and has since gone through a revised edition that brought the New York Times Best Seller into the 21st century. Robin and Dominguez give consideration to some of the most common personal finance questions: Do you spend more than you earn? Would you like to change jobs but can’t afford to?
If you tend to carry a credit card balance rather than pay off your balance every month, then you’ve seen a finance charge added to your balance. Finance charges are applied to credit card balances that aren’t paid before the grace period. Unlike most other credit card fees, finance charges aren’t a flat fee. Instead, the finance charge is calculated for each billing cycle based on your balance and interest rate. Generally, higher balances and interest rates result in higher finance charges.
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Investments, The investment support in AceMoney includes some basic graphs, a list of investment transactions and a list of portfolio holdings with the total value and overall loss or gain. There’s enough there to keep an eye on your investments, so you’ll have to use stock analysis software if you want more advanced portfolio support. Your brokerage likely provides more advanced analysis tools online as well. Automatic Transactions: AceMoney will not automatically download transactions for all accounts when you open the software, a feature found in Quicken and once found in Microsoft Money when it was fully supported. Instead, you must go to each account and click on the Download transactions button.
Moneydance for Linux offers several impressive features, including multiple currency support, currency rate updates, an organized home page, and backup to Dropbox. Easy-to-install extensions are available to enhance many of these features. Like most good personal finance software, Moneydance has online banking capabilities. It features graphs, reports, and a nice summary page to give you a visual feel for where your finances stand. You can use it to set up payment schedules for recurring or one-time transactions. You can also get a Moneydance app for your iPhone if you want to keep your budget with you at all times.
Before you get started, AceMoney asks if you want to use the sample file that comes with the software. I recommend using it to experiment with the software to see how it works. You can also start with a new data file, but it may be easier to rename the sample file, add your own accounts, edit budget categories and make other adjustments while deleting the accounts that come with the sample file. After renaming the data file and saving it, you will need to restart AceMoney to use the new file.