This week personal finance blogger Andy writes the first of his blog post series on using Money Dashboard to help in his quest to retire early!
Introducing FIRE starter
My name is Andy and I write a blog called theFIREstarter. Before you start to wonder why a fanboy site of The Prodigy is writing an article on money management software, let me inform you that the clue is in the acronym FIRE, which stands for: Financial Independence / Retire Early.
My aim is to become Financially Independent (or "Retire", or escape the rat race, whatever you want to call it) at an earlier age than is usual, i.e. around 65-67 nowadays. Needless to say, if that is your goal, you need some solid money management skills, and that is where Money Dashboard's free budget planner comes in for me.
Saving with Money Dashboard
I discovered Money Dashboard about a year ago and was instantly hooked, and it has no doubt helped us get our spending in check, which is key to attaining FI. Over the next few weeks I'll be chatting through my favourite Money Dashboard features that can help us save more and spend less.
This week I'll be talking through the 'Multiple Linked Account' feature which can help in your quest to retire early. Let's go!
Multiple Linked Accounts
This feature is an obvious one to start with, but before I came across Money Dashboard I couldn't find any UK based software that covered such a large number of bank and credit card accounts, and put it all together with such an easy to use interface. I'd tried Yodlee on its own before back in early 2013 but it didn't work like I needed it to, to cover all my accounts.
If you have any financial set up that is more complicated than just one bank account, which let's face it is very unlikely nowadays, then you need something to aggregate them easily and efficiently, and Money Dashboard does this perfectly!
I can see our three bank accounts* and 2 credit card balances in one glance, with a nice overall positive or negative (hopefully positive!) balance in the top left. You can even customise the colours you give to each account; how's that for personalisation?! That's you set up with the bones of your retirement saving plan.
Bonus tip: we have three accounts to take advantage of the best interest rates. 2 x TSB paying 5% and 1 x Santander 123 account paying 3%, in case you were interested!
Talk to me
Now that you have read my first post, I would love if you took a look at Money Dashboard and see if you can use some of my tips above. Tweet me @TFSRetireEarly and @MoneyDashboard with your top tips or questions on saving money to retire early.