Banking

Being with a good bank makes a world of difference when it comes to managing your money well. Throughout my life I have been with a handful of banks, namely, (and in no particular order): ANZ, Adelaide Bank, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Macquarie Bank.

Finding a good bank requires effort, and much depends upon your own financial needs. Some people prefer having direct access to a local bank, others are somewhat indifferent towards a branch being close to them. Some prefer having an ATM machine nearby, others hardly use cash any more.

Whatever your reasons for a bank there is one important aspect to consider if you want to take better control of your finances: how do you track and classify your transactions?

Some banks provide a simple interface in what you’ve spent, but few allow you to classify and annotate your transactions, and fewer still even allow you to upload documentation for your transactions!

Why is this so important? Only for the very reason that it allows you to see where your money is coming from or going clearly, and to enable you to be able to start budgeting.

Read our article on the importance of being able to categorise your transactions.

The good thing is that if your bank doesn’t provide this type of functionality, there are facilities available for you to do this for free!

You might want to start by checking out Pocketbook.

Tracking Your Money

If you can afford it, you might want to look at paid services such as Quickbooks (which I currently use and have been using for many years). This is a paid service which does have a monthly charge, so it isn’t one I would recommend you start with if your money is tight, but one you should aim for as your net wealth begins to increase.

Here are some helpful articles on how we track our finances using Quickbooks:

You don’t have to use Quickbooks to help manage your finances, if you’re set up is simple, you can just use a good bank that has transaction classification features. Our current bank Macquarie does this quite well, but it might not suit everyone as there are no physical branches you can walk in to.

Finally, if you’re looking for a good bank, my current recommendation is to have a good look at what Macquarie Bank offers. I’ve been impressed with their multiple offset bank accounts, to help reduce our mortgage debt, and excellent transaction categorisation along with notes and file upload details for each transaction.