To recap- I’ve been working with Atlanta based FinTech company, Wela, over the last month. Their online platform promises to make financial planning easier and simpler for busy professionals (like me!) And I’ve been using their online platform over the last month and recording my experiences for you, first about my struggle with my budgeting and savings goals, and then about my difficulties in sticking to a daily spend limit. I'm doing a Wela review to let you guys all know about what I honestly think of this new tool.
- I wrote in the last post that I stayed under my $74 limit for 8.5 days out of the first 13.
- I stayed under my limit for 8 days out of the next 13
- …..but managed to spend close to $1500 on the days I did spend money.
Yikes. Double yikes.
So tracking my expenses in the app and then having to document it for my readers and the world to see has been..…..eye opening to say the least.
But I think sometimes we need to see the rough truths in order to get motivated enough to make important changes.
My Wela Review: The Good and the Bad
Why I’ve Been so Lax with Savings
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to catch up with some of my favorite bloggers in Boston while on a press trip. It’s so nice to be able to sit and vent about business, blogging struggles, what’s working for you and what isn’t…. and bounce a few ideas around with fellow solopreneurs.
One topic that did come up (over a few glasses of wine) is how much more difficult it is to manage your money when running your own business. But more importantly, we talked about how weird it feels to talk and write about money when you’re struggling to save like you should in your personal life.
And admittedly, I haven’t paid as much attention to my personal finances as I have to my business expenses in the last 365 days.
I didn’t realize just how neglectful I’d been until I started putting in all my data into the Wela platform. Even though my net worth and cash flow is in a good place, I’m not saving as much as I should, and I knew it…but couldn’t force myself to admit it until I saw it in black and white.
Over the last few months I’ve been telling myself, “Oh but you’re investing back into your business,” there is a way to do both. I couldn’t quite figure it out before, but by being able to put the numbers into Wela they made it seem easy.
This is what my dashboard looks like and here’s what I need to allocate each month into my savings buckets.
And then I follow my customized daily spend limit ($74) so I stay on track.
And that’s all I have to do, right? Well not quite.
The Three Biggest Things I Learned Using Wela
You and I both know that even though I’m good at tracking days, spending $1500 in a handful of others can’t be good for my savings goals.
But the kicker is that I didn’t even think twice about spending that money until I logged into my Wela portal (get yours for free here) and had to hold myself accountable.
The little epiphany I had looking over my financials in Wela has led me to the three biggest things I learned by using the technology.
- We can’t be trusted to manage our finances every day on our own. Very few people are capable enough to do this…which is why you absolutely must get some type of tech to help us track and stay accountable.
- It isn’t enough to log on and put the information in. You have to find a way to incorporate this “accountability partner” into your every day routine. I was much better with my goals when I logged into Wela every day while I was having my morning cup of coffee.
- Automate your savings. Even though this can be difficult when you work for yourself, Wela can calculate for you how much you need to save for each goal you’re working toward. Then take this amount and have it automatically transferred to savings, your IRA, whatever to make this part as easy and painless as possible.
It’s very hard to keep your money all together, especially the more your life expands to accommodate new earnings, investments, relationships, children, businesses, and homes. Wela makes it easy to stay on top of your finances the bigger, busier and more awesome your life gets.