Personal Finance

Managing Your Finances is Like Baking a Pie #LifeByThePie

This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Life, By The Pie #LifeByThePie sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

I’ll always remember 2014 as the year I finally took control of my finances. One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to set financial goals for myself. I wanted to pay off credit card debt, save money and basically get a better understanding of the money I have coming in and out each month. I’ve come a very long way from even a couple years ago. My finances used to be a huge mess! My credit cards were maxed and I had no savings. I was living pay cheque to pay cheque and barely making ends meet. It was very stressful on me and I’m sure it affected my family too. I didn’t want my kids to see me always worried about money and I knew changes had to be made.

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I think the turning point for me was when I consciously made the decision that I didn’t want to live like this anymore. I realized that I had no idea where my money was going each month and at this rate, I would never be able to pay off credit cards. Something had to change. For me, the key was in the KNOWLEDGE. They say knowledge is power and you know what? They are right. Knowing exactly where my money was going, keep tabs on spending, debt and setting some small goals was what turned things around for me.  I’m pleased to say that in the past several months I was able to pay off my credit card entirely and start a small savings fund! I know exactly how much money is in my bank account at all times. And here’s a big one that I never thought would be possible: I’m planning to purchase a new home all on my own! I would have never thought to be even remotely possible 5 years ago!

If I can turn improve my financial health, I believe anyone can. The most important element is to understand your personal finances and to set some small goals to work towards. One of my new favourite tools in my budgeting arsenal is Life, By The Pie. It’s a web-based personal financial management tool that helps you manage your money and make informed decisions. I like it because it’s not like any budgeting system that I’ve used before. There are no huge spreadsheets to fill out and it lays out the information in a way I can understand. It’s perfect for people who like to visually see where money is going and helps them get a better handle on spending. Plus, it’s super easy to use! It took me only a matter of minutes to see how and where I was spending my money.

Life, By The Pie makes managing your personal finances as easy as pie. It really doesn’t get any easier than this folks! In fact, Life, By The Pie is built on the philosophy that managing your finances is just like baking a pie. It takes you through all the ingredients you need to building (baking) your personal financial budget (your pie). Let me take you through the simple steps to baking your pie and show you how effortless it is to set up.

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Step 1: Everyone Has a Home. We all need to live somewhere and in this step you would look at all your expenses related to where you live like mortgage, rent, property tax, utilities, etc.

Step 2: Everyone Must Roll. We need to get around so this step includes all transportation costs like vehicle insurance, car payments, gas, transit, etc.

Step 3: The Filling. This step shows all our day-to-day living expenses like groceries, medical, education, daycare, etc.

Step 4: The Topping: These are the little extras that we often don’t track like entertainment, vacations, memberships, donations to charity, etc.

The first thing I did after signing up for Life, By The Pie online is create my pie for our current home in Nova Scotia. I inputted our income and then went through the steps of filling in our monthly expenses. I noticed it also factored in income taxes which was very eye-opening for me! As someone who is self-employed, I always end up owing a good chunk of money every April. I appreciated how Life, By The Pie estimated the taxes I would owe on my income and factored it into my pie (budget). 

Life, By The Pie also helped me decide if it would be feasible to buy a new home. I created a new pie and calculated how much it will cost move our family to a new home. I was able to see if we could afford to move and what my budget would look like at a new location. I’m happy to report that my pie looked great and moving is definitely an option we are considering.

We also want to be able to go on a family vacation to Disney World. My girls went a few years ago with my parents, but we’ve never gone anywhere together as a family. I’m setting aside money each month to save towards this goal and have factored this monthly amount into my financial pie. My kids will be so excited to hear that we are going and I now can visually see that we are definitely on our way to making this dream a reality.

Income and expenses can change and I like being able to easily edit my Pie. It’s just a matter of logging into my Life, By The Pie account and adjusting the numbers. Easy peasy! 

I also wanted to mention the Daily Dish app which helps you track your daily spending. You can use it either online or on your smartphone/tablet. It helps you to see where your money is actually going and you can compare it to your budget. Remember knowledge is power and sometimes we may not realize how much we are spending until we see the numbers right there in front of us. It’s available on iTunes, Google Play and Blackberry.

Are you ready to take control of your finances and work towards some goals? Learn more about Life, By The Pie and how it can take the mystery out of managing your finances and make it as “easy as pie”.

Connect with Life, By The Pie on Facebook and Twitter

This busy mom and accountant also put Life, By The Pie to the test. Find out if she was able to sink her teeth into the financial planning website tools and bake her own pie or if it left her feeling crusty.  

Learn how you can use Life, By The Pie to tell you where your money is going so you can start to make informed, positive, decisions about where you want it to go, then get some insight into your spending style by taking the “What Kind of Spender Are You” quiz.

Discover how to use the Life, By The Pie management tools to create personal financial recipes that taste good to you.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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