How Solo Expenses can turn the year’s most miserable day into ‘Happy Monday’

Using Solo Expenses to help with your expense management can stave off the most miserable day of the year, which lies in wait for all of us in the middle of January. As well as monitoring your spending, this handy little money management app can use the power of online expense management to be your financial conscience, allowing you to have more money when everyone else is urging payday to arrive. Here’s how…

Every January comes the bleakest day of the year. It’s the day on which Christmas overspending, miserable weather, and failure to stick to a New Year’s Resolution combine to make us feel as sad as we will do until we start looking forward to Christmas again.

As a rule, it’s three weeks into January, when the year’s first payday still hasn’t happened despite our willing it to arrive. (It’s also usually a Monday; and we all know how exciting they can be…)

Putting aside the Monday dimension, notice how two of the factors that bear down on us are based on money? It does, after all, make the world go round, no matter if it’s our own personal world, or the business of the planet in general.

But don’t give up hope. If you’re in the personal finance doldrums, now’s the time to stop the same misery being repeated a year ahead. And it can be done.

The trick is to resolve to spend less. Now, that might seem to be a glib remark, because doing so is tough. However, it’s only tough because in the moment that the spending impulse strikes we don’t have a conscience to whisper in our ears  ”Do you really need that? Really, really need it?”

Free software will help
Here’s the magic. You can have that conscience; a way to remind you that your objective is to have more money next January, and to keep you cash in your pocket or purse. And you can have it for nothing.

Solo Expenses is actually a clever piece of business expense software, but works just as well for individual expense management. Available as a free download in its most basic form*, it allows you to track your spending so you can see just how much you’re committing to things you don’t actually need, so you can go into shops with a clear view of what you want to buy, and walk away from the things your don’t.

You can use it to tot up all the money you would have spent – but didn’t – and move it to one side. Put it somewhere safe, like the bank or your underwear drawer, and, if you can resist helping yourself to it, it’ll still be there like a ray of sunshine cutting through the cloud of misery come next January.

Start now
Here’s the beauty of it (assuming that being free isn’t beauty enough for you): You can start saving in this way at any time of the year, building a little nest egg you’ll be grateful for come the day; funds that are yours to spend when, without the help of this expense tracker app, you’d have no money at all.

Work at it
Although the Solo Expenses app has been around since 2003 (it was the first app of its kind to be developed exclusively for sole traders), it works only if you work at it too. You’ll need to be diligent in recording your spending, but it’s in your interests to do so. Recording everything you spend (and, in this case, what you didn’t, in its own category you could call ‘My January fund’) will give you a fuller picture of just where your finances stand. Getting into this habit doesn’t have to be difficult. Goodness knows, it requires you to have your phone close by you, and doesn’t everyone do that these days? All you have to do is tap in the saving when you’ve turned your back on a skinny hazelnut latte and a slab of cake, and hey presto – that’s money put away for January. What’s more, your waistline will thank you for it too, and you might be able to avoid going to the gym. Oh look, unnecessary gym membership. There’s another expense that can be knocked on the head. Come on, admit it. You weren’t going to go often enough to make the cost worthwhile anyway, were you? Save the money. You’ll thank us for it next January…

* Other Solo Expenses packages are available, and can work the same expense management magic for any organisation, even companies employing thousands of people – and they’re all easy and intuitive to use.