For many of us, we are oblivious to some of our own spending habits. We tend to spend without much thought or planning and that can lead to a lot of financial problems. In order to gain control over their spending and finances, many people have chosen to use personal money management software. This can be a simple way to automate your household budget to identify, and close, any weak areas of your financial picture.

In order to find the right software for you and your needs you’ll need to do a little research. Find a few programs that offer you the features you need. For most people a simple system that can help them track their household spending habits will be enough. Others, though, may need something a little more high tech. This is especially true if you have multiple investment accounts and / or you are trying to work out a long term investment plan.

Make sure that you get the most out of whatever software program you decide on. There is no point in choosing a program with a lot of bells and whistles if you’re not going to take the time to figure out how to use them all. Go through all the available tutorials to learn how to use your software properly.

Even if your software allows you to integrate your investment accounts, you may be better off just starting out with your main household accounts. If you keep it simple in the beginning you’ll have a better chance of getting the results you want since you won’t get overwhelmed and just chuck the whole thing.

See if you can integrate your online bank account website with your software, that way all your management features will be automatic saving you time and headaches.

Once you’ve gotten your software set up and you’re getting a clear picture of your finances, it’s time to analyze everything and find out just where your money is going. Everyone can benefit from this but especially if you seem to be falling short of money before the month is over. If you find there is more month than money, you can use the analytical tools of your software to figure out where your money is going and what you can do to stop the bleeding.

Once you’ve plugged the holes in your budget you can then start to whittle away at your debt by applying the money you are no longer wasting to pay off your credit card debt. Pick one card and apply that extra money to the minimum payment you make on that card every month. In a short time you’ll have that card paid off completely. Than you pick your next smallest card balance and do the same thing.

You can eventually apply this principle to paying off your mortgage early.

The first step to getting any problem under control is to identify exactly where the problem is coming from. Using personal money management software can make that process quicker and more effective. Once you get used to using the software it can even be fun to see your progress right there on your computer screen and you’ll definitely enjoy seeing the extra money show up in your account every month.