Monday, February 8, 2010

Tweet Your Way to a Balanced Budget

One of the biggest obstacles to tracking spending is creating a habit around it. Writing down each expense may seem awkward, uncomfortable, or time-consuming.

What if you could use your addiction to social media to help put yourself on a budget? That's the idea behind Tweet What You Spend, a free financial tracking tool that works through your Twitter account.

After each transaction, you simply send a direct message to TweetWhatYouSpend (@twys) with the amount you spent and what you spent it on. There is a special TWYS syntax that makes sending the information quick and easy. Tweet What You Spend then securely parses the information into your own Cash Journal.

And while I am no fan of shame-based strategies for keeping yourself on track, TWYS does have a "Wall of Shame" feature that allows you to highlight transactions that are not in keeping with your financial plan by dragging them onto a special bulletin board. If for some odd reason you'd also like to share this information with a community, you're welcome to do that, too. (Personally that sounds a little weird to me, but I have been known to get a lot of clients who begin each session with a mea culpa, so maybe there is a huge need here for public shaming.)