As the first smart money tracker of its kind, the Debit Tracker helps instill the most-needed habit for sound money management and wealth building: tracking. Reed Armstead, CEO at Debit Tracker, Inc. and author of Good Habits, Good Life! 5 Habits to Build Wealth One Step at a Time explained, “I saw that banks eliminated tracking methods, encouraging their customers to rely on automated banking; however, the result is that people don’t know their balances and incur way too many overdraft fees and penalties. That model is good for the banks, but really detrimental for anyone trying to escape debt and save money. Appropriately, our slogan is ‘When money is tight and it’s gotta be right, track it or lack it’.”
The disconnect between technology and the tried-and-true practice of tracking financial accounts was the impetus for the creation of the Debit Tracker. “My mother was very diligent about tracking her money, and she was truly the CFO of our household,” Armstead continued. “However, when electronic banking became mainstream, she began relying on the bank to provide her balance and gave up her tracking habit, jotting numbers on whatever scrap of paper was nearby. The result was overdraft fees and penalties as well as the loss of financial control because people can’t manage what they can’t see.”
Tracking is the linchpin behavior to good money management and wealth building, and tracking is at the heart of the product design. Millions are tracking because they know that tracking is the ultimate in financial control, and tracking with Debit Tracker is easy because users store their credit or debit card inside the hand-held unit, so they are reminded to check their balances at the moment of transaction and to record their purchases immediately. Armstead and co-developer John White researched many financial experts and behaviorists while developing the product. The overwhelming consensus for behavior modification is tracking, whether it’s increasing savings, improving golf scores or losing weight. Tracking enhances change because it’s objective.
The Debit Tracker merges the old-school tracking habit with technology and provides real-time results – a feature that online banking and mobile phone apps lack. “When you rely on the bank for your balance, you often get ‘false positives’,”
Additionally, the system interfaces with users’ computers allowing them to review income and expense reports, categorize spending, and create and review budgets using the data entered with each transaction. The Bill Alerts function can be set up to provide automated reminders of recurring payments and deposits, so balances can always be updated.
“One of the most important features,” explained Armstead, “is that we offer accountability partners who help users set and up and use the product to develop the tracking habit that’s key to financial success. We believe this is critical, but it may limit the number of clients we can take on at any time.”
The Debit Tracker System can also be used to manage at-home or side businesses with features including tracking of customers, products, inventory, sales and receivables, sales tax liabilities, and vendors as well as invoice and estimate creation. Expense and mileage tracking are also features of the Debit Tracker System.
Changes in the banking industry, including rapid transactions and myriad methods of payment choices led people to increase their reliance on banks to manage their accounts and report balances. “Without realizing it,” Armstead continued, “in one step, people gave up their financial control when they gave up their checkbook registers, convinced by banks that tracking was passé. Behavior changed dramatically – people were not tracking their spending or balances and overdrafts boomed. Banks got rich. Consumers went into debt.”
Knowing this, and with a background in marketing in the financial sector, Armstead clearly saw the shift in responsibility and its detrimental effects: “Letting the bank watch your balance is a bit like letting the fox watch the hen house. The Debit Tracker lets consumers regain financial control, and without it they cannot change their financial outcomes.”
The Debit Tracker is the only hand-held smart money tracker available, and it provides users with the ability to regain financial control and build the habits needed for financial success. For more information or to purchase the Debit Tracker System (including the hand-held smart money tracker; carrying wallet; receipt, bill and document organizers; and interface software), visit http://www.DebitTracker.com.