Suzanne Clifford

Brett James
Co-Founder
MyMoneyPicture.com


Suzanne Clifford

Suzanne Clifford
Co-Founder MyMoneyPicture.com

"Whatever your income, always live below your means."

This quote from "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley is possibly the best financial advice you will ever receive.

It is easy, however, to spend more than we should on things we don't need, and may not even want all that much. If you are like most people, it is this thoughtless spending that is keeping you from the financial freedom you desire.

Where does the money go?

MyMoneyPicture (MMP) was created as a personal project to help Suzanne rein in her own finances. Even though she didn't have an expensive lifestyle or lavish tastes, and made a decent wage, she was simply never able to get ahead financially. If you asked her why she wasn't saving more money, she would honestly say she had no idea. And she wasn't going to change her behaviour when she didn't even know what she was doing wrong. She kept saying "I just don't know where the money goes."

If you bite it, write it!

Her issues with money were similar to her issues with food. Even though she thought she had very good eating habits, she was always struggling with her weight. She figured she was just cursed with a slow metabolism. Brett, who is a former coach and international sportsman, mentioned that if she was heavier than she wanted to be, she needed to eat less and move more. After some back-and-forth, they made a bet. Brett challenged Suzanne to write down everything she ate for a day, and come back afterwards to tell him if she still thought she had a slow metabolism.

Needless to say, she was stunned how many calories could be in a salad if you added a little too much oily dressing. Or how quickly a small harmless muffin here or tiny piece of chocolate there could add up. She started tracking everything she ate with an on-line calorie counting application and was able to lose over 30 pounds.

Tracking her calories made her more aware. She discovered which foods decrease her appetite, like protein, and which foods increase her appetite, like simple starches, added sweeteners, and certain fats. She also learned how the timing of meals made a difference, and that she did best eating a healthy and satisfying breakfast and lunch and either eating a light dinner or skipping it entirely. And of course she became aware of the dangers of stress eating.

Just like writing down everything you eat is great weight loss advice, writing down everything you spend is great financial advice.

When Suzanne moaned to Brett, a CPA with decades of financial experience, about her financial situation, the clear answer was to deal with her finances in the same way she dealt with her weight. The correlations are so obvious. Income is like exercise. Spending is like eating. And just like weight loss, the road to financial freedom is a very personal journey.

I need an app, not a pencil.

Suzanne looked for an on-line financial application that worked like the calorie counting application she had been using, but couldn't find any she liked. They both knew what she needed, they just couldn't find it.
She needed to:

  • See all her spending together, no matter if she paid in cash, by check, debit card or with a credit card;
  • Enter her spending and check her account balances anytime, anywhere;
  • Enter transactions quickly and easily, or else she won't do it;
  • Create custom subcategories, so she can analyze her spending in a way that is personal and meaningful to her;
  • See progress in paying down credit card debt;
  • Eliminate the noise and display her clear, accurate financial picture;
I'm not giving someone access to my bank accounts!

As an IT professional who has worked with several large banks, Suzanne understands the importance of security. With all the data breaches you read about, there was no way she would ever consider giving a third party the userid's and passwords for any of her accounts.

This has the added benefit of making her personally involved in recording her spending, which increases awareness and is a big reason why MyMoneyPicture works so well.

It works!

Suzanne has been using MyMoneyPicture for over two years, and it has helped her recognize and correct several problem areas in her personal spending. For example, one issue that she uncovered was how much money she wastes on food by not planning meals.

It also has been a good record keeping tool, which is useful for tracking the travel expenses required for her job. And since she can easily display spending for particular subcategories for an entire year, it makes tax time easier.

Even though Brett is very frugal by nature, he also began using MyMoneyPicture daily to record his spending and monitor his account balances. There is always room for improvement and increased understanding. Of course, due to his financial background, Brett wanted a better model than the one Suzanne was content with, so he insisted entering transactions be even easier, and that meaningful graphs be added to provide instant visual feedback.

Try It!

MyMoneyPicture works so well, at this point it seems selfish not to share it with others. If you find yourself wondering where all your money goes, we challenge you to use MyMoneyPicture and see if it is as helpful for you as it has been for us.

And if you have any suggestions, please contact us because we'd love to hear them.

You just need an email address to


Suzanne Clifford

Brett James
Co-Founder
MyMoneyPicture.com

"Whatever your income, always live below your means."

This quote from "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas J. Stanley is possibly the best financial advice you will ever receive.

It is easy, however, to spend more than we should on things we don't need, and may not even want all that much. If you are like most people, it is this thoughtless spending that is keeping you from the financial freedom you desire.

Where does the money go?

MyMoneyPicture (MMP) was created as a personal project to help Suzanne rein in her own finances. Even though she didn't have an expensive lifestyle or lavish tastes, and made a decent wage, she was simply never able to get ahead financially. If you asked her why she wasn't saving more money, she would honestly say she had no idea. And she wasn't going to change her behaviour when she didn't even know what she was doing wrong. She kept saying "I just don't know where the money goes."

If you bite it, write it!

Her issues with money were similar to her issues with food. Even though she thought she had very good eating habits, she was always struggling with her weight. She figured she was just cursed with a slow metabolism. Brett, who is a former coach and international sportsman, mentioned that if she was heavier than she wanted to be, she needed to eat less and move more. After some back-and-forth, they made a bet. Brett challenged Suzanne to write down everything she ate for a day, and come back afterwards to tell him if she still thought she had a slow metabolism.

Needless to say, she was stunned how many calories could be in a salad if you added a little too much oily dressing. Or how quickly a small harmless muffin here or tiny piece of chocolate there could add up. She started tracking everything she ate with an on-line calorie counting application and was able to lose over 30 pounds.

Tracking her calories made her more aware. She discovered which foods decrease her appetite, like protein, and which foods increase her appetite, like simple starches, added sweeteners, and certain fats. She also learned how the timing of meals made a difference, and that she did best eating a healthy and satisfying breakfast and lunch and either eating a light dinner or skipping it entirely. And of course she became aware of the dangers of stress eating.

Just like writing down everything you eat is great weight loss advice, writing down everything you spend is great financial advice.

When Suzanne moaned to Brett, a CPA with decades of financial experience, about her financial situation, the clear answer was to deal with her finances in the same way she dealt with her weight. The correlations are so obvious. Income is like exercise. Spending is like eating. And just like weight loss, the road to financial freedom is a very personal journey.

I need an app, not a pencil.

Suzanne looked for an on-line financial application that worked like the calorie counting application she had been using, but couldn't find any she liked. They both knew what she needed, they just couldn't find it.
She needed to:

  • See all her spending together, no matter if she paid in cash, by check, debit card or with a credit card;
  • Enter her spending and check her account balances anytime, anywhere;
  • Enter transactions quickly and easily, or else she won't do it;
  • Create custom subcategories, so she can analyze her spending in a way that is personal and meaningful to her;
  • See progress in paying down credit card debt;
  • Eliminate the noise and display her clear, accurate financial picture;
I'm not giving someone access to my bank accounts!

As an IT professional who has worked with several large banks, Suzanne understands the importance of security. With all the data breaches you read about, there was no way she would ever consider giving a third party the userid's and passwords for any of her accounts.

This has the added benefit of making her personally involved in recording her spending, which increases awareness and is a big reason why MyMoneyPicture works so well.

It works!

Suzanne has been using MyMoneyPicture for over two years, and it has helped her recognize and correct several problem areas in her personal spending. For example, one issue that she uncovered was how much money she wastes on food by not planning meals.

It also has been a good record keeping tool, which is useful for tracking the travel expenses required for her job. And since she can easily display spending for particular subcategories for an entire year, it makes tax time easier.

Even though Brett is very frugal by nature, he also began using MyMoneyPicture daily to record his spending and monitor his account balances. There is always room for improvement and increased understanding. Of course, due to his financial background, Brett wanted a better model than the one Suzanne was content with, so he insisted entering transactions be even easier, and that meaningful graphs be added to provide instant visual feedback.

Try It!

MyMoneyPicture works so well, at this point it seems selfish not to share it with others. If you find yourself wondering where all your money goes, we challenge you to use MyMoneyPicture and see if it is as helpful for you as it has been for us.

And if you have any suggestions, please contact us because we'd love to hear them.

You just need an email address to


Suzanne Clifford

Suzanne Clifford
Co-Founder MyMoneyPicture.com