When it comes to managing money, most people need all the help they can get. In order to be cost effective, however, money management assistance needs to be cost-free. If you're watching your pennies fly out of your pocket each month and wondering what you can do better, there are a number of free options to choose from. Advancements in computer software, smart phone apps, and other money management tools have made it possible to get help with money management at no additional cost to you.
Mint.com is an online money management site used by millions of people. It's popular because it's free and extremely useful. There are a variety of money management and budget tools to use, keeping you on top of your financial situation at all times.
Sign up is 100 percent free and can easily be accomplished in just a few minutes. Mint gets to work immediately, by accessing and organizing all of your financial information found on the Internet. You can easily track spending and get a total financial picture whenever you log on. Mint tracks your checking, savings, retirement, investments, and loans so you can easily see where your money is going. You can also create a budget and financial goals within the system to keep you motivated to save. A free smart phone app is also available, so you can even track your finances away from your home computer. The website is safe and secure. You can sign up today by going to Mint.com.
Drawbacks of Mint.com include an overwhelming amount of pop-up ads and excessive email alerts. If you have technical difficulties, it is also hard to get in contact with a real person.
Yodlee is free Internet software that has been around for over a decade. It provides a big picture look at all of your finances in one spot. You can see all of your accounts in one convenient place, pay your bills, see all of your transactions, track incoming money, transfer money, and more. Yodlee allows you to share your financial information with other people, such as a spouse or financial consultant. It is similar to Mint.com, but may be more suited to your personal preference. Budgeting tools are limited within Yodlee, and categorizing spending requires a lot of legwork on the user's part. Go to Yodlee.com to sign up today.
MoneyStrands is another free, web-based financial program. It automatically pulls your financial information from all savings, checking, and credit card accounts. You can then view all of them in one location. It provides personalized advice based on your spending habits, and allows you to compare yourself with others in similar financial situations. It is available for iPhones and other smart phones. MoneyStrands is available in both English and Spanish. You can sign up today at money.strands.com.
This financial monitor is rare among money management sites because it does not link directly to bank accounts. Users who want the piece of mind that their accounts will not be compromised can use BudgetPulse to track their financial health without worry. You can organize all of your accounts in one place, create budgets, and view charts and graphs of your financial progress. It also can read multiple currencies, making it convenient for people living in foreign countries. Sign up at budgetpulse.com.
Geezeo combines social networking with financial management. Users can join discussions and blogs to discuss a variety of financial topics. You can access all of your financial information, set budgets and goals, and get motivated by other users. You can sign up at geezeo.com.
Buxfer is for those concerned with security. Buxfer does not store user's financial information online, but rather lets users log-in to download the most recent activity. You can still access a wide array of financial accounts and information, knowing it will not be stored in cyberspace waiting for potential violations. You can also network with others through forums. The basic account is free, but you can upgrade to Buxfer Plus for $1.79 per month, or Buxfer Pro for $2.79 per month. These options provide access to more budgeting tools, bill pay reminders, and the ability to project cash flow. Buxfer Pro is free from advertisements. Sign up at buxfer.com.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!