Last year, I signed up for a personal financial program called Mvelopes. The concept of budgeting money in envelopes before the expense instead of after the fact was logical. In fact, my mother has used this same concept for years, but with an actual binder, envelopes and an accounting ledger...oh, and real cash. Mvelopes allows you to sync your accounts online to provide you with real-time account information. I tried Mvelopes for about three months and decided that I really do not like to pay a monthly service fee for something I could do for free. I told myself and the support staff at Mvelopes that I would probably try it again in the future.
Today, I thought about Mvelopes again since I've been diligently attempting to manage my finances. Then I wondered if there were any "free" personal financial tools out there. I found a handful and decided that I would test each one. The only problem is that I like all of them, but each one has an issue that relates to me. Here is what I think about the two that I liked the best but I would recommend you try them out yourself to find just the right fit for your financial situation.
Wesabe...Get to Know Your Money
After taking the tour, I signed up and had all my accounts linked in less than 10 minutes. I had to manually upload my accounts because the automated Desktop Uploader would not work for my institutions. The process was still easy...you download your statement information and manually upload. Once everything was uploaded, it put the data in a format similar to a checkbook register. My favorite thing about Wesabe is the tips that you receive based on tags that you add for each transaction...very insightful. The layout is user-friendly and it looks good, too.
Mint...Refreshing Money Management
This tool seemed to be the easiest to upload. All my accounts except for one department store credit card were able to sync online. Every financial account that I own is now on one screen with reports, graphs, and alerts. I know exactly how much money I have in my checking & savings, and how much credit is available on each credit card. There are so many features to check out that I am still finding links that are useful to me.
I will post again on the other online programs over the next few days, but here they are if you want to go ahead and check them out. Some are better than others and some are just basic finance trackers which sometimes can be exactly what you need.
fnCentral...the Free Personal Finance Manager for the Web
Geezeo...Educated Financial Decisions
expensr...Where Did All my Money Go?
Looking for money across the internet. Looking high and low and everywhere in between.