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Yodlee Yoda Lay He Hoo

Last month, I stumbled across some Personal Financial Management programs and decided I would test them out. Finally, a whole month has passed and I've decided on just one. It worked out great that the day I started was the first day of my new bank statement which means I actually have an entire month's worth of data. I chose three programs to test, Mint.com, Wesabe, and Yodlee's MoneyCenter. Each one of them had benefits over the other, and also a few disappointments. My main reasons for choosing these three to test are (1) they're free, (2) they link to financial institutions without having to import data, and (3) there are no advertisements.

So far, the most functional program is Yodlee's MoneyCenter. I can link to any account that I have online access, except one credit card and they are working on getting it added. I love being able to see all my bank accounts, all my credit cards, my bills, and even my PayPal account on one page. They are grouped by types so I see available cash in one section and my debt in another. One nice feature is the Financial Calendar that shows what bills are due. It makes a big difference seeing your bills in a calendar format versus a list. It gives me a better sense of how much I need to pay when we get paid, or should I say how much money I will have left from my paycheck. The biggest drawback with Yodlee is it is not visually appealing. I know most people don't like all the bells and whistles and the pretty graphics, but I feel if it's possible to make it pretty, then "why not" make it pretty. I guess it's my little way of not feeling so down and out about my debt. Hopefully, Yodlee will work on adding some nice graphics.

The most visually appealing program is Mint.com. I absolutely love the layout, especially the Accounts page. Each account has its own trademark displayed...very professional I think. I love the Spending Trends, it has a very detailed breakdown including how many visits you made to a particular merchant. Made me realize just how often we visit McDonald's. Another great feature is my budget. It is displayed on the Summary page with a bar graph showing how close you are to going over. I bet you can guess that mine is always close to being over. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks though...I can't add my mortgage account, a few credit cards and my monthly bills. Another problem I see with Mint.com is the program doesn't allow you to create your own categories, but you can add labels. There are also a few bugs, like duplicate transactions, to be worked out before this program can be useful. Hopefully, Mint.com will make some changes and offer an updated version.

I also tested Wesabe, but unfortunately I never could get the Desktop Launcher to work correctly. Maybe it will work for someone else. I did import my bank data to test it and it had a few neat features, especially the automatic suggestions from other users. But it just didn't help me accomplish what I set out to do this month. Maybe another time.

So for right now, until something bigger and better comes along (oh yeah, and prettier), I will be using Yodlee's MoneyCenter to access all my financial accounts. Now, if I can just find a program that will do all of this and be able to actually use it, like transferring money from one account to the other. That would be the ultimate.


coleman lanterns said...

Do you know if you can manage investment accounts with Yodlee?

Sheryl said...

You can add investment accounts if the investment company is listed. My Charles Schwab account is listed. If you have an account that is not listed, you can email the support team and they will do what they can to have it added.

Unfortunately, you can't actually "manage" the account, such as trades, but to be able to have them all listed on one site is a great benefit to me.

Give it a try. I hope you like it.

Tammy said...

Hi Sheryl! How are you? It's was nice to see hear from you. :o)

Personal Development Blog For Money said...

Sounds like you have some business to use these financial management services. Are they free?

Hi Sheryl.. Thanks for your wonderful comment on Imy post. I will add this site as well on my links.. I actually dont know what have I done to Google and I wasn't given any rank at all... While other blogs younger than mine were given some rank.

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