Friday, February 27, 2009

Financial Management on a Budget

High fees and waning faith in traditional banks and investment services have led many people to online financial sites. These free sites offer many of the same tools you can find in Quicken or Microsoft Money software, which can cost $40.00 or more. Below are just a few of the options out there:
  • Credit Karma: Access free credit reports any time as well as monthly tracking and tools and articles to help your credit rating.

  • Cake Financial: Investing website allows registered users to track the performance of stock investments across multiple brokerages. Follow other users’ progress and have online discussions.

  • Mint: Updates all bank and investment account information daily. Offers suggestions for savings, provides alerts, and analyzes your investments.

  • Quicken Online: Free online version of the Quicken software. Download financial information, use budgeting and money management tools, and participate in the online community.

  • SmartyPig: Registered users create savings goals. Goals are met through required monthly contributions from a checking or savings account. Interest accrues and users have the option to make their accounts public so friends and family can contribute to the goal.

  • Wesabe: Consolidate all bank accounts, investments, and credit cards. Tag transactions to create categories, view summary information, and receive personalized tips for saving. Registration is required to participate in the Wesabe Groups discussions, but uploading bank information is optional.
Additional resources can be found in the Austin Public Library business databases, investment newsletters, and books.

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