Managing your money is always a tough job, but it’s also easy to find help online. There is a gamut of websites that help you make a budget, manage your spending, invest, and even set up college funds or do retirement planning.
· First and most important, you need to make a budget and stick to it. It’s the most effective way to manage your money but also the most difficult. Here are some great websites that will ease your budgeting pains:
Ø Mint: this is probably the most popular budgeting software. It consolidates all your accounts and manages them in one place. This free software identifies personalized financial products and services and displays them when you want.
Ø Yoddle: It’s basically the support software for Mint, in that it works with financial institutions to get to consumers who wish to manage money online, though individual customers are also welcome. Uploading expenses and analysis of spending trends is a breeze with this tool.
Ø Buxfer: is user friendly and you can sign in with your FB or Google account. It has a special tool that helps individuals who share expenses, like roomies.
Ø Wesabe: helps you compare your spending habits with others on the site; just upload your account info. You can even get personalized tips; think of it as FB for money management!
Ø Pennyminder: is ideal for families where there are many spenders. This software helps you keep track of what other family members are spending, and jointly manage a budget.
· Make a Plan: Budgeting is just the first step, the basic facet of money management. You also need to plan your retirement, figure out where to invest money, and if you have young kids, plan for their college expenses. There are websites that offer suggestions; but you need to weigh your options before you accept any advice.
Ø Simplifi.net: this site has a virtual adviser called Sophie who helps you determine your financial goals (retirement, debt reduction etc) and plan accordingly. She will recommend investments; she will tell you how much you can spend and how much you need to save; what your chances are of achieving it based on your current situation and money habits. The site does not ask for your account information, only approximate figures.
Ø PlanwithVoyant.com: IF you’re an investor, this site will help you estimate what impact unanticipated events can have on your finances. Wizards help you with every step like identifying your goals, preparing the plan, inputting your income and expenditure data and more. Through charts and graphs, your present financial situation is portrayed. This is then tested against hypothetical situations (loss of job, major illness) to see how much you will be impacted, and how you can reduce your losses. For specific queries, you can consult a professional close to you or discuss on the Voyant Community Forum.
Ø ESPlannerBasic is a free site that helps you find out beforehand how big a hit you may take in a particular situation. Your current and projected salary, retirement age, investments if any, savings and so on, need to be entered; this tool considers all the little things like taxes and social security benefits, that are overlooked by other sites. It will recommend how much you need to save and invest and what you can safely blow up.
· Now that you have budgeted and planned, you need to track your Investments and seek advice. On some websites you can compare your portfolio with other members and give and seek objective advice. Socialpicks.com and Covestor.com are two of the popular sites that help you in this endeavor. They even automatically track the portfolio performance of Finance celebrities through blogs and online info. CakeFinancial.com lets you consolidate all your portfolios and let you analyze the last ten years’ performance. PortfolioMonkey.com studies your portfolio and forecasts losses and gains based on industry trends.
These cover the main aspects. You need to keep in mind that besides these, you need to always pay your dues on time and avoid fines. This will also improve your credit score. Happy planning!
This is a guest post by Mark Bennett of Onlinecomcast.com, a site that offers savings and current information on comcast cable and comcast intenert, as well as other Comcast.com services.
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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