One of the most useful advances brought on by technology is financial management software. A countless number of websites now exist just to improve your financial situation ranging from tools that help you determine solid investments to full-fledged financial management suites. A great perk to many of these financial services is that they can be used to help you make the right decisions to make your money work for you without having to pay for a personal financial advisor. A few of the best of these financial tools include:
Not much can be said about Mint that hasn’t already. The website is considered one of the standards in personal financial management, and anyone interested in keeping an up-to-date watch on their finances should have the app on their smartphone. With Mint’s services, you can manage multiple bank accounts through the app’s sync feature, set up bill reminders, and even have personal alerts to keep you from breaking your budget. With the app, there really isn’t a good excuse for ever overspending again.
SmartyPig doesn’t just help you manage your money, it gives you a place to put it. A product of BBVA Compass, the site helps you budget by giving you an actual place to put your savings in the form of a SmartyPig savings account. All you have to do is set a goal and make deposits; SmartyPig tracks your progress for you. SmartyPig is insured by the FDIC and offers a 0.7% APY, so there’s even more incentive to save with them.
ClearCheckbook is a service is very similar to Mint. It allows you to track your bills, project a budget based on recurring expenses, and develop spending reports. It does offer some more in-depth features than Mint, but they cost money, whereas Mint is totally free. However, if you are really interested in getting your finances completely in check, choosing to pay for the additional features of ClearCheckbook, such as budget projections, transactions reports, and future spending estimates, may be well worth it.
If your other finances are in order and you’re more interested in investment tracking, Yahoo Finance is a great tool to consider. With Yahoo Finance you can track an investment portfolio and get real-time quotes. With the investment features, you can view fluctuations in your portfolio and record any transactions you make. The service does offer an automated bill-paying feature as well, so you can track investments, as well as personal finance, in the same place with Yahoo Finance.
If you want to follow the financial markets, track your portfolios, and buy or sell stocks in one place, then Scottrade is for you. They’re an all-in-one solution for investment management. The company’s low prices on stock transactions has made them a favorite among investors. However, it should be mainly used by those investing in the stock markets. While it does offer some money management features, if you are interested in keeping a monthly budget or tracking your spending, having an app such as Mint or ClearCheckbook would be a good choice in addition to Scottrade.
These tools are just the beginning. Whether you’re trying to obtain save for a vacation or adequately plan for retirement, there are dozens of other free financial tools available online. Take a look at what’s available, and you’ll find that being the master of your finances is easier than you might think.