10 Best Online Money Management Tools

Once I finally decided to stop ignoring my finances and take control, I knew I needed a little assistance. Okay, a lot of assistance. It turns out, ignoring your bills does not in fact make them go away.

Not at all.

But how do you know where to begin?

For me, it was pretty simple. Start where I was. Figure out the total amount I owed, and the total amount I saved. It was no surprise to me that I owed more than I had, but when I input my finances into Mint, I did learn a few things.

  1. I had been paying $89 per month (!) for some service on my credit card I didn’t need. Actually, let me take a moment to say that there are no services on credit cards that you need. This was some sort of job-loss protection something or other. No way, friends! Don’t do it!
  2. I had been putting $200 a month toward an IRA. I honestly did not remember doing this. It’s funny to look back now, because the 2013 Kathleen knows exactly where her money is going (especially $200 a month!) but the head-in-the-sand Kathleen preferred not to pay attention.
  3. Because I hadn’t been paying attention, all of my IRA money was sitting in “cash reserves” which means it hadn’t been invested. I was initially irritated by that, but then I realized that I’d been out of the market when people lost half their portfolios.

The moral of this story is, don’t be like me. Try one or two of these 10 money management tools. Most of them are free. All of them are great ways to visualize where your money is going every month.

  • 10 Best Money Management Tools 1 of 11
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  • Best for Beginners: Mint 2 of 11
    mint is the first money management tool I've ever used. The system allows you to set budgets and goals, categorizes your spending, alerts you when your spending patterns become abnormal, and, best of all, track those pesky fees banks try to sneak past you from time to time.


    Cost: Free


    Image by Mint

  • Best for Digging a Little Deeper: Personal Capital 3 of 11

    Personal Capital is similar to Mint, but gives you a more full financial picture. Whereas Mint answers the "where is your money going?" question, Personal Capital answers, "how hard is your money working?"


    Cost: Free


    Image by Personal Capital

  • Best for Getting out of Debt: ReadyforZero 4 of 11

    ReadyForZero focuses much more on the "get out of debt" stage of personal finance, so if this is you, and you're starting your journey out of debt, check this out. Enter all your debts, and ReadyForZero will make a payment plan. I'm sad that I didn't know about this tool when I was on my own debt journey, because I would have made an excellent case study.


    Cost: Free, with additional features costing extra. Their additional features include tracking your credit score and allowing you to pay your bills directly from their site.


    Image by ReadyForZero

  • Best for Hands-On: You Need a Budget 5 of 11

    You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a downloadable budget software that helps you create budgets and categorize your spending. Since it's not online, you have to manually enter the information yourself, but it does help you take control of your money.


    Cost: $60, with a free 34-day trial


    Image by YNAB

  • Best for Budgeting: BudgetSimple 6 of 11

    BudgetSimple is the online version of You Need a Budget. It is the easiest way to set up a budget and start figuring out where you can save or make more money.


    Cost: Free, additional features (such as linking bank accounts) cost $3.99/month


    Image by BudgetSimple

  • Best for Looks: PowerWallet 7 of 11

    PowerWallet is similar to Mint, but their graphics are prettier. If you'd like an alternative to the mainstream, check them out.

    Cost: Free


    Image by PowerWallet

  • Best for Categorizing: InEx Finance 8 of 11

    InEx Finance is very comprehensive, and keeps track of your transactions in a color-coded way. It's visually appealing like PowerWallet, but has more to it. This definitely has an international bend to it, so if you're feeling limited by the US-only capabilities of Mint, you might want to try this. It's a great way to see exactly where your money goes.


    Cost: Free


    Image by InEx Finance

  • Best for Business: Yodlee 9 of 11

    Yodlee is used by companies and by individuals, so if you need help with your business accounting (even if you're running your own), this is the tool for you.


    Cost: Free for consumers, contact them for business pricing


    Image by Yodlee

  • Best for Investing: Jemstep 10 of 11

    I am a user of Jemstep. You can read my full review here. Jemstep takes a look at your IRA, then it tells you where you should be investing instead. It gives you a roadmap, telling you EXACTLY what to do in your retirement planning software, and seriously demystifies the entire process. This year, I've actually earned notable interest in that account, and I definitely wasn't seeing any interest growth last year.


    Cost: Free if your portfolio is under $25,000, then a sliding scale based on your portfolio after that


    Image by Jemstep

  • Best for BillPay: MoneyDance 11 of 11

    MoneyDance is another downloadable budget tool that syncs with your banking, helping you to categorize transactions. It helps you do bill payment as well.


    Cost: $48.99


    Image by MoneyDance

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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