In high school, I learned how to balance a paper checkbook. It was the year 2000, and it was a complete and utter waste of time. I was an Internet savvy, “I want things now” type of kid, and I wanted my finances to be real-time savvy as well. The last few years of Web 2.0 goodness have brought a number of financial apps that I now cannot live without. My desires for instant financial analysis online have been realized.
While our government may not be able to manage its financial health, with these 7 free finance applications managing your own money online has never been easier.
“Set it and forget it”
Formerly SpendView, Rudder really shines with its email notifications. Once you've linked your accounts, a daily update is sent with recent transactions and any upcoming bills. If you like "set it and forget it" financial management, Rudder's for you.
“The Disneyland of money management”
Are you a savvy financial newbie? Does just the thought of a budget make you shudder? If so, you need to check out the groups over at Wesabe. For newcomers to financial management online, these groups are a money Disneyland... everyone is helpful and there is no trash anywhere.
Wesabe analyzes your spending using a semi-automated tagging method. Once you've "tagged" a few months of your transactions (auto downloaded from your accounts), there is little maintenance work to do.
“You've got a text! It's your bank balance.”
My favorite feature of Geezeo is their SMS mobile update. If you've ever wondered in a checkout line what your bank balance is, this feature is for you. You send a short text to Geezeo and it replies back in 10 seconds with your account balances (Sweet, looks like I can get that "US Weekly" after all. What!? Jessica is still dating Tony Romo? Crap...).
Mint is easy on the eyes. Large charts and beautiful graphs make creating a budget and tracking your expenses a semi work of digital art. Mint is all about "alerts". You can link your phone to your Mint account and receive text alerts if you get hit with a bank fee or have a transaction over $1000. It's all customizable and you can be set up, alerts and all, in about 10 minutes.
“Your life as a balance sheet”
While the above apps have been about your income and expenses, NetworthIQ is all about your balance sheet. Sure, you could be making 20K a month but if you're a million in debt... you still have a long way to financial freedom.
At NetworthIQ you can see how your assets (cash, investments etc.) and your liabilities (mortgage, car loan and credit card debt) affect your personal balance sheet. You can also enter your occupation, age and other factors to compare your Net Worth with your peers.
“A stand-alone finance app for your phone”
It will work on a wide range of devices including Symbian phones and Blackberries. For the mobile warrior who wants to keep financial data local and close to the pocket, Jabplite is the little free program for you.
“I'll split the tab.”
What's the cost of two months of cable, a month of the water, a month of electricity, and that pizza from last week total up to? Now, divided by 4?
Splitting bills can be messy, complicated and emotionally annoying. Tabjab makes bill splitting simple. For the college student sharing a house with 4 others, to that friend that always picks up the tab to split later, this service is for you. Don't get shafted with the bill anymore.
Special Bonus! Even more cool stuff
The following aren't apps for managing your money, but they will help you save it, or learn more about your finances.
“We're cheap and darn proud of it.”
My wallet is thin, but I still love Fatwallet. Not technically an app, Fatwallet is an online community fanatic about saving money on purchases. The forums are absolute gold when it comes to free stuff (I just free movie screening tickets!), discounts, hot deals, coupons and more.
“Coupons gone Web 2.0 wild”
If a store has a coupon, it's probably listed at RetailMeNot. With a user-generated system to track coupons and promo codes that are no longer working, you'll never get stuck with a bad code again. Check this site out before you shop anywhere online.
Check out these oldies but goodies from the blog:
- Reduce your spending, Britney Spears style
- Four easy ways to clean up your finances
- All cash budgeting
- Obsessed with your budget? Try these tips
- What type of personality is your budget?