Personal Finance

8 Money Tools You Should Try

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Managing your personal finances can be tough. With income, expenses, budgets, bills, and so much more, keeping track of everything gets complex sometimes. Luckily, we have technology right at our fingertips to help organize and destress our lives. Here are some of the best money tools that can help you keep up with your finances.

1. Mint.com

Nearly every site that evaluates great money tools puts Mint.com at the top, and with good reason. Mint is a Web-based platform that’s free and easy to use. Link your accounts, and Mint will automatically update information for you with simple charts and budgeting tools. One great aspect about Mint is the various alerts and reminders you receive, and the mobile app is one of the best in the business.

2. Yodlee MoneyCenter

This site offers services to both financial institutions and consumers, allowing individual users to link together their checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgage, investments, rewards programs and more. The dashboard is fully customizable, and transactions can be tagged and viewed by category. The expense analysis tool analyzes transactions and shows how much you’re spending in a pie chart of up to 12 categories, at various lengths of time.

3. Doughhound.com

Doughhound is a completely free service for anyone to use, and one feature that stands out is that it’s completely user-generated, no account information entered or passwords shared. Consumers worried about privacy and security will appreciate Doughhound’s model. You simply enter your specific budget goals, and track your purchases by tagging specific categories and items. They also have a forum where users can crowdsource questions or share goals, tips and more. Users must be 13 and up, so this is a great site for teens to learn about managing their spending.

4. You Need a Budget

With Cloud syncing, You Need A Budget’s desktop, iPhone and Android apps all update in real time, so you can look at the most up-to-date figures as well as schedule automatic transactions and payments. There is a one-time cost for the YNAB software of $60, but after that, it’s free to use indefinitely. Free classes, screencasts, and forums are all dedicated to helping you get more from your money. After nine months, the median net worth increase for users is $3,300, proving as they say, you can “give every dollar a job.”

5. Pocketsmith.com

You get a free basic service with the option to upgrade to Premium or Super accounts for a monthly or quarterly fee at any time. The Pocketsmith model is based off of the calendar, with payment categories, history, and goal-setting. One interesting feature is the ability to forecast what your account balances will look like months or years down the road, projections based on what your spending habits are.

6. ReadyforZero

This is a budgeting tool specifically for those who are carrying debt and need help creating a plan to tackle it. With ReadyforZero, users can integrate all their various debts and use the system’s long-term goal-setting advice to make optimum payments. Taking interest rates and timing into account is a tough task to tackle alone, but ReadyforZero can help make it much more manageable. The service is free. There’s also ReadyForZero PLUS, which allows you to make payments on your payoff plan — it’s free for 30 days and $4.99 per month after that.

7. AceMoney

With options to incorporate both your investments and your taxes into your finances, AceMoney gives a complete picture of your accounts. It’s a one-time fee of $34.99 to download, and all upgrades are free after that. Great for goal-setting, AceMoney has a multitude of combinations for you to view financial reports, making it a great pick for individuals and businesses alike.

8. The Credit Report Card

While these sites and software packages may help you keep track of your spending, manage debt and set goals, none can help you when it comes to staying on top of your credit score. Our own Credit Report Card helps you monitor your finances in a different way, tracking payment history, debt usage and more — enabling you to better understand your financial future.

Editor’s Note: Credit.com has an editorial partnership with ReadyforZero and Mint.com. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Image: iStockphoto

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