After the infamous DC trip, where I discovered some reluctance to share finances with my husband, we thought it would be a good idea to begin the process of merging our finances. Prior to agreeing to establish joint savings and checking accounts, we had paid everything separately. As the techie in the family (he thinks I am a dinosaur), he suggested that we create online accounts and use Excel to list our finances and create a budget. While I still keep my good ol’ pen and paper and my savings passbook (are ya’ll laughing??), I have to admit that leveraging the array of online tools has made managing our finances easier— we have data in black and white and readily available to both of us, there is transparency; there is tracking; and more importantly, there is a deep trust.
Here is a beginning list of different online tools and resources for you to use to build a healthy and intimate financial future for yourself.
You Need a Budget www.youneedabudget.com is personal home budget software built with help you quickly gain control of your money, get out of debt, and reach your financial goals.The tool encourages you to decide where every dollar earned is going on a monthly basis, then helps you make adjustments if you spend too much.
Mint www.mint.com pulls all your financial accounts into one place. Mint allows you to set a budget, track your goals and reduce the chance of financial infidelity.
CreditKarma.com www.creditkarma.com allows you to access your free credit score with no hidden costs or obligations. Based on your score, you gain access to exclusive offers from companies that value your creditworthiness.
Catalog Choice www.catalogchoice.org is a free service to opt-out of catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, and circulars, etc.
SavingsMap www.SavingsMap.com It’s a free web-based financial planning site that takes your current budget and forecasts future cash flows while using basic strategies for minimizing tax obligations.
Finacast www.fincast.com focuses on simulations and forecasting to help people make better financial decisions for common questions like – can we afford college for kids?, when can we buy a new car?, what happens if we lose our income? The idea is to give people a decision support system that leads them towards more prosperous lives.
Frugalistas: What tools are you using to organize your family’s finances?