Take control with online money management tools
(I am not affiliated with any of these online money management tools. I’m only suggesting them for your benefit!)
There is a plethora of information available that can help you be more knowledgeable about how to handle your finances.
However, simply acquiring more knowledge will not get you any closer to your financial goals. You must put that knowledge into practice.
This is easier said than done, which is probably why over half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
Thankfully, there are some pretty handy dandy tech tools that can help you out. These resources each have their own strengths and can help you stay organized and on track with reaching your financial goals.
Here is a list of 14 online money management tools you can use to get your finances under control – and most are absolutely free!
1. Personal Capital: Investing
Personal Capital is a tool for those who want to grow their wealth. And who doesn’t want to do that?
You can track your budget and your net worth, but its strength is in helping you manage your investments.
If you have a variety of investment accounts, you can see how they’re performing in one place.
The app’s focus is on long-term planning and the future, and you can use it to create your own retirement investment plan.
The Investment Analyzer tool will scan your portfolio to detect excessive broker fees, and suggest adjustments you can make to your accounts to achieve your financial objectives faster.
The app and website are free to use, but they also offer a fee-based portfolio management service.
For more information, visit Personal Capital to learn about all the helpful features in this tool.
2. Mint: Budgeting
Mint is one of the best, free, web-based tools to track your budget.
It can connect with all of your various accounts to give you a complete picture of your financial progress.
With Mint, you can create budget categories, receive monthly reports, and set up financial goals. You can also set alerts to notify you of due dates, balances, and if you go over budget.
Being in control of your finances means knowing how your money is being spent at all times. Mint helps you know how much you’re spending and where it’s going.
If you’re looking for an easy budget tracker that keeps you informed of your spending, check out Mint.
3. Acorns: Saving
One of the easiest ways to save money is by automating the habit. Acorns helps you do this, but also goes a step further.
Not only does this app “harvest” the change between every purchase you make and the next highest dollar – it then invests that change into an investment portfolio you select.
Basically, it’s an easy way to invest your spare change, without ever touching the money. Could it get any easier?
If you happen to be a college student (with a valid .edu email address), you can use the app and all of its features for free.
But, if you’re like me and done with school, you can choose from 3 plans which range from $1-$5 a month.
Are you nervous to venture outside of your 401(k) and explore other investment opportunities? Do you think you don’t have any extra money to buy stocks?
Then check out Acorns and get in the investment game. Every little bit helps!
4. YNAB: Building better habits
YNAB, which stands for You Need A Budget, will help you increase your financial literacy while building better money habits.
This tool offers tutorials to get you up to speed on various financial topics (including budgeting). You can even sign up for classes with a live instructor!
Its financial principles are based on zero-sum budgeting, where you give every dollar a job. Pair this technique with its envelope system and built-in accountability feature, and you will be able to establish some very important financial practices.
If you’ve lost faith in budgeting because you’ve already tried and failed, you may want to give YNAB a try.
There is a 34-day free trial, and then it’s $11.99/month or $84/year (the better deal).
5. Prism: Bill management
Prism is a mobile app that helps you keep all of your bills organized and up to date.
Once you link your bills and chosen payment account with the app, Prism will track any new statements and notify you when a payment is due.
You can then use the app to pay the bill immediately or schedule for a future date. Easy peasy.
And it’s free! Check out Prism if you need help with keeping your bills organized and paid on time.
6. Trim: Subscription management
Have you ever signed up for a free trial but fully intended to cancel before it expired? Yep, me too.
But then you forgot? Yep, me too.
And if you’re one to skip the thorough review of every credit card statement, it could be months before you realize you’re being charged monthly for something you never use.
If you’re nodding your head, you might want to check out Trim, an app that acts like a subscription guard.
Trim will inspect your financial transactions in order to detect recurring expenses.
When it finds one, it will send you a text message with the identified subscription – and then you can actually choose to cancel with a text back!
And, get this – Trim will even send a certified letter to your gym letting them know you won’t be back.
Trim has your back when it comes to forgotten subscriptions that rack up monthly charges in your account! Check it out and start saving more money today.
7. Wally: Expense tracking
Wally is a fee-free and ad-free mobile app that makes organizing your personal expenses a breeze.
Simply take a photo of your receipt and upload to your Wally account, and the app will keep track of how much you’re spending and where.
It even has a GPS feature that can tell you where your money is going based on the location of the stores you’ve visited.
The app also stores all information on your device, so the possibility of an internet hacker stealing your private data is eliminated.
If you loathe the dreaded task of entering all of your transactions, check out Wally and let it do the work for you.
8. Credit Sesame: Credit score
Credit Sesame helps you manage your credit by giving you instant access to your credit score, identity theft protection, and recommendations to improve your score.
Your score is updated monthly so you can start to recognize trends in your report. Credit Sesame will also alert you if your score changes or when you apply for new credit.
Maintaining a favorable score is crucial for getting the best interest rates on loans and credit cards.
Sign up with Credit Sesame for free so you can ensure your credit score is optimized.
9. Healthcare Bluebook: Healthcare services
Healthcare Bluebook is an online tool that helps you save money on healthcare by providing fair prices for services in your area.
Simply go to their website (or download the app) to search for a procedure you’re “shopping” for.
After you enter your zip code, Healthcare Bluebook will give you a range of prices, as well as what they call the Fair Price. The Fair Price is the price that a knowledgeable and informed consumer could expect to pay.
Healthcare Bluebook will also provide a list of in-network providers near you, along with their costs and ratings.
Healthcare service costs can vary widely so it’s important to do a little research before you choose a provider.
Use Healthcare Bluebook to find quality care at the best price.
10. Betterment: Portfolio builder
You can tell Betterment about your financial goals and risk tolerance, and it will build a personalized portfolio using the parameters you’ve identified.
Betterment will then manage your portfolio by handling contributions and rebalancing dividends to ensure it consistently aligns with the original structure.
Strictly comprised of low-cost index funds, Betterment’s portfolios are meant to be hands-off. This means there is no option to pick your own funds or add individual stocks to your portfolio.
But if you’re not comfortable with being a DIY investor, then Betterment may be an excellent tool to consider.
11. Credible: Student loan refinancing
If you’re still paying off student loans, or you have a child that’s racking up student debt, then Credible may be able to help you.
Credible makes it easy to shop and compare the best rates in student loan financing.
With hundreds of lenders competing for your business, it can be difficult to sift through all the choices to find the best rate. With Credible, you fill out a single form and it will give you a comparison of the best rates and terms available to you.
If you want to save time and possibly a lot of money, look into Credible for your student loan refinancing needs.
12. Twine: Shared financial goals
Twine is a mobile app that gives you access to both a Twine savings account and an investment account so you and your partner can work toward common financial goals.
Sometimes this can be challenging, especially if you have separate bank accounts or are not on the same financial page.
With Twine, you each can connect your individual accounts to the app and then set up recurring payments to save or invest.
This is especially helpful for shared goals like buying a house or taking a vacation. By adding automatic savings rules, you can make saving together an effortless habit.
There are no fees to deposit to or withdraw from the savings account.
If your common goals include investing, you’ll pay just 25 cents a month for every $500 you invest.
Check out Twine to start working together toward your shared goals. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to that Hawaiian dream vacation!
13. Grocery (Smart Shopping List): Grocery shopping
This iOS app won’t keep track of your budget or do your investing for you, but it could possibly save you some gas and time.
Grocery, for iPhone, acts as a running grocery list. Every time you think of something you need, just add the item to your list in the app.
This is handy, but what’s really cool is what happens after you get to the store.
After the first time you use the app while shopping, Grocery learns the order in which you check things off your list.
Then, with subsequent lists, the app will sort the items based on that order. That way, your list is organized to correspond with how you move through the store.
If you like shopping at more than one store, just make lists for each store you go to. Grocery will sort your lists based on the store it’s for.
I love this idea! More than once I’ve missed an item on my list because everything was out of order. Or I forgot to get milk and I don’t want to traipse all the way back to the dairy section.
There’s also a sharing option, so you can send the list to your family members. Your spouse can see what’s on the list – and what he forgot to add. He can add an item, sync the lists, and you’ve just saved yourself an extra trip to the grocery store.
If you’d rather minimize your grocery shopping (like me), check out the Grocery app for iPhone.
14. Rakuten: Cash back rewards
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a website where you can earn cash-back by shopping at their affiliated stores.
There are more than 2,500 stores to choose from, so it’s likely you’ll find the one you were going to buy from anyway. Instead of going directly to that store’s website, check to see if Rakuten has its own affiliate link.
Your shopping experience won’t be any different, but you’ll earn cash back on any purchases you made using Rakuten’s link. The percentage you get will depend on the rebate amount that store chooses to offer.
Sound a little fishy? It’s actually just a version of affiliate marketing. Each online store on Rakuten’s site gives Rakuten a commission for sending customers their way. Rakuten just takes it one step farther and gives the customer a cut.
To maximize your earnings, be sure to check Rakuten for any coupons and install the browser extension so you never miss an opportunity.
Once Rakuten credits your account, you can then deposit your earnings into Paypal. It’s a free and easy way to make a little extra money – all while shopping for items you were going to buy anyway.
Check out Rakuten and start earning cash back today!
Try One Online Money Management Tool
I’ve listed 14 online money management tools for you to try, but there are literally thousands to choose from.
Don’t get overwhelmed by how many are out there. Just pick one and try it out for a while.
If it fits with your life, then you’ve made one productive step toward better money management.
And if it doesn’t, well, pick a different one.
Over time you’ll find the tools that work best for you. It just takes some trial and error.
The point is to get started in the process so you can start creating better habits and optimizing your efforts.
Try one out, and let me know if it works for you!
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