Thing 4b – Money Management Tools

by

http://marylandlearning.pbwiki.com/Money+Management+Tools

What are your thoughts about these money management tools?  (I personally wonder if college students would use some of those sites – might help them better manage their credit cards.)

Do you have any other financial resources to share?

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55 Responses to “Thing 4b – Money Management Tools”

  1. forestlover Says:

    I liked Jott! What a great way to record thoughts, ideas, and information.
    How nice it would be to be able to record a pharse or line you thought of on the spur of the moment by repeating it into your phone and then retrieving it later for use in a poem, paper or letter. It is like being a reporter on site sending back commentary. This is something I would most definitely use if I could afford it.

  2. forestlover Says:

    I didn’t want to put my personal financial information into any of these money management sites, so I was limited in what I could decipher about them. My first impression was that there were plenty to choose from. The sites ran the gamut from managing a one person account to a corporate account and from checking accounts to multiple credit card and investment accounts. After reading the brief paragraphs about each I began to wonder if they were secure sites and how would one determine their authenticity? How did you choose these particular sites for presentation in Library 2.1?

  3. shannonmc Says:

    My first impression for the money management tools is the depth of choice that is out there. I am not one to do much online for finances overall but if I were the two sites that were most appealing include dimetracker and spendji. From a buisness perspective endeve and xpenser seemed useful. I am curious how many on the list will stand the test of time though. I did like the appeal of mint.com. I think this is a tool I would use if I were so inclined to use online resources. It seems easy and it has a broad appeal of the various data/tools you can get out of it. I like the option of graphs and categories.

  4. Regina Spiker Says:

    http://asmalllibraryinasmalltown.blogspot.com/2008/10/jott.html

  5. processingwoman Says:

    I hate to admit it but I don’t have a cellphone. So, I didn’t do the Jott. However, I did look at the money management tools and boy is that great! Some of the sites I was afraid to give any of my infomation. Did try the rate your rent or whatever it’s called and I liked that site and found it to be pretty interesting.

  6. ABG Julia's Blog Says:

    The list of Money Management tools was very interesting. It is amazing what is out on the web & I think many of our customers would be interested to see what the range and availability is of these tools. I will pass on all the info to my husband who is our family money person. I would urge caution about security & so forth though, no matter what the site says, there are always hackers.

  7. Janet Says:

    I’m not very interested in the Money Mangement at this time with the way things have become. Money Mangement site are wordy and as it has been said for years is for people to start saving for the retirement years and even when those have done so the bottom can still fall out. I’m not one to play the money game, but I do keep wants and needs seperated.

  8. sunflower Says:

    Wow, there are a lot of sites for money management with lots of options out there. Mint.com seemed the best to me. I was reluctant to put in financial information to fully explore all of the sites.

  9. westernmdjennifer Says:

    I had to opt for the money management exercise because of firewall issues. This really is a timely topic – great job JR in making this relevant!
    I found the sites interesting – I hadn’t realized that these sorts of things were out there. However, like many other people have stated, I am a little leery of them because of all the personal information you need to input to make them work for you.

  10. Rusty Says:

    The long list of New Money Management sites was incredible. If it wasn’t for the security factor, I think many more people would use them. I read the interview with the young man who is the creator of Mint.com and was very impressed with both the number of people who are already using it (over 100,000 I believe) and it’s a fairly new site at that! Also, the amount of money that is recorded on it is in the billions of dollars! I may not use mint.com because I’m a skeptic about the security even though the creator says it is safe; but I would be willing to invest some money to buy some stock in the company because I think it is taking off!

  11. rosesmom Says:

    In reading mint.com, the first thing that jumped out at me was cyber security. That is the biggest hurdle for me…I’m afraid! Like others who have written, I wouldn’t put my information in. I don’t like to give out any personal information online or by phone. I think there’s so many to choose from, but in my mind I found drawbacks in most of them: Ripple..too confusing for me..if I’m owed money I want it back. Period. I don’t want it put here or there or shared or whatever. IOU and Billshare: I KNOW who owes me money and who I owe money to. Dimetracker wants to use my cellphone: right now the service here is down. I do business with one credit union and I can check my accounts online. There’s still the security bit, though so far there’ve been no problems.

  12. John Says:

    I have been using mint for about a year now and it has pointed the way to new credit cards that will save money for me. It is hard for the average joe to figure out all the ins and outs and keep up as the credit card companies seem to all blend together with their offers and card names.

    I am not sure it would be wise from a liability stand point for the public to access these sites at public terminals.

    there is another lists of money mgmt web sites at:

    http://aclsdirector.blogspot.com/2008/09/18-money-management-sites.html

  13. InsaneLibraryLady Says:

    I really found the Money Management sites very interesting. Foonance was blocked on my end (another firewall issue????) but I enjoyed exploring Spendji and will probably add it to my personal sites. I didn’t care for Dimetracker and I have never “invested” in any stocks so some of the other sites were of no interest to me. As I have said before, after making notes , I will be able to recommend these sites to patrons if they would happen to ask.

  14. beachylibrarian Says:

    I thought Jott was interesting, but if I were to take the time to call a number, I could also write something down on a piece of paper – sadly, more and more necessary as I get older. I didn’t want to register Jott with my personal cell phone, but plan to do it on my work phone. As for the money management sites, they were somewhat overwhelmingly numerous. Since I wasn’t inputting personal information, it was difficult to tell which were the most useful – some of the initial pages were pretty sparse as to details. I do think that especially young people just out of college could use the tracking and spreadsheet capabilities. As someone whose personal computer has been breaking down intermittently, I hesitate to have my financial information in a form which might be difficult to access, or insecure.

  15. PeggyM Says:

    Jott was a nice tool, but it is not something I would use. The other money management tools were really nice for helping anyone with a budget. In the past I have helped my children create budgets to help with their finances. If you are not good at budgets the offerings would be a great assistance. The mint.com was very interesting also and I liked the security feature. I think it may be something I would look into for the future.
    Peggy

  16. Virginia Hyde Says:

    this is a easy site to use, but I was not comfortable putting my personal banking information online.

  17. Carl Emerick Says:

    I read thru the Kiplingers report and even though much of it didn’t pertain to my present situation,it was good to read fact.

    Fortunately,we’re debt-free,so we’ll be somewhat secure.
    Alas,we’re still “hundred-aires!”

  18. Joseph Berger Says:

    Rentometer by Rentomatic was quite informative and only requires you to enter your street address. I learned that rent for some 2 bedroom apartments outside Hagerstown city limits are much lower than the median rent, $775.

  19. milt Says:

    I too was wary about putting any financial info into these sites, so I just looked around.

    I thought Spendji was a pretty cool site because it allows you and/or your family to set up a budget, track what all you’ve been spending, and research costs. My expenses are not really that elaborate, so I don’t really have the need for an in depth financial tracking program like Spendji. It looked pretty easy to use and read though.

    I guess some college students might want to use some of these sites, but I seriously doubt most will want to put in the time to track everything they spend and what they owe. For the most part, all college students have to worry about is possibly their rent and the standard bills that they get once a month, so these websites might be kind of unnecessary for their pretty basic finances.

    RentoMeter was a pretty cool site too, but I always just used apartments.com to compare apartments when I was in college.

  20. Gentlewinds Says:

    I was astonished at the number of money management websites there were! Due to security concerns, I am not inclined to these sites, but did enjoy browsing.

    If I was to utilize an online money management system, it would be Mint.com. It’s a wonderful program to manage all your accounts at once. The section on managing loans and budgeting could be particularly helpful to college students and young adults.

    I was also fascinated with Rentometer. It requires only the address, number of bedrooms and number of apartments in a building. However, the results compare both apartment complexes and rental properties in the given area. This can be a good website to recommend to people moving into an area.

  21. Sherry Dickens Says:

    I really enjoyed the money management tools, the document that had the bailout plan was so easy to access that I saved it. The tool I liked best was the Pear Budget, it was simple and easy to navigate for anyone who feels the need to get their houshold budgets under better control.

  22. bookbliss Says:

    The Money Management tools are very interesting. Mint in particular seems like a cool concept that could be very helpful, but I would have to think more about the security issues before signing up. They say on the site that you only have to enter your email, zipcode, and password, but in the FAQ about security concerns, it says you would later need to enter your bank account’s username and password. That really concerns me, enough to where I probably wouldn’t sign up. But I was glad to learn about it and I will keep it in mind.

    I am also really intrigued by Xpenser. What a cool (free) tool! I think it and Clarity Accounting could both be very helpful to small business owners.

  23. JessNhem Says:

    The Money Management sites were really interesting to me.

    I found that a lot of the services my bank provides for me. Instead of using DimeTracker I always use my debit card I can track spending with my online account. I hardly ever write checks anymore. I also have autobill pay set up with my bank.

  24. Amanda W Says:

    I’m not big on putting all my financial info on the internet. I do pay bills online through my secure banking website. I just have trouble because there are so many different money management websites. There were some that were interesting and some that I would never use. I like the idea of establishing a budget but I can do that myself without the help of a website. I also liked dimetracker but I don’t think I would have the time to bother with it. Overall, there were a great number of sites, just not for me.

  25. D. Sebly Says:

    Some of these sites are probably pretty useful for individuals who have trouble managing their money. I know someone, a friend who is self-employed, who could probably use Xpen$er, while I also know some people who could use NetworthIQ. I’m staying away from investment advice, on- or offline, at this point, since even the experts seem to be getting it wrong. However, for basic information, some of these sites might be useful.

  26. Michelle Sebly Says:

    I would have liked Dime Tracker if I had a cell phone – I am currently tracking my expenses, and let me tell you, it’s a pain in the butt writing down every little thing. I think Dime Tracker sounds awesome.

    I also liked the sound of Ripple, but you have to sign up to explore it, so I didn’t bother. But it sounds neat.

  27. Michelle Sebly Says:

    I do agree with Jessica, a debit card makes it easy enough to track expenses as well.

    And also with Amanda W., how difficult is it to set up your own budget?

  28. Jo Says:

    My take on the online money management tools:

    http://postingsfromlibraryland.blogspot.com/2008/10/thats-what-i-want.html

  29. Ponyahhn Says:

    I agree with everyone who is nervous about putting financial information into a website, however I am glad to know about all of these sites. I had no idea that any of these websites existed. I found several of them fascinating–none of my friends or family use IOUs, so I am amazed that there are several websites to help track them, including Ripple to let you trade them back and forth. As a librarian, I like knowing about the small business websites to help track expenses and generate invoices. Those seem particularly useful to me. I tried checking rents in my area on Rentometer, but we aren’t listed. Too rural, even though the largest town in Garrett County!

  30. LibraryLady Says:

    I am the book keeper for my husband’s business, so financial tools are an essential part of my life. I don’ t like the idea of financial info all in one place on the internet. Just too much of a target. I do use online banking, but everything isn’t centralized. We already use tools like QuickboosPro and Microsoft Money, and I highly recommend them along with Quicken. I think it is important for people to know where their money is going even if you don’t budget.

  31. sunshine Says:

    I have several banks that I use and use them all for bill paying. DimeTracker sounds like a good way to keep track of some things. I don’t usually have a need for an investment tool. I did like get a look a all of the latest tools for that could be used if needed.

  32. sunshine Says:

    I have several banks that I use and use them all for bill paying. DimeTracker sounds like a good way to keep track of some things. I don’t usually have a need for an investment tool. I did like getting a look at all of the latest tools that could be used if needed.

  33. Jackie Cassidy Says:

    My top three picks for money management websites are: Mint.com, Spendji, and Endeve. Mint seems very easy and relevant. The way Mint automatically organizing your spending into categories convinced me that I should give it a try. Spendji combines money management with social networking, making it unique. Also, it’s very well conceived and has lots of options. Last on my short list is Endeve for free online invoicing. Great if you are not familiar with Quickbooks or Excel. I would consider sharing some of these sites with patrons in a library program, especially with lots of folks interested in financial solutions today.

  34. Mysterylover Says:

    I thought some of these sites looked pretty interesting; I was particularly interested in the sites on IOUs – is this a problem that many people struggle with so much so that they need to keep track through a computer site?
    I also liked Mint.com…it looks like it has some great features which can help you save money – for instance, how it keeps track of your credit cards and what the interest rates are for each. It also has other interesting features on budgeting and saving money which can then be used to pay off credit cards. This site would be helpful to anyone who is looking for ways to budget.

  35. Cecelia Robeson Says:

    Because I couldn’t get into Jott, I decided to investigate the money management tools. They fell into several broad categories. In the Personal Finance category, I found the following of note:
    Dimetracker, which looks like handy tool to keep track of expenses “on the go.” If daily spending is what’s ruining your budget, this might be a good one to try.
    Bankswitcher – Useful if you’re interested in shopping for another bank. It analyzes the transaction history from your current checking account to identify all the automatic payments and deposits that will need to be switched when you change banks.
    Wesabe – Combination money management tool and community. Nice that you can get advice from others who share your financial concerns.
    NetWorthIQ – Track, compare, and share (if you choose) your net worth.

    Zecco was the only investing tool and featured free online stock trading.

    I was surprised to find a fair number of tools created to help people track and manage personal loans and IOU’s.
    BillShare purports to make sharing bills easy for roommates or family members sharing expenses.
    Ripple Pay was a rather complicated (to my mind) tool which allows you to create a profile on the system and indicate who you know and how much you trust them by connecting to people by email address and giving them credit limits. Then whenever you want to make a payment to another Ripple user using only friendly obligations, the system finds a chain of intermediaries connecting you to the person you want to pay, and records the payment in each intermediary’s account all the way down the chain. You end up owing one of your “neighbours” on the system, and the payment recipient ends up being owed by one of her neighbours.
    I began to wonder, who are these people that borrow from each other all the time, and need online tools to keep track of their debt? Students and/or the impossibly free-spririted? Seriously I don’t see how some of these tools would be useful to me.

    Business Tools
    Analysis-One – Aimed at business managers, accountants, consultants and business advisors, this tool allows a business to measure, monitor and manage financial and non-financial performance.
    Xpenser allows you to record and keep track of forgettable business expenses as soon as they are incurred. It works with mobile devices so you can document business expenses as you go.
    Clarity Accounting is aimed at self-employed individuals and small businesses, allowing them to keep track of income and expenses in a simple and easy way.

    Many of these tools appear to offer real benefits to their users, however, I was not comfortable putting my financial information out there. The only tool that really tempted me was Mint.com. After exploring the site and reading the interview with founder, Aaron Patzer, I seriously considered taking the plunge and baring my “private finances.” I have bookmarked this site for future reference.

  36. jodielynn Says:

    I didn’t realize there were so many money management sites out there. I personally would be uncomfortable putting my personal information in some of these sites but it’s good to be aware of them. I thought the dimetracker and rent sites were the most interesting. I really like the idea of being able to track how much we spend and what we spend it on. I think a lot of people don’t realize how much money they spend on simple, every day things.

  37. Etta Place Says:

    Like everyone else, I was very surprised that there were so many financial management sites for the average person and small business-owner. Also like everyone else, I am not comfortable doing banking online. However, my son does all of his banking online! I will be forwarding these sites to him!

    I enjoyed the article about mint.com. Always like to read about young entrepeneurs! I really enjoyed the artice about the 15 things to know about the financial crisis. Finally, I really understand what happened. Great article. Will definitely be passing that info along!

    Again, not that these financial tracking sites fit into my lifestyle, but it’s great to know that they are there and what they offer. I would also like to know how these 18 were chosen. I also read a post on the article site that the list was 18 mo old. Wondered if that was true. I guess my consern with these types of online businesses is how long will they be around and what happens to your info when they are gone?

  38. Frogonablog Says:

    AT LAST something I understand !! I have juggled finances of home-based business, regular jobs, two kids in college, wedding, retirement for both my husband and I, personal investing, and decision input for my mother and mother-in-law. Even in these turmoiled times (AND with a wedding that will 100% paid before they say “I do”) we should be 100% debt-free in under three years. I already have personalized my own income/expense/debt-tracker on my own computer at home, but someone can always capture good ideas by looking at some of these web sites.

    I am going to reccomend “DimeTracker” to my son who keeps losing track of small expenses (and got dinged last month-always a good learning experience). His cell phone is an extension of his arm and the sit seemed very young adult friendly.

    Endeve and Clarity seem very valuable for that person trying to juggle a personal business. I did not experience the electronic invoicing part, but coceptually it seems like a good and useful idea.

    On the other side of the coin- I did not even test out a site called NetWorthIQ which self-advetises it as a site which “lets users share their information>>>and even displays your net worth”. This is WAY-Y-Y over the line of what I want to be available on any kind of internet site. (And I do all banking and investing on line, but only through reputable, known banks and firms.)
    Amazing what is out there.

  39. CSmith Says:

    I looked around but do not feel comfortable inputting all my financial information on these sites. Plus, we don’t have that much $ to manage! I think if we had more money, a bigger family with more options to spend those sites would be helpful.

  40. DBennett Says:

    I enjoyed going through all of these sites, and can see referring customers to them. I’ve got a system that works for me already for personal stuff and am very careful with what I use online for financial information. I also liked spending time going through Kiplinger.com: 15 Things You Need to Know about the Panic of 2008 and SLRC’s “America’s Money Crisis? Information for Us”. I definitely would refer others to both of these.

  41. Ann Drake Says:

    I at least read the scripts on most of the websites featured and thought of all of them DimeTracker might be the most useful to me. It is a good way to keep track of all the little things that add up to big money without being conscious of it. I am not too keen on using websites that require personal information, especially financial information regardless of their claims of security. I read the interview by the founder of Mint.com, and thought the idea was quite clever, particularly the feature of finding the best deals without actually recommending anyone on products and services. Still, even though the initial signup for Mint.com is through another party, the fact remains another party has at one time had access to your financial information. Not for me, but some people may find it saves them time and money.

  42. Ann Drake Says:

    I also thought that the other recommended websites for getting a simplified overview of the financial crisis were succinct and definitely worth reading. (msnbc.timeline and the kiplinger article)

  43. Spero Says:

    I would recommend the following sites I enjoyed reviewing:
    DimeTracker–useful tracking expenses
    Xpenser–good for business owners to track expenses
    Rentometer–nicely compares rent rates
    Pearbudget–good for budgeting
    Spendji–friendliest for budgeting for family

    I signed up for mint.com but had reservations about plotting bank and credit information despite all of the security advertisements.

  44. Rainey Says:

    That was way to much unformation for me! I don’t think I would relish having my business on the internet. I did play around with ‘Dimecatcher’ It’s a free tool that helps people use their cell phone to keep trach of their everyday expenses. The only problem is, they are going offline at the end of November:|

  45. madstrawberrygrrlll Says:

    Oh, these were great resources! I spent the most time fooling around with Pear Budget – just like it claimed, it was fast and super easy to use. I wrote up a fake budget to see how it worked and I liked the friendliness of it. Not so good for anyone who wants to really worry about itemizing their taxes… but great if you’re interested in just starting up a basic budget. I wouldn’t be afraid to steer someone towards these sites.

  46. sandyr Says:

    Like everyone else, I don’t feel particularly comfortable putting my financial information online unless I am using a site that I trust. But I still liked the descriptions of some of these online tools, and would consider using some of them assuming I could get past the “trust” issues. My comments on a few of them:

    Dime Tracker: I didn’t sign up for this, but it’s interesting and maybe something I would consider useful, if I were to try to track my expenses more carefully. The thing that intrigues me is the use of the cell phone to text in each expense. It seems that most of us pull out our cell phones more and more frequently these days, for a variety of purposes, so I can imagine that this might be a convenient method of recording the budget activity as it occurs.

    Zecco: No charge for making trades?? Wow, that sounds pretty neat, but knowing nothing about Zecco’s reputation, I would feel uncomfortable faxing all of that personal information to them. They actually do seem to have a fair amount of information about themselves and their management on their web site, so that’s a good start…

    Mint: Looks like a very useful, comprehensive site, and one that apparently has established a good reputation for itself. I will probably take a closer look at it at some point.

  47. crabbylibrarian Says:

    I found the range of money management sites very interesting and I was fascinated by all the sites that offered a chance for people to share their bill/money management. I suppose this would work well for a group living situation or an extended family that has some shared financial responsibility. Like many of the other commenters, I was interested in dimetracker as an alternative to keeping all those little receipts from my debit card, but the site that I actually want to try is xpenser. I never remember to write down my mileage expenses for work and this looks like the perfect solution. I can’t wait to try it!

  48. Jeri Says:

    Looks like lots of good tools for people who may need them. I will cretainly keep these resources in mind for possible future use and/or referral.

  49. Lisamck Says:

    In these days of financial crisis, I’m sure many folks would benefit from money management tools such as these.

  50. Janice Says:

    Since we are blocked from Jott, I had to skip it. Anyway, since I seem to miss half the calls to both my cell and home phone, this reminder system probably wouldn’t be very helpful.

    I looked through the list of money management tools. Quite an array. I use Quicken on my home computer and since I use my ATM card for almost everything, I can categorize my expenses and keep all my records in one “place”. It does not give me advice. The idea of being able to update/track this information from any computer is attractive, like using Google documents for things I need to work on in multiple locations. However, I’m still leary of spreading my information from here to the back of beyond. Could have used the group bill splitter apps in a past life. As with any tracking tools, they only work when you keep plugging in your data.

  51. Mally Says:

    I don’t feel comfortable putting my personal information out there…I think the mint.com could be helpful to us.

  52. Pam Says:

    Mint.com looks like it would be useful. I probably would not use it though, since I do not like to give personal information especially financial information over the computer. However, it would benefit some people. It is definitely information to pass on to family and friends.

  53. Maryland Says:

    After a quick look around the only one I felt safe enough to look at more thoroughly was DimeTracker. I could see using something like this on vacation, or a trip to track your spending. You don’t need to give bank info to keep track of the nickels and dimes and I agree with everyone else that the less info that is put online, the better I feel. I do online banking, but I like to make sure the security is there before I put my information into any account.

  54. lindalu Says:

    Good timing for the money management tools — or maybe for the “what’s left of my money” management tools! Some seem more secure than others so I’d be sure to do more than the cursory review I did before I put much personal info out there — and this comment is from someone who does about 99.9% of her banking. What some non-online tools like Quicken do for budget tracking feels more secure. Earlier in my life, I dipped into all kinds of (non-automated) personal budgeting and recordkeeping plans (outgrowth of being married to an accountant, maybe); had some of these been around then, I would have really gone to town and possibly tracked every penny.

    I think that putting links to some of these on del.icio.us could be useful. Without endorsing anything in particular, we might share such sources with our customers.

  55. Accidental Librarian Says:

    I already bank online and have for many years. I would have to research in depth any money management site that required account information and personal identifiers such as this. I do think some of the tools could be useful not only personally, but also for our patrons. Like Lindalu, I think including some of the links or a link to the list, on del.icio.us would be a good idea. Rather than endorsing any one or guaranteeing any site as more secure, we could just offer these as examples of what is out there.
    I found the Kiplinger “15 Things…” article very informative. I understood much of the basis of the current financial crisis, but every time I read an article such as this it adds a little more to my understanding of how we got here.

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