Online Financial Resources for Women
Managing your money can be hard. If only there was a class or lecture that we could take to help us understand the complexities of finances. Luckily the Internet has made it easier for us to find information that can teach us how to better manage our money. More recently the Internet has also provided us with great money management tools that help us track our finances, balance our budgets, and save for upcoming expenses. Most of these sites are free to use, or offer a free component to them. Here are a few that are worth checking out. They may just make your life simpler.
Bundle is an open platform (meaning that you can contribute to its content) that hosts lots of great financial information from prominent finance writers and other experts. It is free to sign up for an account and once you do, there are a ton of features that help you compare your spending, budget monthly expenses, and track your savings to a future goal. There is a wealth of financial data on the site that enables you to compare spending and saving habits of virtually every location in the country. The Bundle community is a great place to go if you have questions for debt experts, seek second opinions from peers, or are searching for up-to-date financial news.
Cost: Basic: Free, Plus: $3.99/month, Pro: $4.99
Buxfer offers easy online money management with the promise of security and the feature of multiple methods for storing your credentials. If you want, Buxfer will automatically log into your various online money portals and pull data from them for a nightly synching. No matter which account you choose, you will have access to features like split bills, mobile access, and automatic tagging; however, in order to have bill reminders, unlimited budgets, and balance projections, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.
Cost: Basic: Free, Premium: $4/month, $42/year
Clear Checkbook is basically the mother of all checking account ledgers. It’s an extremely easy-to-use site that helps you balance your checkbook online, track your spending, input your daily expenses, and set a budget with spending limits. One of the features the site promotes is that you can mark cleared transactions so you will always know if money has left your account and how much money you actually have. By upgrading to a premium account, you get custom features like a report tool, transaction histories, future balance projections and mass editing.
If you have heard of any of these online financial tools, you’ve probably heard of Mint. It has become quite popular due to its emphasis on user-friendliness and strong focus on automation. With Mint, you can track all your accounts—checking, savings, loans, investments—in one place, and the site will generate budgets and projections for you. It keeps the money-managing process very easy for its users, which has made it a favorite among a younger demographic and those with little experience with budgeting and tracking expenses.
Mvelopes plays on the old principle of budgeting with envelopes, using a different envelope to hold a set amount of money for each budget category. Just because it uses an old concept, however, doesn’t mean that it is short on new ideas and financial tools. One great feature of the site is that it helps you generate snapshots of your net worth as you adjust your budget and goals. Mvelopes used to charge almost $40 /quarter but now offers users to sign up for free.
Yodlee is similar to Mint, but without all the flashy graphics. It is actually the core of many banking and financial institutions, as these organizations use Yodlee-powered interfaces that are rebranded to look like their own. This site focuses more on analyzing raw data than some of the others and allows more manually tweaking so you, as a user, have more control. A great feature for the absentminded is the Yodlee Bill Reminders section, which allows you to link your accounts and get reminders via email; the Real Estate Center tab is another handy feature with its current data for the value of your home.
Also online is Maryland.gov’s Resources Page. If you’re looking for local help, the site offers some great online financial services. Be sure to check out these resources and more on the website.
Temporary Cash Assistance: http://dhr.maryland.gov/fiaprograms/tca/index.php
To Request a Tax Extension: http://individuals.marylandtaxes.com/filinginfo/extension.asp
Avoiding False Credit Repair Promises: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/finance/advisories/advisory11-08credit.shtml
Money saving tips for your home: http://energy.maryland.gov/Residential/energyEfficientLinks.html
Foreclosure Counseling Services Law: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/foreclose.htm
Assistance Eligibility Calculator: https://www.marylandsail.org/Screening/Default.aspx
Student Financial Aid Assistance Programs and Applications: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/financialAid/descriptions.asp
College Savings Plans of Maryland: http://www.collegesavingsmd.org/enroll-today.aspx
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