Friday, March 15, 2013

These Five Free Personal Finance Tools Help You Control Your Money

The poor state of the economy in recent years has opened the eyes of millions to the reality of what happens when you ignore what’s happening with your finances. If you don't have a strong career like in a management training & development program, an upside-down mortgage or sky-high credit card interest rates, you likely are no longer indifferent to the negative impacts your actions can have on your money.

Today, with the help of mobile device applications and online personal finance tools, you can see at a glance exactly where your finances stand. The five free online personal finance tools below can help you easily set up a budget, track your spending and determine whether you’re deviating from your plan. When you’re ready to invest, a free tool can help you make the right decisions.

Tracking your spending

Mint.com

Mint.com is the premier budget application preferred by millions of individuals like you. This financial tool has been around for several years and continues to attract new users by the thousands thanks to its ease of use with both mobile devices and more traditional personal computers. The tool requires you to sign up, but doesn’t charge a fee for its use. You’ll get access to budgeting and tracking software that can alert you when you may be about to deplete the funds in your checking account, reach the limit on a credit card or spend more in a category than you’ve budgeted. You can also receive reminders of due dates for bills.

Wallet Watcher

Wallet Watcher is a free financial tool that is very similar to Mint.com. Wallet Watcher helps you keep track of your spending and stay on your own personal budget rather than spending money you don’t have. This tool will also alert you if you’re about to overspend as well as remind you of payment due dates. You may prefer Wallet Watcher’s graphics, which seem to be geared more toward European users.

Moneytrackin'

Moneytrackin’ is a free tool designed for the small business owner. As a small business owner, you must track multiple accounts or projects that may be handled by partners or employees at various stages.

Moneytrackin’ will do that for you. One of its best features is its online community of users who share financial tips they’ve learned as small business owners themselves.

Investment tools

As an investor, you need to stay on top of how your stocks and other investments are doing. You can pay a broker to do it for you, but if you have the time and interest, there are some free tools that can help you.

Portfolio Monkey

Portfolio Monkey is a free tool that helps you analyze and manage your investments. The site is dedicated to helping you assess a stock with which you’re familiar or one you may have just heard about. The tool can help you determine whether it will be a good fit with your current investment strategies, compare it with other stocks that you might want to consider and determine your best investment strategies. You can cover multiple strategies so if part of your money is tied up in buying gold online and the other in mutual funds then you can see all of them at a glance.

FreeCharts.com

Free Charts is dedicated to providing all the tools you’ll need to make the best investment choices possible. You’ll get stock quotes as well as charts that track trends in equities, commodities and mutual funds. A portfolio manager lets you customize multiple screens that can help you watch quotes and make decisions or get investment opinions.

There are hundreds of personal finance tools available online and dozens that are free. These five tools are among the best you can use to help you get a handle on your finances so that you’re controlling your money, rather than letting it control you.

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