Most of us are either online or in front of the computer for the majority of our days, and even when we’re not at the computer, we can be connected to our files and browsing the internet from our phones. Therefore, to help you manage your finances, get control of your budget and boost your savings, go online for the top five budgeting and money saving personal finance tools you’ll actually want to use.
1: Auctions for the highest interest in savings
Instead of searching the internet for the best savings account or the highest interest rate on your savings, register with Money Aisle to participate in a reverse auction.
Rather than approaching the banks to see what they’re willing to offer, you can register your needs with Money Aisle and have hundreds of banks bid on your business in real time.
They’ll offer higher interest rates or better features to close the deal with you, and this means your savings can get an instant boost and a great ongoing deal. Not all banks and financial institutions participate in the Money Aisle auctions, but of the hundreds which are involved, all must have a high rating to participate so you know your savings will be secure, no matter who seals the deal.
2: Find a better mortgage
If you feel you are struggling with your mortgage repayments, while family and friends, even your neighbours, seem to be able to afford expensive holidays and fancy cars – their mortgages are the same as yours right?
Not always, mortgages and home loan products can differ significantly from providers and for different customers, so head online to find out if there is a better deal out there for you.
Using an online personal finance tool called SmartHippo, you can compare the features and benefits of the mortgages of real people already using them. This means you can find out whether your neighbours really are managing their mortgage better, and whether there is an easier to use home loan product out there by reading reviews of other mortgage holders.
As part of the Smart Hippo community you can offer your own advice on the products you are using too, and reading the reviews of all the users you can gain a picture of the wider home loan lending market, rather than just the offers from the big banks.
3: Financial planning and goal tracking
If you need to have access to your budgets and financial plans quickly and simply, and there are a number of free online finance tools which can help with this.
For example, Simplifi offers you the advice of a virtual advisor named Sophie, who guides you through creating and sticking to a financial plan. You can enter all of your personal finance details into Simplifi, including your earnings, your expenses and your goals. Sophie can then offer you advice on repaying your credit card debt or saving for your retirement, allowing you to keep your finances and plans updated wherever you are.
Another financial planning tool you can find online is called Boulevard . Once you create an account with Boulevard, you can drag and drop your financial and life goals onto a timeline of where you hope to achieve them in your life. You can then prioritise different goals, enter an amount you are comfortably able to save each month, and Boulevard then shows you how and when each goal can be achieved.
4: Budgeting online anytime
Creating and sticking to a budget can be time consuming, especially if you have to hang onto receipts to enter your actual spend each week and find the time to make your calculations based on changes to your budget. To make budgeting faster and easier, which will in turn save you not only time, but money, utilise an online personal finance budgeting tool such as Mint , Wesabe or Geezeo.
While they all have funny names, they can all help you track and manage your budget more efficiently. Once you register with one of these personal finance tools, they will collect all the information from all your banks accounts, savings accounts, home loans, personal loans and credit cards, in one place. Mint, Wesabe and Geezeo can track the fees of each account so you can avoid unnecessary charges, and you can set up alerts in case the balance of a savings account dips, or your credit card balance is approaching its limit.
To help you budget, you are able to enter your income and your expenses when you first register and each finance tool will track your budget, mortgage repayments, account balances and can even manage a brokerage account for you. all you have to do is login online, or using an enabled smart phone to make changes or view your progress and ability to stick to a budget in any month.
5: Finances on Facebook
For a personal finance tool which links to another of your most used accounts – Facebook – you can use the MyMoney tool. Similar to Mint, Wesabe and Geezeo, MyMoney allows you to track all of your finances from the home screen of your Facebook account so you can create budgets, monitor account balances and avoid late payment charges and fees.
Facebook has made sure the MyMoney app uses all of the same security features required of an online banking site, so no one else can access your information and none of your Facebook friends can see the information in your MyMoney account.
Being financially savvy and saving instead of spending is in, so get connected and enjoy the ease and efficiency of some of the top personal finance tools available online right now.