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Brad Tinnon

Online Budgeting Tools: Part II

A few months ago I posted a blog about several free online budgeting tools (i.e. Mint.com, Yodlee.com, WaveAccounting.com, and ClearCheckBook.com).  Since then, I have been able to further compare Mint.com and ClearCheckBook.com and have found the latter to be the better option.  Let me explain why.

Mint.com is a little bit buggy in that duplicate entries sometimes appear.  Although the duplicate entries don’t seem to affect the balance, they are an annoyance.  I liked the fact that transactions were automatically imported; however, it required extra time to sift through the transactions to determine if any of them were a result of stolen credit or debit card data.

With ClearCheckBook.com budgeting software, nothing is imported.  You have to manually enter your receipts / transactions.  I didn’t like this at first, but I have grown to love it as it provides me with a greater sense of control over my finances.  I love having this control b/c when I balance my accounts (which you can’t do in Mint.com) I can easily see if someone has made unauthorized transactions.  Additionally, since you manually enter your transactions, you get to see your current “actual” balance.  Although you can see your “actual” balance in Mint.com when you manually enter transactions, they will eventually be automatically imported which will create duplications.  This can be difficult to manage.

Although I really like clearcheckbook.com, it is not the ideal online budgeting solution.  The best solution would be one that imports transactions automatically (saving time), allows you to approve or reject the imported transactions prior to them showing up in the check register (helps to easily see unauthorized transactions), shows your true balance at all times (not just the transactions that have cleared), and provides an ability to reconcile accounts.  A solution such as this would be a blend of ClearCheckBook.com and WaveAccounting.com.  Hopefully this information is helpful to you if you are looking for a free, online budgeting solution.

Brad E.S. Tinnon

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