Brad Tinnon

Brad Tinnon

Online Budgeting Tools

Many of us are familiar with the budgeting software Quicken.  However, those of us that don’t want to worry about upgrading the software due to its obsolescence prefer online budgeting tools.  If you haven’t noticed, software that you purchase off the shelf is starting to become a thing of the past.  Apps and downloads appear to be the future – and I’m thankful for that.  With that in mind, see below for my review of several online budgeting tools.

 

 

Mint.com

Wave Accounting.com

Yodlee.com

Clearcheckbook.com

Automatic Account Import (i.e. do transactions from bank accounts, credit card accts, etc. automatically import)?

Yes

Yes

Yes

No, must enter transactions manually.

Ability to Run Reports (i.e. can you see your spending in certain categories)?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Split Transaction Available (i.e. can you split a transaction into multiple categories so you can accurately track spending)?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bank Reconciliation (i.e. can you balance your accts to your monthly stmts)?

No

No

No

Yes, but not in the traditional way (i.e. you can’t input a beginning or ending balance).

Cost?

Free

Free

Free

Free, but has paid version.

Pros

Very easy to use; Imports Transactions; Can easily track spending

Very easy to use; Love the fact that you have to approve transactions before they are imported; Can easily track spending

The pros are comparable with that of Mint.com; however, the site was too slow to utilize the features of the program.

Very easy to use; Can balance accounts; Can easily track spending.

Cons

Cannot balance accounts to statement; You can manually enter transactions to show your true “bank balance”; however, when the transaction imports you will likely have a duplicate entry.

Cannot balance accounts to statement; There is no screen that shows your true “bank balance”.  It only shows the balance based on transactions that have cleared.

I found the site to be very slow and as a result very frustrating.

Don’t like the fact that you have to manually input transactions.

 

Overall, my favorite program is Clearcheckbook.com.  I really loved the fact that it showed your true balance and you didn’t have to worry about a duplicate entry from an import like in Mint.com.  The ideal program in my opinion would be one that was a blend of Wave Accounting and Clearcheckbook.com.  It would essentially import transactions, have an ability to approve or reject the imported transactions, show your true balance at all times, and have the ability to reconcile the accounts.  Please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Brad E.S. Tinnon
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™

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Photo credit: TaxCredits.net
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