Posts Tagged ‘money strands’

Intern Insights: Part 2

June 23, 2010

Flickr / kevindooley

Emily the intern is back with more cool stuff on the internet and free tools that can make your life easier. Read on.

Where did all my money go?! Personal finance minus the spreadsheet

For a business major, I am notoriously bad at keeping track of receipts. My bill envelopes at the end of the month are like Kinder chocolate eggs – guaranteed to come with a surprise inside.

The headache ends here. For those Excel-allergic, PayPass flashing, too busy wheeling and dealing to manage your wallet individuals – the solution is Money Strands.

Money Strands

Money Strands is a free personal finance site that makes it easy to enter your expenses. You can also enable it to automatically pull records from your bank, credit card and mortgage accounts, or upload digital bills yourself. If you mostly use credit or debit cards and use online banking, you will avoid the whole mundane process of data entry. Set up filters to automatically categorize your spending into Groceries, Car Repairs, Bills, Vacation and everything in between. Nifty analytic tools show you pie charts as well as cash flow patterns. Not sure where you’re at before splurging on the new iPhone? Check your budget balances and receive text message alerts. The site will also analyze your demographic and compare your spending patterns with people like you. It may or may not make you feel better about your quarter-life/mid-life crisis shopping sprees.

Money saved from not having to purchase software: $44.99 (Intuit Quicken)

More time to spend doing fun things instead of entering expenses and juggling budgets at the end of the month? Priceless!

Drawback: Uploading financial information on a third party website makes some people nervous. Many banks are launching their own apps within their online banking sites. Integration with smartphones is still buggy, so entering expenses on the go can still be improved.

For something a little more fun, but equally wallet-friendly, check out Groupon

Groupon has been big in the States for a while and recently hopped over to Canada. Use the power of the crowd to get you deals like $20 for $40 of seafood at A Kettle of Fish or half price annual membership to your favorite gym. Deal-hunting just got a lot savvier.

Until next time,

Emily the Intern

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