What are Free Tools to Help Me Manage My Money?

All too often, people assume that money management is a premium service that only the wealthy can afford. In today's world, thanks in large part to the Internet, this perception is no longer the case. Many terrific, free tools are available that can help you get control of your personal finances.

The Big Picture of Financial Health

Approach your money management strategy the same way you might begin constructing a new home. Rather than picking up the tools without consulting a plan, it is best to start this project knowing what the overall structure of effective money management should look like.

There are three important aspects of money management, and conveniently, the free money management tools are typically divided into the same three categories:

  1. Savings/investment
  2. Debt control strategies
  3. Smart spending tools

In our consumerist society, taming this triple-sided strategy is easier said than done. However, with discipline and the right tools, you can successfully manage your money.

Before revamping your entire game plan, take the time to visualize what your ultimate success will look like. Depending on your personal finance goals your strategy may vary, but it might look something like this: a thriving savings account, the lowest interest rates on mortgage and credit card debt, and a think before you spend mentality.

Three Free Money Management Tools You Need to Know About

Once you know what a successful money management plan looks like, you're ready to discover and apply the tools that can help you manage your personal finances like a pro--without paying a pro.
Here are three free personal finance tools that anyone can benefit from using:

Get the Best Interest Rates at Money-Rates.com
Ever wondered how your savings account interest rates compare? Ever thought about starting up a money market account, but don't know exactly what a money market account is? Ever heard of a barbell CD strategy?

Money-Rates.com offers a wide variety of tools and information to help you get the best interest rates on savings accounts, mortgages, money market accounts, and CDs. Before you accept the interest rate your regular bank quoted you, check Money-Rates.com to make sure you're getting the best deal.
Savings accounts with high interest rates and mortgages with low interest rates are among the most savvy personal finance moves out there. Find out where to find the best rates by checking Money-Rates.com.

Credit Report Card from Credit.com
Knowing your credit score can be somewhat unsatisfying if you don't understand why your score is what it is, and how you can improve it.

By letter-grading you on five factors that affect your credit score--payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix, and number of inquiries--the Credit Report Card can show you the specific areas to work on when seeking to improve your credit score.

Call it your credit report demystified.

See How You Spend with the PearBudget Spreadsheet

The PearBudget tool is a tricked-out Excel spreadsheet that allows you to create a monthly budget without much hassle. If you have ten minutes per month, you can fill in these boxes and see where your money is going.

Seeing how you spend is a proven impetus for changing. If you're looking for a simple but powerful budgeting tool, download the PearBudget spreadsheet free today. If PearBudget doesn't work for you, choose one of the other budgeting tools reviewed by GetRichSlowly.org.

More Free Tools Available At GetRichSlowly.org

To list all of the free tools available to help you manage your personal finances is beyond the scope of this article. More free money management tools are listed and reviewed at GetRichSlowly.org.
As you peruse this comprehensive list of free money management tools, keep the overall vision of a money management strategy firmly in your mind:

  1. Savings/investment
  2. Debt control strategies
  3. Smart spending tools
If you're particularly weak in one area, it may be smart to start with tools that directly address that sore spot.

This Guide to Money answer includes the topics: Plan, Money tools.

Andrew Freiburghouse is a writer and a businessman. As a partner at Los Angeles tax preparation firm Pronto Income Tax of California, Inc., Andrew has advised thousands of clients on a variety of financial matters.

 
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