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Managing your finances

Money Management Center

50 Free Resources to Help Manage Your Money

Kristi Hines Oct 23, 2014


If you’re ready to start managing your money the right way, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money in the process. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of free resources that can help. Here are 50 great tools, apps, spreadsheets, calculators, services, and informational resources you can tap into for free for your personal finance needs!

swiping credit card

Want to manage your money, investments, and assets in one place? Here are some comprehensive money management tools that can help. To figure out which one is best for you, sign up and see which one supports all of your accounts and financial institutions. Most of the tools mentioned will work on both your desktop browser and mobile devices.

  • Mint – Mint is a free tool that organizes and categorizes your spending from your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments. You can use it to create and monitor your spending goals so you can stick to a budget.
  • Yodlee MoneyCenter –MoneyCenter is a free tool that lets you view all of your accounts in one place, see where you’re spending your money, set a budget, get bill reminders, and see your overall net worth.
  • Personal Capital – Personal Capital is a free wealth management tool that helps you track your portfolio, manage your assets, checkup on investments, analyze your 401K, calculate mutual funds, and more.
  • SigFig – SigFig is a free investment management tool that gets all of your accounts in one place, gives personalized analysis, and keeps you on track.
  • PowerWallet – PowerWallet is a free tool that lets you see all of your accounts, investments, bills, cash flow, and budgets so you can track your spending, set up bill alerts, and gain personal financial insight to meet your goals.
  • Manilla – Manilla is a free online bill manager that helps you keep track of bills from over 4,000 services to manage your expenses.

Need something more powerful than the free tools? Some paid alternatives include iBank 5, Moneydance, You Need a Budget, and Jemstep.


Accounting Software


If you run a home-based business, or simply prefer to manage your finances like a business, try these accounting programs for free.

  • GnuCash – GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL. It allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income, and expenses.
  • TurboCASH – TurboCASH is the world’s leading open source accounting software for small business, available in 25 languages and 80 tax regimes.
  • PostBooks ERP – PostBooks is open source software featuring full accounting, CRM, and additional features.

using financial calculator

Need a quick calculation? Here are plenty of free financial calculators that you can use to figure out everything from auto loans to retirement savings.

  • Bankrate Calculators – Bankrate has dozens of calculators to choose from for mortgage rates, debt payoff, credit card debt, savings, annuity, investment goals, cost of living, auto loans, home equity, 401K, and much more.
  • CalcXML – CalcXML builds a variety of calculators for websites and businesses, but you can use their 150+ samples for free.
  • DinkyTown – DinkyTown offers over 400 financial calculators for you to use for free for investments, retirement savings, mortgages, loans, credit cards, debt, auto, taxes, savings, business, insurance, and personal finance.
  • TCalc Online Financial Calculators – Tcalc builds a variety of calculators for websites and businesses, but you can use their samples for free including mortgage calculators, personal finance calculators, investment calculators, retirement calculators, and lease calculators.
  • Yahoo Finance Calculators – Yahoo Finance offers lots of free calculators for savings, real estate, insurance, taxes, lifestyle, retirement, career, education, and loans.
  • Investopedia Calculators – Investopedia offers a group of calculators designed to help investors visualize how to achieve their goals and understand the fundamentals of money.
  • Choose to Save Calculators – Choose to Save links out to the best free calculators to crunch numbers related to auto, bonds, budgets, college, credit cards, employee benefits, home, insurance, mutual funds, paychecks, retirement, Roth IRA, savings, social security, stocks, and taxes.
  • Bloomberg Calculators – Bloomberg offers personal finance calculators for currency conversion, mortgages, retirement, and 401k.
  • Realtor Calculators – Realtor offers calculators related to home buying including home affordability, mortgage, refinance, loan comparisons, fixed vs. adjustable, rent vs. buy, home value, home insurance, current value, and more.
  • The Calculator Site – The Calculator Site’s finance section features useful finance calculators for loans, car/auto loans, compound interest, savings, loans, mortgages and more.


Credit Monitoring Services


Not all “free” credit report and monitoring services are free past their trial dates. Here are some that are. Use all three to get your score and report from all three bureaus.

  • Credit Karma – Credit Karma offers a new way to track your credit score and report from Transunion with a truly free credit score with no hidden costs or obligations.
  • Credit Sesame – Guard your credit against identity theft with free daily credit monitoring of your Experian credit report!
  • Quizzle – Truly free credit score and report from Equifax.

looking for financial advisors online

Want to start investing your money or saving for retirement? Here are the closest to free online financial advisors that can help you get started.

  • Wealthfront – Wealthfront is the largest and fastest growing automated investment service with sophisticated investment management and advice without hassles, high fees, or high account minimums. Wealthfront does not charge an advisory fee on the first $10,000 of assets under management. On amounts over $10,000, they charge a monthly advisory fee based on an annual fee rate of 0.25%. The only other fee you incur is the very low fee embedded in the cost of the ETFs you will own that averages 0.17%.
  • Betterment – Betterment is the most efficient at 401K and IRA rollovers in the investment industry. Their goal is to reward you for smart investment behavior with no trade fees, transaction fees, or rebalancing fees. For those depositing less than $100 per month, your cost is a flat $3 per month.
  • FutureAdvisor – FutureAdvisor is a premium investment management service for everyone. The annual management fee is 0.5% of assets managed – a typical $100k managed portfolio costs just under $1.40 per day (i.e., less than your Starbucks coffee).


Banking


Getting tired of fees, fees, and more fees? While there is no free bank (besides the shoebox under your bed), but there is one that is pretty close.

  • Simple – Simple is a bank that gives you a stylish Simple Visa® Card, no surprise fees, and powerful budgeting and savings tools built right into your account—all accessible via web, iPhone, and Android. Their schedule of fees shows no minimum balance requirement, overdraft fees, return item fees, transfer fees, account closing fees, debit card transaction fees, and monthly account maintenance fees.

reading finance news online

Ready to read up on the latest personal finance and investing information? Here are just a sampling of the top personal finance blogs.

  • Consumerist – It’s not about personal finance, but it’s about all of the things you spend your money on.
  • Money Saving Mom – A blog about intentional finance, family, and business.
  • WiseBread – A blog on living large on a small budget.
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Personal finance blog for college students, graduates, entrepreneurs, and everyone else for getting rich.
  • Get Rich Slowly – Common sense advice and money saving tips on topics from high interest savings accounts, frugality, CD rates, money market accounts, mortgage rates, how to get out of debt, money management and more.
  • Money Crashers – Your guide to financial fitness, covering money management, credit and debt, investing, family, careers, real estate, small business, and more.
  • Money Talk News – Money Talk News offers the information and inspiration you need to destroy your debts, build your savings and accomplish your goals, whatever they are.
  • Money Ning – A personal finance blog where they share insights on carefully saving money, investing, frugal living, coupons, and promo codes.
  • Good Financial Cents – Making “cents” of your financial life. Blog by Jeff Rose, Certified Financial Planner.
  • 20 Something Finance – Personal finance blog, articles, and tips for young professionals and the young at heart.
  • Consumerism Commentary – Consumerism Commentary is a blog offering daily articles focusing on personal finance and living.
  • Len Penzo dot Com – The offbeat personal finance blog for responsible people.
  • Budgets are Sexy – A personal finance blog that won’t put you to sleep.
  • The Simple Dollar – A blog dedicated to money management and frugality.
  • My Money Blog – Personal finance and investing blog by a DIY investor.
  • NerdWallet – Dedicated blogs on money saving, credit cards, banking, mortgages, and insurance.
  • Mint Life – The blog of the free, simple personal finance solution. Track all your spending automatically, find the best deals, and save more money. And save the world.
  • Man vs. Debt – This blog hopes that by sharing a transparent and honest account of their own journeys to remove barriers – primarily their debt and excess clutter – they can empower and inspire others who find themselves on similar paths.

We could keep going, but there are really tons of great personal finance blogs. You can find a list of the top 100 based on popularity here.


Podcasts


Not that into reading? No problem. These podcasts will allow you to get your personal finance and investing advice through your headphones or car audio speakers.

  • The Dave Ramsey Show – The Dave Ramsey Show is about real life and how it revolves around money.
  • Motley Fool Money – Motley Fool Money is an irreverent, fast-paced look at the world of business and investing.
  • Money Girl – Money Girl provides short and friendly personal finance, real estate, and investing tips to help you live a richer life.
  • The Suze Orman Show – The Suze Orman Show covers today’s hottest financial topics, helping people make the connection between self worth and net worth.
  • WSJ Your Money Matters – Get your personal finances in shape with advice on budgeting, credit card debt, college tuition, retirement and more.
  • Listen Money Matters – This show brings much needed ACTIONABLE advice to a generation that hates being lectured about personal finance from the out-of-touch one percent.


The Bottom Line


As you can see, you don’t have to be rich to get help with your finances. There are plenty of free (or close to free) resources that can help you tap into everything from personal finance advice to money management tips.

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