Online Tool Reviews

The Internet is making personal money management easier. I recently wrote a guest post for U.S. News & World Report, looking at the pros and cons of various online budget tools. I’m using and enjoying it for the most part, but I plan to switch to Yodlee next year because it offers a few additional features I like, such as a tool for reviewing year-to-date spending versus budget. I’d switch sooner, but then I wouldn’t have all of this year’s transactions. One item on my wish list for both tools is an easier way to track the use of cash.

Free online financial planning tools are becoming more readily available as well. One mentioned by the Wall Street Journal recently is SimpliFi, where a virtual advisor helps you develop a plan.

I like the premise of SimpliFi–a one-stop shop for figuring out how to get out of debt, fund your retirement, help your kids pay for college and more. However, it has some bugs to work out. It lumps college savings in with retirement savings, and its recommended asset allocation for my retirement savings seemed overly conservative. I still prefer Fidelity’s myPlan Snapshot for retirement planning, the aptly-named World’s Simplest College Calculator for college funding needs, and the Accelerated Debt Payoff Calculator for becoming debt-free.

As online tools proliferate, I’ll provide reviews on a regular basis.

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