Financial Advice Tools

The right tool for the job makes all the difference.

The right tool for the job makes all the difference.

When it comes to financial planning, the devil is in the details. But thanks to an abundance of online tools, you've got an angel on your shoulder. Free online finance tools can help you track, organize and report every transaction, as well as offering practical advice on a myriad of financial issues, such as buying a home, saving for college or preparing for retirement.

Financial Advice Web Host

Matt Fellowes, a Brookings Institution finance scholar, has developed a new hybrid financial advice service called HelloWallet, which is aimed at lower-to-middle-income consumers who may not otherwise have financial advice services, according to the New York Times. The program offers budgeting, financial planning and advice such as how to save for college, retirement or a new home, for example. The tool aids you in estimating how much you should save to reach your goals and identifies gaps in your finances. The monthly subscription to use this tool is $4.

Professional Online Advice & Coaching

Suze Orman's website, SuzeOrman.com, has been rated by TopTenReviews as a financial resource with a range of personal financial products. Orman's website is dedicated to providing practical advice for debt management, smart spending and wealth creation. The website does not offer one-on-one coaching, but it does offer a plethora of digital tools for managing your credit score, identity theft, insurance, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and many other financial issues. Forbes magazine named Orman one of The Most Influential Women in Media, and she is considered among the nations most prominent advisers for finance managing and coaching.

Independent Financial Advice & Planning Software

There exist numerous financial advice, planning and management software programs to date. TopTenReviews has rated the top three, as of 2012, as AceMoney, Quicken Starter Edition and YNAB. All three programs supply the digital tools for managing banking, bills, tax options, personal investing and offer online help & support. Tools include financial calculators to help manage mortgages, refinancing, and loans; cash flow charts for personal investing and tax reports; as well as graphs, and reports to manage your portfolio, 401k, bonds, stocks, and real-time stock reports, for example.

Free & Innovative Financial Tools

Forbes magazine featured some of the newest and most ingenious financial planning services, as of 2012. The top three were CreditKarma.com, a free daily credit report scan and email alert which scans your credit report daily and sends you email alerts if anything is amiss; Simple, a user-friendly online banking interface service tool with customer support; and Manilla.com, a free service that collects and organizes your bills, credit cards, utilities and student loans.

Financial Advice Resources Online

The Wall Street Journal SmartMoney website contains a "tool" section that is dedicated to articles, references, tutorials, tools and formats for a variety of financial categories such as autos, bonds, college planning, debt management, elder care, estate planning, insurance, investing, marriage, mutual funds, real estate, and retirement, for example. As of March 2012, SmartMoney offers a free online service called LifePlan, which is an interactive program that asks participants questions about their income and savings, offers financial to-do lists and tutorials, and articles tailored to help solve financial problems of consumers.

About the Author

Tracy Stefan began writing professionally in 2007, with work appearing on various websites. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and performing arts from the Evergreen State College. Stefan is also a graduate of Dell'Arte.

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