Money management tools, including software programs and calculators, assist with day-to-day checkbook accounting, financial planning and review of your expenses. With tools, you can easily see where you money is going. It’s up to you to use the tools, but once implemented, money management tools can make you feel more in control and knowledgeable about your financial situation.
Free online financial calculators are all over the Internet. Calculators --which cover a variety of scenarios, including mortgage payments, refinance options, renting versus buying, auto loan payments and loan consolidation -- will help you manage finances and consider your options. Calculators, free from various sites such as financialcalculators.com, require you to input amounts, rates and time frames into the tools to provide results. Use these calculations to manage your money, set goals and make projections about financial well-being for you and your significant other.
Mint, an online program, is free and accessible by logging in at any computer. Mint is a money management application with budgeting software, checkbook management, online banking and bill paying. After setting up your bank and credit card accounts, Mint displays multiple account information in easy-to-view screens. Tools include spending analysis, credit card interest rate reviews and search for better rates, suggestions for savings, investment performance and a tool where you can set and track goals.
Quicken is one of the most well-known money management software programs. Available as a download from Intuit’s website or as a CD from a retailer, Quicken comes in Deluxe and Premier versions. Quicken allows bank account organization, checkbook maintenance, expense categorization, alerts when bills are due, retirement account performance tracking and tax planning. Other Quicken money management tools include a debt-reduction tracker, retirement goal planner and business finance management.
AceMoney is a money management tool available by download. Its one-time license fee includes free lifetime upgrades and technical support. Ranked high by tech sites for ease of use and advanced features, AceMoney offers a user-friendly linkage of all accounts in one view. You can view your bank and investment accounts and credit card balances in one screen. Other tools include reporting features, budget management, investment performance review and spending habit tracking and suggestions.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.