The internet has a ton of information, some of it good, some of it less than reliable. When it comes to financial information, you find everything from how to legally (or illegally) dodge your debt to how to plan for retirement. Today, I’m listing my seven favorite and most reliable financial internet resources.
Mint.com is a personal finance tool that will help you plan for your spending. This free service is hooked to your financial accounts to analyze your spending and saving. Once you link the service to your savings, checking and investment accounts, it can securely transfer and analyze your financial information using budgeting tools, alerts and charts to help you manage spending easily. Once the system is set up, Mint does most of the work for you. I’m a fan of their financial dashboard that is easy to see and follow.
Quicken online is a similar program that organizes financial accounts in one place. This free website will help you track spending and will point out ways to save. The major difference between Mint and Quicken is that Mint requires you to enter usernames and passwords from your accounts. Quicken has you enter the information from your accounts. Some people are concerned about supplying user names and passwords to Mint, but it has not had a data breach.
MyMoneyCheckUp is an online assessment tool provided by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It helps you analyze where your problem finance areas are and points you to reliable resources for help. Check at www.mymoneycheckup.org/ for this free assessment.
SavvyMoney will help you pay down debt and increase savings when debt has become a problem. The program will help you set up a snapshot of your current financial situation and set up a debt repayment plan. It will help you stay on track, mark your progress and give you tips on paying that debt off faster.
Personal Capital is another financial tracking website that works on the investment side. It will analyze investment mix and will make recommendations based on your risk comfort level. It has functions to analyze your 401(k) accounts, check investments and analyze retirement accounts.
Bankrate.com is a great financial website that has a variety of financial calculators to use in planning your financial life. Do you want to pay off your house early? Use the mortgage calculator to figure out how much extra you need to pay monthly to reduce your pay off by five, 10, or even 15 years. Do you want to pay off your credit cards? The calculator will tell you how much to pay each month to finally retire that debt. There’s also reliable financial information to help you increase your financial prowess.
UAF Cooperative Extension is the last resource on today’s list. We have just launched a series of videos called “Mastering Money Management.” These videos include a wide variety of subjects related to financial issues. The first three videos include: “What’s in a Credit Score,” “How to Read your Credit Report” and the all-important “Improving Your Credit Score.” Four additional videos are also now available on bankruptcy options, creating a spending plan, children’s allowances and automating bill payment. Check our website at www.uaf.edu/ces/money to listen to these 5- to 8-minute videos and watch for more to be added in the coming month.
Money management doesn’t have to be an impossible mission. Take advantage of these reliable resources to make your money work for you.
Roxie Rodgers Dinstel is associate director of Cooperative Extension Service, a part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Questions or column requests can be e-mailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 907-474-7201.