Wed, 02 Apr 2008

Personal finance management

My exploration of social networking software lead me to some interesting applications for personal fiance management:

These applications let you import data from bank, credit card, and other accounts and manage them in a central place. They provide help with budgeting, graphs and reports of spending, and tips and advice on spending and saving.

I haven't explored any of these applications in depth, yet, but Wesabe, initially, appeals to me most. The company seems extremely open and interactive with its customers. The CEO, Jason Knight, is available by phone seven days a week! Have a problem or concern? You can pick up the phone and talk to the CEO.

Wesabe also has an API. As a programmer, that appeals to me.

From user comments, it appears Mint may have some better graphs and reports and has a more business like demeanor. All three, in fact, have their particular strengths and weaknesses. Wesabe's open dialog with users leads me to believe they are likely to add missing features and incorporate feedback quickly, so I've decided to invest some time with it before pursuing the others in depth.

So, what's the social software tie in? These sites provide a variety of ways for users to interact with each other, from sharing tips and advice to comparing spending habits against averages. The social aspect is context sensitive, so, I might learn about a zero interest balance transfer option while dealing with my credit card bills.

Wesabe is on twitter, so you can keep tabs on some of the news and happenings at Wesabe by following along in twitter.

I used to meticulously enter every receipt in GnuCash. I still use it for business. But I've done little to manage my personal finances for the past 2 or 3 years outside of quick online reviews of my bank and credit card accounts, periodically. Perhaps Wesabe will help me be a bit more proactive.

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