Whether you’re a recent college graduate about to embark on a new life and career or a thirty something with a mortgage, 2 kids and sizable debt to match. The personal finance tools we discuss below can be used by anyone – rookie and veteran alike. Some are just plain fun while others practical and down right useful. Take a look at our top picks and let us know what you think and how you plan to use them?
1. Credit Karma – this website will fetch your credit score on a monthly basis and provide an overview of your credit standing for free. The catch? Well as is the case with most tools and services that are offered for free, they make up for it with ads. The site displays ads on related items of interest such as credit card offers, insurance offers, etc. The simple and free service offered up by Credit Karma is a great way to keep tabs on your credit without forking over a dime.
2. Share A Gift – this is a new type of site that seems to be the latest rage these days as it relies on the power of crowds to work. In simple terms the purpose of the site is that it allows you to enlist your friends and or family members to help you reach a financial goal for a pre-determined event. For example, let’s say you’re getting married in a few months and wish to honeymoon in Vegas for a week yet your husband was laid off recently and now you most likely will not be able to afford your dream honeymoon. Well here comes Share A Gift to the rescue. You set up your event, send an email to friends and family and they get to share the gift with you.
3. Smarty Pig – we discovered this cool personal finance tool and website about a year or so ago and love it. The initial draw was their online savings account deal however over time the rate has dwindled and is not as competitive as it once was. Blame the economy on that one. However the site is still a good smart personal finance tool as it makes saving money – fun. Something banks have yet to do. Smarty Pig allows you to set up micro accounts for all sorts of goodies such as a new laptop, mini staycation, moms b-day gift, etc. You can also share your goals with friends if you like or not. All for free and did we mention fun.
4. Lending Club – as previously mentioned on Riches Corner, this is a site aimed at investors or borrowers who wish to try something new and or those who are tired of fooling with traditional banks for a decent return on their money. Lending Club allows you to borrow or invest a set amount however the big difference is that the loan is diversified among many investors. One loan can have a myriad of investors. The point is diversification multiplied ten-fold.
5. iPhone Apps – how can we write a piece on personal finance tools and not mention an iPhone app (or ten). The iPhone (and other smartphones that carry apps) have truly revolutionized the way we conduct personal transactions and do business. Everything from how to find nearby low cost ATM kiosks to gas stations with the best rate and more is now available as a handy dandy cell phone app. We advise to perform a search on your phone or the iTunes store to see what’s on offer for whatever financial ailment you have. We’re about 100% sure you will find a corresponding app. We plan on writing another guest article here on Riches Corner that will outline good iPhone apps to manage, grow and otherwise handle your finances. Look for it soon here on the blog.
There are of course many more financial apps and personal finance tools then what we’ve listed above, but the five mentioned and profiled above should get your appetite wet for discovering additional fun and free personal finance tools. Share with us which one’s are your personal favorite? Leave a comment below.