5 Free Online Tools to Streamline Your Finances
It took a lot of education and hard work to get that MD (or DO) after your name. Congratulations! It is an achievement worth celebrating. The path to financial freedom also requires some work. Luckily, it's not nearly as demanding as medical school. Here are five free online tools to help streamline your financial life.
1. Mint - My overall favorite money tracking tool, Mint.com allows you to connect all your accounts (bank, credit card, loans, mortgages, investments, etc.) and view all your financial information in a simple user-friendly interface. There are additional tools to help you organize your money such as a budget maker, bill tracker, spending trend tracker and many others. Worried about security? Mint.com is backed by the trusted name Intuit - maker of popular software such as Quicken, Quickbooks and TurboTax.
2. Sigfig - For those with investments, there are quite a few portfolio trackers available - from Personal Capital to Morningstar to Google Finance and more. I settled on Sigfig.com in the end because of its automatic linking with brokerage accounts and singular focus on investments. Sigfig also offers a professional investment management service for a fee. Luckily, their portfolio tracking service is free to use even if you don't sign up for their professional investment management service.
3. EveryDollar - Easy-to-use budget maker from financial guru Dave Ramsey. Check out my full review HERE. Like many other freemium services, EveryDollar has a Plus version where you can pay $99/year to sync your accounts. However I wouldn't recommend it for the following reasons:
- $99/year is a lot of pay for a budgeting app when others (eg Mint.com) offer it for free.
- I've discovered entering my expenses manually actually reminds me of where and how I'm spending my money. In the world of credit cards and online shopping where it's easier than ever to spend money, this is a nice-to-have.
4. Bankrate - Whether you are looking for a mortgage, savings account, auto loan, home equity, student loans, or some other rate, chances are good you will find it at Bankrate.com. In particular, I'm a big fan of their calculator page. Here is one calculator that many physicians may find helpful: Roth vs. traditional IRA calculator.
5. CreditKarma - CreditKarma has some overlapping features with Mint.com but the website is more focused on credit. You can check your credit report and credit scores from two out the three major reporting bureaus for free (TransUnion and Equifax). The website offers free credit monitoring service and will notify you for any new changes to your credit profile. Keep in mind the score offered is a "non-FICO" variant. For information on where to obtain your FICO credit score, check out How to Get Your Credit Score for FREE.
Keep in mind all of the services mentioned above require you to sign up by sharing private personal information in order to link your financial accounts. Be aware there is always a risk of identity theft and fundamentally using any service online is a balancing act between convenience and security.
Thoughts and comments? Reach out to me at http://futureproofmd.com/.