There are two old sayings that seem to contradict each other on the surface:
But, now there are a ton of websites that give you free services to help you save and manage your money – then you can use that money to make more money! Paid services don’t get much better than these free tools, and you need to take advantage of these money management mash-ups, right away.
If you haven’t read about or used Mint.com, yet, you’re missing out on what The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Money magazine and dozens of other top publications have rated as the best free money management tool. Mint helps you manage all of your bills as well as checking and savings accounts, and it gives you reports about the various categories where you spend your money – groceries, entertainment, coffee shops, etc. Mint is owned by Intuit, which makes business accounting software, and is very trustworthy. It works on iPhone and Android devices, so you can manage your accounts away from home or the office.
Money Management International is a unique, non-profit credit counseling organization, and it runs Moneymanagement.org. It describes itself this way, “We provide professional financial guidance, credit counseling, community-wide educational programs, debt management assistance, bankruptcy counseling and education services, and housing counseling assistance to consumers via phone, Internet and in-person sessions.” A number of its services are completely free, so if you’ve gotten yourself into money trouble, you don’t have to add to it with additional expenses. Money Management has tons of free articles, pod casts, calculators and ebooks that answer common money and budget questions and help people make insightful spending decisions.
Most of us do a lot of banking online now – paying bills, transferring money, etc. However, even the best bank sites don’t have great checkbook registers, so we still carry around paper registers – if you remember to carry it that is. ClearCheckbook.com lets you manage your checkbook register online, and it provides a host of other tools to budget and report on your spending.
Everybody knows how important credit scores are, but they forget that the scores are based on extensive reports about your finances, borrowing and payment history. A federal law requires that the three credit reporting agencies allow every consumer access to their own credit reports once every year for free! Annualcreditreport.com is the one site where you can go to access all three and be sure you get them for free. Now, you won’t get your actual scores without paying for them, because those are the property of the reporting bureaus – but you will get the information you need to correct anything that is negatively affecting your scores.
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Cottonwood Financial offers consumer credit products that are generally short-term in nature and not intended for long-term borrowing needs. In Texas, Cash Store is a Credit Services Organization and Credit Access Business. Loans are provided by a non-affiliated third-party lender.