Just wanted to write a quick post to share something that has become a essential part of my financial knowledge. While not necessarily making me money, is helping me keep it. The website is www.mint.com and it is free. It is a company essentially focused on collecting your financial data, displaying it to you in one place, and doing it in a really clear manner. It takes all of your accounts lumps all of your cash together (also debts), produces some really good charts, and gives you the result. It will let you input anything you own. The longer you use the site the more useful it gets. It takes all of your transactions and comes up with trending information that is really useful.
I am working at a bar right now for some extra cash, and my pay varies greatly. I write down everything I make, but looking at the net income graphs on the trends page I can really see how big of a difference summer made on the money I made. It has also shown me that I spend way too much money on eating out and if I get over my budget it lets me know.
Getting started is really a simple process. All you have to do is enter in your online banking info and it does the rest. It is a little sketchy to give away access to all of your bank account information to a website, but it has been fine for me(so far). The way that it makes money is that it also attempts to get you to sign up for various services that they get a commission on. Sometimes the services are really good or can save you a bit of money. It ranges from savings accounts to mortgages.
At any rate the site has really helped me. It does make me feel a little weird out about all of my information being in their hands, but the service is worth it.