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It is the end of the year and beyond the visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, financial management is a reality that must be focused on.

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Managing your finances is one of the most important things you can do to get ahead and stay ahead of the financial curve. Thankfully there are some excellent, and free, online tools to help you to quickly and easily manage your finances.

Qualifications for this list. The following online money management tools are listed because they meet several criteria, namely, they are free, online, and they are secure. In most cases the companies use the same standards as required for online banking, and in some cases offer a higher level of security.

Online security. Many people are concerned about online security, and rightly so. Identity theft is a growing problem and will continue to be a problem. But you can prevent identity theft by vigilance and smart computing.

Best FREE Online Money Management Tools

Mint. Mint has taken the financial community by storm in the last year by bringing in over 1 million new users. That is an astounding growth rate, and for good reason. Mint offers a great money management tool, and it is completely free. Mint’s business model is to bring in users with a quality product, analyze their spending, saving, and other financial habits, and offer suggestions for improvements, including showing users how much money they could save or earn by using credit card with a lower interest rate, earning higher interest from a bank account, buying a less expensive cable service, and other ideas. Mint is able to offer a free product because they make money by referring products and services to customers, but they always show you how much money you can save or earn and why it would be a good idea to do so. You can’t turn the ads off, but you can always ignore them, which is a small price to pay for a quality financial management product. Mint is designed primarily to track cash flow and budgeting, and recently added the ability to track investments. Mint also offers an iPhone app.

Yodlee. Yodlee is one of the oldest and most comprehensive online money management programs. Yodlee differs from most of the other tools listed here because it is not a cash flow or budgeting tool – it is a one stop shop to track your financial health and offers “a consolidated view of all assets… from accounts such as brokerage, insurance, 401(k), mortgage, etc.” Being able to track your entire net worth online is a great feature, but Yodlee offers much more than just tracking net worth. Users can create a budget and track spending, monitor online accounts, create expense analysis charts, track real estate value, or share access to your account (great to share info with your spouse, accountant, or financial planner).

Customers can transfer funds, pay any biller or individual, pay bills via credit and debit card, receive eBills from over 2,900 institutions, create transaction alerts, set up mobile access and more. To top it off, Yodlee is one of the most secure online money management tools out there.

moneyStrands. moneyStrands is a web-based money management tool. It automatically gathers data for financial accounts, including savings, checking, and credit cards, providing users with an up-to-date view of their finances. moneyStrands also provides personalized money saving advice and recommendations, and lets people anonymously compare themselves with people with similar backgrounds and financial goals.  moneyStrands is fully customizable, offers an iPhone application and mobile version for Smartphones, and supports pdf exports of financial reports. It is also available in both English and Spanish.

BudgetPulse. features a fresh and easy to use interface and is best used for building a budget and monitoring your current financial status. also offers another layer of protection between their application and the user’s account information: “For security reasons, we do not and have no intention to link direct to users’ banking account data.” BudgetPulse also supports tracking your finances in multiple foreign currencies, making this an ideal option for someone living in another country.

(Read On For More Tips)

Sending positive and prosperous vibes to Elev8Robin

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