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Budgeting Your Money Online: Fiscal Management Made Easy

Powerful websites can help keep your spending on track. Here are 3 to consider.

Yodlee MoneyCenter

  • To get started: You'll need to register — a process that requires more security steps than at Mint — and enter the account numbers and passwords for each of your accounts.
  • Features: Like Mint, Yodlee collects transactions from the banking, loan and investment accounts you enter. You can display charts that summarize your spending by category and generate reports on your net worth or cash flow. Unlike Mint, Yodlee helps you track rewards programs like frequent flier miles, and it provides direct links in case you need to visit the accounts you've consolidated.

    Probably the biggest difference, though, is that Yodlee is not "read-only" — it allows you to pay bills and transfer funds online.
  • Security: Yodlee says that customers' personal data is "completely secure and private." Third-party services Thawte and VeriSign authenticate its security.

If you're uncomfortable with providing your account information and passwords, and your biggest concern is your spending habits, you might want to look at

  • To get started: You need to register and set up an account. Because you won't be disclosing account numbers for automatic downloading from your financial institutions, you will need to invest considerable time entering specific transactions.
  • Features: You set up categories, depicted by envelope icons, to keep track of expenses. Graphs and charts show how much you've spent in each category. "Auto-assign budget" technology recommends budgets for you based on your spending habits. You can also set up budgets for special events, such as a vacation or wedding.
  • Security: The site is a licensee of the TrustE program, a member of the Better Business Bureau, and is secured by GeoTrust.

Art Dalglish contributed to this article.

Beverly Blair Harzog is a credit card expert with, an independently owned website about credit.

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