by Social Media Working Girl
I'm not very good at saving money. Don't get me wrong--I try to save. It just seems next to impossible sometimes to save money as a 20-something Working Girl trying to get my career started and make ends meet.
Like many of you, I don't have tons of time to regularly stock up on grocery items and thus end up eating a lot of meals out. I tend to get sucked into sales at my favorite stores and boutiques. I always offer to drive whenever my friends or colleagues want to go somewhere. I enjoy going out and being social. I have lots of bills including rent, car payments, utilities and credit cards. And I always seem to ask myself, "Where did the money go?"
But with hopes for lots of excitement and new adventures in 2011, saving is a must. Thankfully, there are many online tools available that can help facilitate the process of saving money and making smarter financial decisions.
Mint - With more than 4 million users, Mint is one of the most popular and widely respected (and free) online budget planners. You simply plug in all of your data--credit cards, checking accounts, investments, loan information, etc.--and have the ability to set a budget and keep track of your personal financial goals.
One of the biggest perks of using Mint is the easy in use. I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to get confused with numbers. I'm a journalist by trade--not a mathematician. With Mint, you don't have to be a math whiz. Instead, it does all of the calculations on its own and you hold the reigns for setting goals and tracking success.
SmartyPig - Next up, I want to introduce you to SmartyPig. Think of SmartyPig as your free online piggy bank. Whether you're saving for a new car, your wedding, that great pair of shoes you've had your eye on, a gift for a friend or your dream vacation, this site is a great tool to help you save and reach your financial goals.
How does it work? All you do is create an account and set up automatic transfers from your existing checking or savings accounts. You can also have friends and family help you achieve your objectives by sharing your goals with others through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
Wesabe - Lastly, let's take a look at Wesabe--a community-based online personal finance management site. In other words, you create an account and contribute to conversation, post questions and join groups regarding debt, savings, financial experiences and more. With Wesabe, it's about getting advice from people just like you.
This year, the focus must be on tackling my finances. I fully intend on using free online resources like Mint, SmartyPig and Wesabe to help me achieve my financial goals and save, save, save.
Do you have financial goals for 2011? What other online tools do you use to budget and save?