Saturday, March 20, 2010, AM | Leave Comment
I examined a couple of websites that are live for more than 3 years now in the landscape of the Internet. These online sites give you tools to help in planning your personal finances in the form of advice. One is HelloWallet and the other LifePlan that was a part of Smart Money which in turn is now Market Watch owned and operated by the Wall Street Journal.
Below instead of having LifeSpan, I have it as Market Watch. It would have routed you to Market Watch anyway.
So far, Mint – owned by Intuit – is the most popular as your personal finance organizer. Many folks use it and the good thing is it’s absolutely free for the most part. You can use it for traditional budgeting and money tracking.
HelloWallet is developed by a consumer finance scholar who used to work for Brookings Institution. For an annual subscription of $100, in addition to features offered by Mint, it offers to recommend customized financial plans for saving for college and retirement among other plans.
College Savings – Based on tuition cost trends for the particular college and your saving history, it will recommend how much to save monthly.
Mortgage – It figures out how much you should save to buy a house in your local neighborhood. It will forecast your home’s likely worth in the future [could be an important feature] in an elaborate fashion.
Free Service – What sets HelloWallet apart from a site like Mint.com is that it doesn’t take any advertising dollars. That is probably why they charge $100 a year for subscription.
You can get a financial plan for yourself and family in 3 minutes by answering a few questions.
Market Watch is collaborating with the old Smart Money, a magazine owned by Wall Street Journal. It asks users a series of questions about topics such as income and savings and then provides custom finance articles, to-do-lists and tutorials. It is free. Fidelity Investments used to be the sole advertiser on the website but now you’d find adverts from many others as well.
In a Nutshell
Because they are both free, try Mint as well as MarketWatch and see which one satisfies your needs for financial planning. If you need to have a more elaborate tool that gives you extra features that you might be able to use, then HelloWallet is a better choice for $4 a month.