Two Free Tools to Manage Your Money Online

Budgets and bills are a necessary evil as we go out into the world to start our careers and start fending for ourselves. Two tools have made my life easier—one is a free tool for budgeting and keeping track of where all of my money goes, and the other is an online bank that allows users to easily send paper checks and pay bills without ever touching a real checkbook. Expensr Expensr puts your spending in perspective. It's not tied directly to your bank account, so you have to enter and categorize each expense through the site (the mobile version makes this easier). Once you've tagged your expenses, it's easy to look at the breakdown of where your money is going and set budget goals to work against. Expensr also has a social element to it—you can add tags to define yourself and compare your spending to users with the same tag. For example, I spend less than 80% of those who have defined themselves as "young professionals." ING Direct Electric Orange ING is an online-only bank. Since they don't maintain brick-and-mortar branches, they keep overhead low and kick some of that money back to consumers through higher interest rates on both savings and checking accounts. Pay your bills through the Electric Orange "Send Paper Checks" feature. Just fill out the virtual check online and hit send. ING takes care of the rest. Simple. ING Direct maintains a network of ATMs for free withdrawl, and if you do ever run into trouble, they have the best customer service I've seen anywhere— you actually talk to a real person from the get-go.

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