Things I’ve been getting excited about recently over a double espresso…
I’ve been looking for easy ways to track what I’m spending. Mint.com comes highly recommended but wouldn’t let me in without a US zip code (at the time of writing). So I went on the prowl for some alternatives.
After some research, checking reviews and so on, I came across Wesabe. And so far it’s exactly what I need.
It was quite easy to set up an account and start pulling in bank statements. Depending on who you bank with, some are automatic and some you have to update manually.
There’s a slight leap of faith moment when you start entering bank account details. But after reading around I felt reassured. Wesabe is very clear about their appreciation of and approach towards the need for top-notch privacy and security of your financial information.
Once you have all your statement info, you can start labelling or tagging your spending. You can choose to use “bills”, “utilities”, “gifts” and so on, tagging each item in your statement with as few or as many tags as you wish. And for me this is where it really starts to get useful. In fact it’s one of the few genuinely useful applications of a tag cloud I’ve come across (flickr and delicious being two others).
After about two hours I’d tagged all my income and outgoings across 6 accounts for the last 12 months, and now I could view them all together. I can easily separate out my business expenses from my personal spending, and have finally started to get my head round how much we’re spending on household bills!
This in turn is encouraging me to think about how to get better deals. Which means I’ll probably tap in to the community aspect of Wesabe before too long to learn and share tips.
The Wesabe folk seem well tapped in to the various channels available to keep across who’s saying what about them, and seem happy to join in the conversation. This is good news, and I think it’s pretty vital for companies offering services like this to have an authentic human voice, and not to hide behind corporate comms and PR machines.
Oh yes, I almost forgot… it doesn’t cost a penny to use.