Complete Idiot’s Guide to Managing Your Money. Don’t be offended by the title. This plainly written book shows that anybody can learn to manage their money effectively, and is full of consumer tips, advice on mortgages, debt, mutual funds, auto loans, bank fees, credit cards, and other money-related matters. The book, written by expert financial columnist Robert K. Heady and financial writer Christine Heady, has already gone through four editions and sold millions of copies.
Mint, Intuit’s personal finances apps, is one of the most well-known personal finance apps that provides your complete financial picture in one place. Once you link your credit and debit cards to your account, Mint pulls your transactions, categorizes them and shows how you’re spending your money. You can keep track of your bills and spending and create a budget you can stick to. Free access to your credit score is one of the more recent additions. You can get a breakdown of the factors contributing to your credit score to stay on top of your credit health. Plus, you can track your investments and schedule utility payments. For bills that you manually pay, the app can send e-mail reminders or add the due dates to your phone calendar. You can use the app exclusively or access your account via computer.
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KMyMoney supports investment accounts and can retrieve online stock quotes. Personal finance reports can be configured in a number of ways, and KMyMoney widgets can be installed to add further functionality, such as a pop-up calculator and date selection calendar. The interface looks clean, and it’s easy to navigate and less dated than some of the other personal finance options for Linux. There’s even a nifty account setup wizard. KMyMoney’s online user manual is an excellent resource that takes you step-by-step through all of its features. They’re not as numerous as those offered by GNUCash—it doesn’t have a classification function, for example—but if you don’t need all of those features, why pay for them?
Money Magazine: This monthly publication does a fantastic job of profiling real people and the financial steps they can take. They offer solid advice for all income levels. But when they start talking about the ”5 Funds to Own Now” or other such commercialized headlines, just roll your eyes and flip the page. The financial planning industry has a saying for those types of headlines; we call them investment pornography.