Monday, December 27, 2010

Yodlee Money Centre–Free online money manager

Background

Few days back I had written about a personal finance manager software called Money Manager. This is a desktop application. My friend Mahesh Sawaiker suggested another open source software called GNUCash. Unfortunately I did have a good first impression about this one as it crashed on my laptop within hours of installing it. This post is about an free online personal finance manager software called Yodlee Money Centre.

Yodlee Money Centre

This is a free software. Initially it takes bit of a time to get used to it because it has a different notion of accounts of different types some of which include Savings, Credit Cards, Insurance, Loan etc. It also has a concept of manual transactions which are nothing but transactions with a particular type of account. One feature which I like about Yodlee is that it gives you an option to register a future transaction. Every transaction has a flag called Cleared which indicates whether a transaction should be considered for summary of accounts or it should just be noted down for follow up.

Here is a screenshot of the cash flow analysis

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There is a budgeting feature wherein based on actual spending the graph shows how much are the expenses towards each category. We  can also define our own budget and compare it against the actuals. There are some very good reports available for summary purposes. We can also set reminders for recurring as well as forthcoming payments.

The software also supports multiple currencies. Although the support is limited to few currencies we can hope for more currencies to be added later. There is a nice financial calendar which depicts the income and expenses for each day of a calendar month.

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We can also record a transaction as split transaction. For eg. if we want to associate all the expenses incurred during a holiday trip then we can group all of them under one parent transaction but still spilt it further. The list of categories is also quite extensive and we can extend it as per our needs. 

For security reasons at the time of registration there are a set of questions asked. At the time of logging in one of these questions is asked randomly along with the username and password. I like this feature. The random question is asked very occasionally and ensures that the right person is accessing the information.

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Conclusion

All in all Yodlee is a very simple web based personal finance manager. I like its features because the reports give very clear trends. Only feature I find missing right now is the double entry system. This means that if I have two accounts A  and B and I transact between them the balance is handled automatically by the system. This feature is supported in the windows based Money Manager EX. But Yodlee doesn’t seem to have support for this. Which means I need to record the transactions in both the places. Apart from that so far I am liking the features provided by Yodlee. The ability to keep track of expenses from anywhere in the world is a great one.

Do let me know if you come across something similar or better than this. Until next time Happy Programming Smile

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