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Friday, November 17, 2006

Wesabe Launches Social Personal Finance Site

Wesabe has finally launched after entertaining us for several months with helpful posts about managing our personal finances. It's a big undertaking since Wesabe is aimed right at the heart of users' deepest, most private sphere of activity (other than personal relations): money management. Security is paramount, and on that score, Wesabe has a reassuring Data Bill of Rights.

What can you do with Wesabe? It's like an online version of popular personal finance software Quicken. You can import your bank or credit card records either by directly uploading files or by giving Wesabe access to your account. There's a downloadable piece of software to manage the process as well.
Once your data is uploaded, you can tag it as well as see how other users tagged their data. One interesting feature is the notion of cleaning up bank data. Since bank data is usually somewhat indecipherable, if a Wesabe user has converted, say, SAFEWA to Safeway, their correction will automatically be applied to similar bank data of other users. Over time, this could grow to be very powerful as more users clean up their data. Of course, the main purpose for using Wesabe is that with more data it'll start recommending ways to reduce your spending.

On the social side, you can read and share tips with other users on how to keep expenses down. Some tips currently popular are pack a bag lunch and cut your own hair. Goals can also be set up and shared like a financial-themed 43 Things. The most popular is the perennial favorite, "pay off my credit cards".

Wesabe is very promising. With a large userbase, it could really become a powerful force in managing your personal finances. And, if you should ever be completely overwhelmed by your finances, click on the "I'm Freaking Out" button at the very bottom of the page for relief.



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Reader Comments:

To help you with budgeting I'd recommend a personal finance software by Australian business Parcus Group.
Easy to use program with features including budgeting, financial planning, real estate analysis, shares valuation, life insurance...
Costs US$24 so it's not a huge investment but absolutely great value for money.
You can get it on http://www.parcusgroup.com/index.html

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