5 Free Wesabe Alternatives | Goodbye Wesabe
A dark cloud has fallen over those who are part of the Wesabe community. The Wesabe free online personal finances tool will shut down effective July 31st, 2010.
If you are a Wesabe user, you have until July 31st to download all of your data. However, the question remains: where will you upload or export that material?
If you're searching for a Wesabe replacement, remember:
- Don’t just blindly use Uncle Joe’s favorite personal finance tool. What works for someone else might not be best for you. List what you liked about Wesabe and try to find a product that has similar features. Many were attracted to Wesabe because they did not collect personal information or because it allowed you to track cash spending. If you are concerned about password security then make that your priority when hunting for a new program. If you want to track cash spending, be sure that the new product has that feature.
- In the end, your best alternative may or may not be free. While this post introduces only free options, some of the best personal finance software might be worth the cost. You may not want to limit yourself to only free alternatives.
Here are 5 free Wesabe alternatives.
1. Excel Spreadsheet
Excel can be a great tool for making a budget and tracking spending, but if you want to track all of your financial activities including credit card activity and investments, then Excel will be too limited. As an example, here is a free household budget spreadsheet that you can use to track your spending. With Excel, you can also download a free debt snowball spreadsheet. However, it will be hard to find a spreadsheet that allows you to track everything in one document.
Is Excel right for you?
- You don’t need all your information in one file.
- You have some Excel knowledge.
- You like the hands on approach and don’t mind entering all your own account information.
- You don’t mind some time searching for budget templates to find the right one for you.
2. Mint and Yodlee
Mint is one of the best known free online personal finance tools. Like Wesabe, you can access your account from any computer via the internet. The Mint software will help you track your spending and activity from different financial institutions. Most Mint users I know speak highly of the product. The product is very easy to use and the layout is efficient. Some users complain about the number of ads you will see while using Mint. In order to make the product free, they offer ads for affiliate partners. Remember, if you have a smaller bank or credit union, you might not be able to track spending via that account
I put Mint and Yodlee together because they have many similar features and functions. Mint is probably easier to navigate, but those of you who use one or the other will probably swear by the superiority of one or the other.
PocketSmith is a paid product, but it also has a free service. For most users the free service will be too limiting for regular use. What distinguishes PocketSmith is its calendar system that helps you forecast your spending. You can see what your budget and spending will look like in six months down the road. Since this is calendar based, it is a great tool for helping you manage your bills and schedule upcoming payments.
It is, by design, completely different than a Wesabe, so try this product only if you are looking for a program with a different feel.
If you are looking to move away from an internet based free personal finance program, you might consider trying GnuCash. GnuCash has a very extensive range of functions. With the program you can track spending by downloading transactions from financial institutions or you can manually enter the information. You can also set up and track a budget with the program.
GnuCash also has some good accounting features for small business owners.
GnuCash is an open source tool that has a pretty steep learning curve, so you need to be willing to dedicate some time to get a feel for the product. In fact, like many users, I got stuck during the installation and set up process and decided this tool is out of my technology league.
5. Pen and Paper
While a pen and paper budget may take more time, it is the easiest way to customize a budget and track your spending. At times it can be frustrating using any of these financial programs because there is one thing that it just won’t let you do. The pen and paper approach removes all those barriers and allows you to customize your finances in any way.
I hope that all our current Wesabe friends can find a new personal finance tool to assist them. Enjoy the search!
What other free tools do you use or recommend? Do you have any thoughts on any of the above tools?