Several months ago, I started a blog post about a wonderful web application called Wesabe that I’ve been using to keep track of our family’s personal finances. Unfortunately, a tight schedule on my part has meant it never made it out of draft form. Luckily for you, it looks like someone else has just written the overview I was planning. Don’t you love the Internet?
Earlier today, Kyle Pott of the Lifehacker weblog posted an in depth look at Wesabe. It summarizes pretty much everything I’ve been thinking about the web app, so I’m not going to even attempt to reproduce it here. Basically, if Quicken and MS Money seem like overkill to you, and you’re not looking to do the envelope budget ala Mvelopes, give Wesabe a shot. It’s easy to use, more secure than almost any other website I’ve seen (including banks), and free.
On a slight side note, the founders of Wesabe are the model for transparency and openness. They’ve gone the extra mile to ensure that your data remains your data, and have even written up a data bill of rights – a first, as far as I’m aware. And, if you have a question or concern you can’t find an answer to, you can call Wesabe’s CEO any day of the week on his toll free number and ask him directly. I actually did this out of curiosity last spring, and ended up having a very pleasant 10 minute conversation with him. Most CEOs are completely out of reach for the average person, so I find this very impressive.
I think I’ve tried almost every personal finance software/website out there, including Quicken, Money, Mvelopes, Moneydance, Mint, and Wesabe. None of those will be the solution that everyone is looking for. My advice and recommendation to you is this: The best personal finance application is the one you use. If you dread using it, or it takes too long to input your transactions, etc., you’ll simply stop using it in short order. So, look for one that does what you need, and that you enjoy working with. For me, that one is Wesabe.