I don’t use any online financial tools. And it’s not for the reason you’re probably thinking of. It isn’t because I’m afraid that my information is going to get stolen and some hacker is going to run off and steal all my money to buy the country of Dubai. It’s not that I don’t find them to be useful. In fact, I find them to be quite useful. For most people who aren’t me.
Actually, the reason that I don’t use any online financial tools is that very few (read: none) of them seem to connect to all of my accounts. I’m not a person who likes having only half the picture. I like to see everything all at once. Not half here, and half there, or one account here, and the rest over there. Everything. Part of this is my fault. I use all kinds of accounts. Most of them are online accounts and usually show up in any of the tools that I try and connect them to. But, I also use some local accounts. Those local accounts are usually the problem.
Ready For Zero
I tried using this not that long ago. They’re a sponsor of the Debt Movement, and have glowing reviews around the web for their tool. And, from what I’ve seen of the Ready for Zero tool, it does look like a pretty cool tool. It allows you to set up your accounts, get them set up into a payment plan similar to a debt snowball and then helps you optimize that plan for the best bang for your buck. Only one problem. My local Credit Union accounts aren’t linkable. If I can’t include a good portion of my debt accounts in the plan, it throws off the entire plan. How can I expect the tool to give me accurate information if it doesn’t have accurate account information to go off of?
Adaptu is a little bit like Mint. They both allow for linking all of your accounts (deposit and loan) and then their tool gives you a full overview of your finances. There’s more to both, of course, but I stopped investigating when I couldn’t link up all of my accounts. The culprit in both cases was, again, my local Credit Union account.
There are other tools, but every one of them I’ve tried has had a similar problem. In most cases, it’s the local CU that is causing the hiccup. Is that fair to the tools? Probably not. Really, it’s more of a poor reflection on the local institution than it is on the tools.
Yes, I could move my finances to another institution and probably start using some of these tools. But, I’m lazy. For a long time, I was forced to have an account there, so it made sense to just use it for all of my banking. Now that I’m not required, I find that I just don’t want to tackle having everything changed to a new institution. What a hassle to change automatic transactions, re-enter all my bill pay stuff, and then link a new account to the myriad of other places that I have accounts. It’s just easier to not do it.
Except when I want to use an online tool.
Do you use any online tools? Have you ever had problems with getting your accounts linked up in them? What did you do about it?
I started this blog to share what I know and what I was learning about personal finance. Along the way I’ve met and found many blogging friends. Please feel free to connect with me on the Beating Broke accounts: Twitter and Facebook.
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