Cryptocurrencies, the most famous of all being Bitcoin, turned geeks and normal people with a bit of tech interest into virtual millionaires, overnight. In recent months they’ve hit the headlines for facilitating the sale of drugs and firearms by concealing the identities of those involved. They even accentuated the capital outflows from Cyprus during the country’s financial collapse and subsequent EU bailout earlier this year.
In 2011, those buying into cryptocurrencies were laughed at by investors and economists. Now, BitCoin is regularly the feature of two page spreads in the Financial Times and is rumoured to be a serious headache for regulators of the traditional banking system. Since the high profile take-down of The Silk Road (a shady, Deep Web marketplace mainly used for drug sales), the FBI have backed off.
In a further vote of confidence, the Chinese government recently indicated that they have no real issues with cryptocurrencies and have allowed a Chinese exchange to grow into the world’s largest, surpassing MtGox a few weeks ago. However, they’ve also eliminated the possibility of it ever becoming part of their official national finance framework.
In spite of its recent successes, BitCoin remains rouge. Personified, it’s a surly teenager protesting against “the system”. Big Business has given it nothing more than an amused smirk because BitCoin doesn’t wear a suit to work nor have Terms & Conditions attached. Ripple’s ‘XRP’, a new kid on the cryptocurrency block, does.
A lot of people that go to college don’t get the luxury of having it paid for, and most students graduate with tons of debt to pay. Fortunately, for me, I had parents that saved their hard earned money and wanted to be able to pay my tuition. Well, fast forward ten years and I am back in school again, but this time, I am on my own. I knew I was going to have to take out loans to go back, and we have a plan to pay it all, but it doesn’t hurt to get an even better strategy to assess things.
That is where Tuition.io comes in very handy. It’s a new web app that helps me visualize my payments and what I need to do. By the time I finish school in about a year and a half, I want to be able to be in a good financial position to pay off the loan as fast as I can, which means I want to start paying on it now. Tuition.io can help with this, and does a variety of other things to help ease your mind when it comes to paying for college.
Call me weird, but one of the things that I take pleasure in doing is our finances each month. I don’t know why, but I like to pay the bills and make sure that we are staying on track. One of the hardest things for me over the past few years is that with having a wife and a child as well as having a small business, we have a lot of accounts to manage. Now, even though I love to oversee our finances, I am not the best at keeping track of our spending and could probably do a better job. I have tried a couple of different ways to do this, but have not found something that I can stick with and find useful.
I wanted something where I could just dump all my accounts into and see where and how we are spending our money and where we can cut back. When I read about Personal Capital a few weeks ago, I figured I would try it out to see how well it would work for me. After putting it through its paces, I found that it definitely has some nice features that I like. Let’s take a look at it more and see whether this would be a good program for you.
Any time you watch the news, you will find that most of the time, the main topics are related somehow to money. It has been around for centuries, but yet we still can’t seem to figure it out. Money can be a great thing, but yet so destructive as well.
One web app has come out recently that piqued my interest because it looked like it paid attention to the details when it comes to money. Budgetable, which is currently in beta, takes looking at your spending differently than some other apps that do similar functions, like Mint. Instead of just looking at your transactions and categories of spending, you get a more in depth look at your money and how it is affecting your savings.
It’s always important to manage your finances, whether by setting a budget or tracking daily expenses. While we often tend to track expenses well in the short term, it’s also equally important to remember to think about our finances long-term.
Balance Forecasting App is a web application that helps you focus on your finances in the long-term by keeping track of recurring monthly income and bills and then using that data to forecast your financial well-being in many different time periods. It wouldn’t be an app to manage your finances down to the last detail, but it’s a great way to get an idea of how much money and expenses you’ll have in the near future.
One of my earliest memories of the internet is going to the bank with my parents in, oh, the mid ‘90s, when our bank was handing out packets with a floppy to help you get started using internet banking. The floppy included a browser (Netscape, perhaps, but I’m not sure), and a tutorial about how to get on the “world wide web” and magically manage your bank account from the comfort of your home. The Jetsons’ era had arrived.
Over a decade and a half later, there are still many people who are scared of managing their finances online. Some fear irrationally that someone could hack their computer and somehow download all of their money from their bank account, while others more rationally fear the privacy concerns surrounding financial web apps. Most banks let you at least manage some of your banking online, and apps like Quicken and iBank can download your statements to make it easier to manage. We’ve gotten used to that, and it doesn’t seem frightening now, but many are still scared to let apps like Mint.com bring in all of their financial info.
Or, then, you have the other extreme: people who do all of their banking online. I personally have an online bank account with ING Direct, a bank that has no physical bank locations, and love it. Then, new banking options like Simple are trying to reinvent banking online, with beautiful interfaces and new services. I, for one, can’t wait to give it a try.
In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting Balance Forecasting Web. The developer describes Balance Forecasting Web as a tool to help you keep better track of the info about your money that really matters. What if you don’t care about past transactions, but you only want to see the future of your bank account? Have you found yourself often asking the questions “What will my bank balance look like in 3 months if I increase my credit card payment by X dollars?” Balance Forecasting Web answers those questions.
Read on for more information and screenshots!
I want to make this crystal clear: I love bookstores. I love going to them and checking out the bookshelves and the magazine racks, and finding some good things to read. I discovered a bunch of books and magazine because of bookstores, including the .net Magazine, the best web development magazine out there. That being said, I find more and more often that I go into bookstores and leave empty handed. Here’s why.
Let me start off by saying that even though I have a Kindle and read magazines on my tablet from time to time, sometimes there is just no substitute for a real, physical book. This is especially true of programming and web development books, which I tend to reference a lot so I prefer the physical copy to its digital counterpart. I also have a pretty nice bookshelf that would go to waste if I didn’t keep buying print books. So I truly enjoy going into bookstores in hopes of finding something new to read, whether it be a coding book, fiction, or a new magazine. But as I said in the intro, I tend to go into bookstores with the intention of buying a book, and end up leaving empty handed. The culprit for this is technology as a whole, specifically smart phones, the Internet, and e-readers.
As a freelancer, I do a lot of wheelin’ and dealin’. At any given time I’m managing current projects, writing proposals, trying to close deals, and getting new clients. Depending on how busy I get, this can get very hard to keep up with. While traditional CRMs are great for keeping track of relationships with clients and contacts, sometimes you need a little bit more. Pipedrive aims to provide you with a way not just to manage clients, but a way to manage the overall sales process.
Do you have a hard time keeping up with where your money is going? It’s hard enough to know how much you have in your checking account, not to mention how much you have it other accounts or owe on loans or credit cards. As tax season rapidly approaches, most of us realize that we need to do a better job at keeping up with our money. Problem is, most programs for managing your finances are expensive and difficult to use.
Managing your finances isn’t a hopeless quest, though. Today we’re going to look at Mint.com, a popular finance management web app that helps you keep up with all of your accounts, budgets, and more. Mint was acquired by Intuit, the company behind Quicken and TurboTax, in 2009, but it’s kept its original simple interface and no-nonsense approach to managing finances while bringing tighter integration with TurboTax. Keep reading to see if Mint is what you need to get your finances under control.