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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.

I hate dealing with banks. In a world where currency has more meaning on screen than it does in hand, you would think that banks would be getting better and not worse. The best bank is typically the one you never have to deal with. I generally have to mentally prepare myself for a few days before I call a bank as I know it is going to raise my blood pressure a few points. aims to change that. They believe that well designed web and mobile applications can improve the overall banking experience. In keeping it simple and beautiful, they believe they can make banking a positive experience.

So far, it’s working (more…)

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 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.