May 7th, 2009
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moneyStrands is a personal finance site designed to streamline your finances. They collect all your information in one location with utilization of robust tools and their customization platform. You can anonymously compare yourself to others with similar demographics to see where you stand in terms of your income and debt levels. moneyStrands is backed by Strands Lab, a developer of social recommendation and personalization technology. What that means is that in addition to providing the greatest amount of customization and flexibility, moneyStrands offers personalized recommendations regarding new and unique ways to save and invest your money.
Look and Feel
The moneyStrands website has a clean, web 2.0 look, but it’s the actual finance application that really stands out. There are several tabs which provide overviews, details, and analysis. Your accounts are easily customizable and modular.
How it Works
Signup and set up is simple. If you’ve tried any of the new personal finance websites out there – Mint.com, rudder, etc, you’ll find it very similar. After you create an account, you can begin to add your various financial institutions. I’ve added my Bank of America bank account, credit card, and HELOC, as well as my ING Direct savings account and my Countywide mortgage.
It would have been nice if the site was able to grab all of my Bank of America account info, as I had to link up each account separately even though they are all linked in my BofA account. moneyStrands has a nice widget based application, so you can move around the modules anyway you see fit. Anyhow, here’s what my account overview looks like
moneyStrands has tools to help you monitor your finances more efficiently and provides detailed breakdowns of your spending. You can easily set up alerts to remind yourself of upcoming bills, analyze your income and spending, as well as set up an ongoing budget to help you save money. I was very impressed with how smoothly the site showed my expenses in a pie chart that showed car payments, utilities, food and dining. You can even create PDFs of your income and spending for your own records.
moneyStrands also has a recommendation section which is under the “Just for Me” tab; where it makes suggestions about credit cards, financial products, tips and other content or offers that they feel would be interesting to someone that matches your financial profile. For instance, due to the fact that I have a Upromise credit card, the system thinks that I’m saving for college and recommends a similar Schoolsfirst FCU Visa card.
moneyStrands has also ported their application to an iPhone application. If you haven’t made the jump to an iPhone, (I’m still holding on to my blackberry myself), you can still access your account online. I was having trouble accessing this functionality on my phone, but from the screenshots I saw, the iPhone app looks a little dumbed down, but still slick.
moneyStrands is one of the more comprehensive personal finance website out there in the market. The site is easy to use, has an excellent user interface, properly tracks your finances, and is available for your iPhone. The personalized offers expose you to some financial tips specialized for your individual financial situation. There will be some mismatched offers, but I imagine the larger moneyStrands grows their user base, the more relevant the offers will be. If you are looking for a money management website, moneyStrands should be on the top of your list for evaluation.
For more helpful tips on budgeting check out this video: