February 24th, 2012

12 Tools to Reverse the Effects of “Geno-Economics”

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money habits

We can blame genetics for our picky eating habits, our weight—and now—our shopping habits. The new field called “geno-economics” studies how our biology affects our financial behavior.

Just because you can blame Mom and Dad for your bad financial habits doesn’t mean you’re excused from trying to overcome your genetic predispositions. After all, obesity has been tied to genetics and yet we hear weight-loss success stories all the time. The phenomenon has even resulted in a reality show franchise. In other words, change certainly isn’t impossible.

While it may be tough to change these genetically predetermined habits, you can make it as easy as possible to overcome them. The following 12 tools make forming good money habits more effortless.

How to Overcome “Geno-Economics”

If you’re prone to buy without comparing prices, check out these websites that do the legwork for you:

Pronto.com lets you search a variety of online merchants for a specific item. You can even set your minimum and maximum price.

StreetPrices specializes mainly in electronics and computer parts. The website is stripped-down but it gets the job done. It even allows you to set up price alerts so you’ll receive an email if your desired product dips below a price that you set.

Nextag aggregates customer reviews for online retailers. Plus, the search engine has a “travel” section where you can seek out a good deal on a hotel stay.

If budgeting is your downfall, try one of these tried-and-true budgeting tools:

HelloWallet is an online budgeting tool that focuses on helping your build wealth. It’s positioned as an “independent financial guidance service,” giving members personal money management and customized financial plans. Although it boasts bank-level security (a must when dealing with your dough), there is a fee to join, so make sure you read the fine print before signing up.

LearnVest’s My Money Center helps simplify concepts like net worth to help you get a snapshot of your financial life. Plus, it has one of the loveliest interfaces of all the online budgeting tools. Pair that with LearnVest’s stellar female-focused content, and you’ve got a dynamic money duo.

If debt repayment is chronically last on your priorities list, get one of these debt-repayment tools to help you out:

CNNMoney’s Debt Repayment Calculator is a good place to start. It helps sum up your debt responsibilities and shows you how many months of payments until you’re debt free.

ReadyForZero is a great resource if you want some direction on how to appropriately tackle your debt. ReadyForZero prioritizes your debts based on interest rates, minimum payments and total debt to create a personalized debt repayment plan for you.

SavvyMoney calls itself “a weight loss plan for your debt.” It aggregates all of your bills and lists balances, interest rates and due dates in one place and gives you a personalized plan for tackling your debt. Although there is a fee for the tool, you can try it out for free for seven days. If it’s not for you, just make sure to cancel your account before you’re charged for the service.

If your savings efforts are anything but stellar, check out these tools to help you save with success:

Betterment helps simplify the investment process for those who want to move beyond a traditional savings account. It’s simple investment portfolio management, plus you can access your deposited money at any time. There is a fee, but you can try a demo before you sign up.

WealthLift is an educational resource for those ready to learn about investing in an interesting and unintimidating manner. Before participating in the stock market, you can learn about it and gainbadges and points as you pass lessons.

SaveUp makes saving money and paying down debt fun by rewarding you with chances to win great prizes, like gifts cards or a deposit to your savings account. It’s free and you can play every day.

Bottom Line: These are just a few of a vast world of online and mobile tools for managing and improving your financial health. Check them out, and let us know which is your favorite on Facebook or Twitter!

Have a Karmic Day!

Bethy Hardeman, Social Media Maven

2 Comments

  1. What a great list of resources! Thanks for including us…Genonomics don’t stand a chance against this set of financial arsenals!

    Azra, ReadyForZero at 6:01 pm on February 28, 2012

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