The following online budget tools are intended for organizing and balancing your income and expenses in order to help you be more in control of your financial life. Though budgeting is one of the main goals of these applications, they can also be used for debt management because they provide tools that alert you about upcoming bills, current interest rates of credit cards and possible solutions for living within your means. With these tools, you will be able to dig yourself out of debt simply by following the instructions given to you. Because of these websites, you can stop overwhelming yourself by trying to keep all of your financial information organized in your head or by fiddling around with inefficient debt management tools like Microsoft Excel. All of these apps are good, but some are better than others. This article will identify the pros and cons of each debt management tool and conclude which is the best based on this information.
Contender #1: Mint.com
Mint.com has very attractive features that lay out financial information on color-coded pie charts and easy-to-read bar charts. These charts arrange income at the top with several different financial categories beneath and a colored line indicating how close the saved money comes to the “finish line” — the monthly requirement.
Mint actually already has specialized categories for credit card debt, student loans, mortgages and car payments. These four categories cover the debt areas most Americans struggle with, however, additional debts such as hospital bills, personal debts and others can be given its own category and organized like the rest. One convenient feature of Mint is that it lays out all of your accounts on one page in just a few lines. This can be a quick and convenient way to check your expenses before making any big financial decision.
Contender #2: Moneytrackin.com
Moneytrackin’ is a lot less attractive and organized than Mint. The app contains confusing line graphs that are difficult to read and don’t seem to be very efficient in displaying financial information appropriately. Overall, the site isn’t very developed or advanced and doesn’t seem to have all of the cool and convenient features it needs in order to impress the customer and, more importantly, help with debt management.
The Moneytrackin’ website doesn’t seem to offer as much opportunity for debt help as Mint. The tool seems to simplify debt too much and doesn’t offer easy routes to get to the financial information you need in an easy manner. I wouldn’t recommend this site to someone looking for budget or debt tools. All in all, it’s just too outdated.
Contender #3: Justthrive.com
Just by looking at the home page of Just Thrive’s website, you can tell that this is a quality application. First of all it has positive reviews from several sources, including CNN, along with a special section devoted especially to debt management. Not only does Just Thrive table your financial information out for you, it also provides you with helpful financial advice based on this information.
For example, the website will calculate your interest rates and debts and decide which one would be wisest to pay off first and how much. Just Thrive tells you exactly how much you’ll be saving in interest fees by paying a little extra on your debts. Though I wouldn’t say this tool is as attractive and detailed as Mint’s, I think it makes up for it with helpful debt management advice.
Contender #4: Buxfer.com
Buxfer seems to have some pretty impressive media reviews as well, including one from the Wall Street Journal. The text and tables are all clear in content and style, however they aren’t as intricate and creative as Mint or Just thrive. For example, instead of using innovative techniques such as pie charts, bar graphs and calculators, Buxfer uses a typical calendar with small print reminders of upcoming financial obligations.
As far as debt tools, Buxfer only offers a debt management tool for personal debts among friends. I suppose one could use this feature for other debts, but it doesn’t seem to be very helpful or efficient. Next.
Contender #5: Budgetpulse.com
BudgetPulse seemed to have better than average (but not great) features that lays out a convenient list of all your accounts on the home page. The features were nice, but they lacked the hands-on convenience included in the more impressive websites. This budgeting tool seems like it offers a lot of opportunities for adding debts as accounts and managing them that way. Budget Pulse included a section for credit card debt and mortgage debt but nothing else. If you struggle with multiple debts, I wouldn’t recommend this website.
Contender #6: Budgettracker.com
Budget Tracker didn’t seem to offer any more valuable information than an advanced banking website would. The website essentially just lays out your income with your expenses to notify you what you’re spending and how much you have left. I could have done that myself. Budget tracker doesn’t even seem to be a helpful tool for managing and financial situation, let alone multiple debts. The tables which Budget Tracker used to display the information were all very juvenile, simplistic, uninformative bar and line graphs that were confusing to read and couldn’t possibly make your financing more organized. Not recommended.
Based on these reviews, I would say that Justthrive.com is the most helpful website for debt management overall. The website specifically offers organizational tools just for debt management that are of very high quality and easy readability. Not only does Justthrive.com help you chip away at your debt by keeping it all organized and tabled for you, it also provides very helpful information about how to get out of debt quicker and be smarter about payments in order to save money. I would highly recommend this website above all the other contenders.