When it comes to saving money and reaching financial goals, everyone needs a system. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of online resources that can help you meet savings goals and make purchasing decisions that will ensure you’re making the most of your money. Here at Ally Bank, for instance, we offer our Wallet Wise program that provides online financial education and also helps you find personal finance courses in your area.
We looked at Wise Bread’s 190 Resources For Saving Money and at recommendations from other popular sites to bring you useful tools for saving money and reaching financial goals. Here are a few, broken down by category.
Smarty Pig is a free online piggy bank that helps you save up for specific financial goals, like a wedding, home renovation project or big vacation. You simply set up transfers from your current checking or savings account to your Smarty Pig account. The service even lets friends and family members contribute to your savings initiative via Twitter or Facebook. Best of all, the funds in your Smarty Pig account earn a competitive interest rate and all deposits are insured by the FDIC. WiseBread also named it one of the best resources for saving money.
Think budgeting is only for those who have trouble making ends meet? Think again. In fact, some might say, the more money you have, the more you’ll want to account for every dime. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to monitoring your finances, check out PearBudget. You can create categories for a wide variety of initiatives, including retirement saving, investments, your child’s college fund and property taxes. Like Smarty Pig, PearBudget is one of WiseBread’s recommended resources for managing your money.
If you shop online to get the best price on big-ticket items, camelcamelcamel is a must-use resource. Don’t let the funky name scare you away — camelcamelcamel allows you to see pricing patterns on specific items on Amazon.com so you can figure out when to get the best deal. You can even sync it to your Amazon Wishlist and sign up for email alerts that notify you when it’s a good time to buy. TLC named it one of their favorite sites for saving money.
Don’t have the time to monitor the web in search of the best travel deals? Yapta has you covered. Another one of Wise Bread’s favorite resources for saving money, Yapta (which stands for Your Amazing Personal Travel Assistant) lets you know when flight, hotel or rental car prices drop. Best of all, if the price of a flight drops after you buy the ticket, Yapta will help you get a refund for the difference.
Hotels can be great, but there’s no place like home — even if it belongs to someone else. Home Exchange helps you save money on travel costs by swapping homes with someone else in another state or country. The site claims to have the most home swap listings online with over 45,000 homes in 154 countries. Home Exchange charges a $9.95 monthly fee, but when you consider all the travel costs you could save by swapping homes with someone in Hawaii or London, the low price may be more than worth it. It’s also another one of Wise Breads recommended resources for saving money.
Have a cell phone, camera or tablet that’s collecting dust now that you’ve upgraded to the latest model? Head over to Gazelle to sell them. Wise Bread notes that the site offers fair prices, but you don’t have to take their word for it — just plug in information about your device to see how much it’s worth.
Have a hobby creating pottery or children’s clothing? Maybe you’re just looking for a one-of-a-kind set of placemats. Either way, check out Etsy, another resource favored by Wise Bread. While the site notes that you can make some extra cash by selling your homemade products, Money Crashers notes that it’s a great place to find deals on unique items.
What online resources do you use to save money? What are your top three priorities when it comes to saving money?