Many New Features Are Coming In 2012!

Submitted by vanpelt on Fri, 02/03/2012 - 11:17
Status Updates //

All of us at moneyStrands are excited and proud to have our money management solution featured in several articles focused on helping consumers manage their finances in the New Year! Thanks to all of our users and bloggers who have found the following features so useful:

Bill payment tracking and calendar
12 month budget plans
Automatic spend tracking and reporting
Low balance alerts

Read more…

The New and Improved moneyStrands Has Arrived

Submitted by strandslucia on Fri, 01/28/2011 - 16:53
Status Updates //

We are making changes to our automatic account aggregation capability. As a result, beginning March 19th we will be pausing all automatic account aggregation for an extended period of time. During this time, only manual account aggregation will be supported on moneyStrands. For more information click here .

Today we are excited to unveil the new moneyStrands. As most of you know we’ve been working on this for the past year and we think you’ll find that it was worth the wait.

To highlight all the new changes, we’ve put together a short moneyStrands Tour video. If you prefer to read about our new changes, scroll down the page for all the details.

The first thing you may have noticed from our new homepage is that we’ve incorporated paid subscription plans for the service. I’m sure many of you are wondering why we would begin charging for a service that used to be free so I want to briefly explain.

Read more…

A new year means new beginnings and the perfect opportunity to review your goals, set new goals and get organized so you can accomplish them. While many of us are great at setting goals, some (such as myself) have a hard time staying on track through the year.

If you’re like me, the first week is the easiest, the second week you begin losing steam and by the third week you’re falling off track. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so these first three weeks are the most important! To help keep you on track, here is a list of 4 tips to help keep your financial resolutions:

  1. Limit your goals & create milestones
    Don’t overdo it when it comes to setting goals. Prioritize the top 1-3 goals you want to accomplish and set small milestones to work towards throughout the year. Becoming overly ambitious could lead to failure, so make sure you are realistic about what you can accomplish when setting financial goals.
  2. Follow a plan
    This may sound a bit intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. If you have 1-3 goals set for the year, get a piece of notebook paper and outline the steps you will take to achieve these. For me, writing things down always helps me to remember them and now you have something to keep on your fridge to keep you accountable. Be sure to set monthly or quarterly milestones throughout the year so you can get a pulse on where you are.
  3. Find a money buddy

Read more…

Welcoming Rudder users to moneyStrands

Submitted by strandslucia on Fri, 11/05/2010 - 11:43

Over the past several weeks we’ve been hearing from Rudder users looking for an alternative personal finance management tool. Today we learned the news is official and Rudder has closed its doors and all user data on their servers was permanently deleted on November 3, 2010.

As in the case of similar sites shutting down in the past year (i.e. Wesabe, Quicken Online and Geezeo) we’d like to extend an invitation to Rudder users too. If you are a former Rudder user, we want to make you aware that moneyStrands supports manual file uploads. This means if you have an export of your data from Rudder, you can easily upload that data into moneyStrands (via a CSV, QFX or OFX file) and continue managing your personal finances on our platform. For detailed directions on how to import your data please refer to our former blog post ‘Manual File Upload Option has Arrived’ or view the video tutorial on our YouTube channel.

Read more…

Coming Soon: The New and Improved moneyStrands

Submitted by strandslucia on Tue, 10/05/2010 - 11:13
Status Updates //

You may have noticed that we’ve been a little quiet lately, and there’s good reason for that. For the past several months we’ve been hard at work giving moneyStrands a brand new look and adding several features that have been requested by our users. Today we’re in New York City showcasing our new design at FinovateFall, a demo-based conference for startups and established companies in the fields of banking and financial technology. For all those not in attendance, we wanted to give a quick overview of all the great new features you can look forward to, which include:

Read more…

10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day On a Budget

Submitted by strandslucia on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 15:30

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual Valentine’s Day survey, the average consumer will spend $103.00 this year on traditional Valentine’s Day merchandise such as cards, flowers, jewelry, candy, etc. That’s a lot of money for the average consumer, especially if you’re on a budget.

It doesn’t take expensive gifts or fancy dinners to show your love for someone, so if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate this year. To help you save money this Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together a list of 10 low-cost
ways to show your loved one how much you care:

Read more…

The cost of owning a dog

Submitted by strandslucia on Fri, 01/15/2010 - 18:32
Money Management //

I’m a huge dog lover. I had one growing up and have wanted my own dog since moving out of my parent’s house many years ago, but because of my lifestyle, living situation and financial situation I could never get one. Over the past year, the stars began to align and just a few months ago my wish came true.

On November 1st we welcomed a nine week old Boston Terrier, which we named Lola, into our family (that’s her in the photo). On that Sunday afternoon, our plan was to meet her, to see if we liked her and if there was a good connection (as they say in all the dog books). We had no intention of taking her home immediately, this was just a “meet and greet”.

As you could have guessed, that plan didn’t work out. Once we saw those little puppy dog eyes, we fell in love. We ended up signing the papers and bringing her home. With no intention of taking her that day, we were not prepared to welcome a dog in the house, so we headed straight to the pet store to begin our spending adventure.

If you’ve never owned a dog before, the cost of owning one may be a bit of an eye opener for you. It certainly was for me as I checked my moneyStrands account over the past few months and saw my spending analysis. To give you an idea of what it costs to own a pet, I want to share with you a breakdown of all of my expenditures as well as a few savings lessons I learned along the way. Hopefully if you’re thinking about getting a pet, this will help you prepare for welcoming him/her into your family.

Here is a snap shot of my spending for the last few months in the pet category. The light blue represents veterinary expenses while the dark blue represents pet supplies.

Read more…

tags pets // moneyStrands // dog // budget

4 steps to starting the New Year off right

Submitted by strandslucia on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:33
Tips and Tricks //

Its a New Year (and a new decade!) so start it off right with these 4 steps to managing your finances:

STEP #1 Review your finances

Take a look at last year’s finances to get an idea of how much you made and how much you spent so you can re-evaluate your goals for the upcoming year. If you’re a registered moneyStrands user, you can easily do this by logging in and looking at your analysis tab. There are a number of charts that will help you visualize your income and expenses by month and/or year.

The balance of flows widget will show you your total income and expenses for the year.

This widget will also show you which months you had a surplus of cash, and which months you faced a deficit.

Look at the Income and Expense by category chart to see where you spent the most cash. This will also help you to set your budgets for next year.

If you’re not a moneyStrands user yet, be sure to sign up and link all your checking, savings, credit card and mortgage accounts so you can get a complete picture of your finances. Sign up is FREE! Click here to get started.

STEP #2 Set your budget goals

Read more…

This week we released a new update to our iPhone app with more convenient features to help you manage your money on the go. Have you downloaded the new version yet? Here’s a run down of what’s new in this version:

Edit budget amounts: Need to make a change to your budget goals? Now you can do so right from the app. Just enter the app and visit the budget view. To the left of your budget categories you will see a new icon. Click on it to view the amount you have allocated. Then click the amount and key in the new limit. Easy as 1-2-3.

Push Alerts: Now you can receive alerts when you're on the go with our new push notifications. Customize your alert notifications from within the web application for things like large purchases, exceeding budget goals, low credit or low account balances. Once set, the iPhone app will automatically notify you with a pop up message when any of these things occur.

Read more…

Black Friday: 10 tips to help you survive

Submitted by strandslucia on Tue, 11/24/2009 - 18:00
Money Management //

A couple weeks ago we posted a roundup of some good articles to help prepare you for the holiday shopping season. With a little help from our shop-a-holic friends and some wisdom from our own personal experiences, we’ve put together more awesome tips to help you prepare for one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Black Friday. Whether you are shopping online or braving the early morning lines, these tips will help you plan and survive the day:

1. Prepare your shopping list
If you’re looking to get the best deals on Black Friday, you don’t want to waste time browsing for gift ideas, so make sure you have your list ready. Decide for whom you need to buy for and what you may want to buy for them. If you need ideas, scroll through some of the ads or do a little online research.

2. Figure out your budget
Now that you know who and what you want to buy, figure out what your spending budget is. Be sure to leave a little extra cushion room when setting your allocated amount. While we don’t want to encourage going over budget, sometimes unexpected purchases or expenses can arise and you should always be prepared. Advance planning will help ensure you stick to your allotted budget goals. To make things even easier, use moneyStrands to set up your budget. The system will automatically track your budget as you spend!

Read more…