Resources

When the world of money feels as if it's moving at 1,000 miles and hour, and new, sometimes contradictory information never seems to stop coming, the ability to discern what's noise, what matters, and what to do about it is invaluable. Here are some websites to help you as you consider money decisions.

Your Budget

How can I cut my spending so that I can save more?
 mint.com Mint brings all your financial accounts together online, automatically categorizes your transactions, lets you set budgets and helps you achieve your savings goals.

   
 
daveramsey.com Start with your income on top, then walk through your expenses. Recommended percentages are included to assist you in your budget creation.

   

Your Wallet

Is it time to dump my rewards card for a better one?
 nerdwallet.com NerdWallet is a credit card comparison site; you simply put in info about your overall spending, along with estimates of spending in certain categories (gas, grocery/drugstore, dining) to see what reward cards might be right for you.
     
 
creditcardtuneup.com
CreditCardTune-Up analyzes your charging and payment patterns, based on the info you supply, and offers you a list of the cards that may have the best rewards for you.
     
How can I find a better-paying savings account?
 billshrink.com BillShrink provides a free, web-based service that provides users with personalized recommendations for everyday services such as cell phone plans and credit cards.
     
   bankrate.com Bankrate is a site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance.

Your Credit

How good is my credit?
annualcreditreport.com AnnualCreditReport allows you to request a free credit file disclosure, commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

   
   quizzle.com Quizzle is a free website that provides you with important information about your home, money and credit so you can make smart financial decisions.
     
 
creditkarma.com
Credit Karma, in addition to free credit scores, has a wealth of tools and content to help consumers better understand how credit scores and credit reports work.

Your Home

Should I refinance?

How far will my mortgage balance drop after 7 years?

How soon can my refinance pay for itself?

How much do I need to make each month to qualify for a mortgage of a certain size?
hsh.com If you’re shopping for a mortgage, a financial calculator designed to answer specific mortgage questions can go a long way toward making your course of action clear in just a few clicks.

With HSH.com’s mortgage calculators, complex financing decisions become simpler. This free resource puts you in control: you can run the numbers to confirm a mortgage lender’s figures or become comfortable with different home loan scenarios before getting in touch with a lender.

Your Portfolio

Do I need to save more for retirement? basic.esplanner.com ESPlannerBASIC generates life-cycle spending, saving, and life insurance suggestions, which can be used as educational input as you develop your complete financial plan.
     
   choosetosave.org/ballpark The Ballpark E$timate is an easy-to-use, two-page worksheet that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement.
     
Do I have the right mix of investments?
 morningstar.com Instant X-Ray analyzes your holdings. To use Instant X-Ray, enter ticker symbols and specify an allocation for each holding. 
     
How do "life events" like getting married, having a baby, buying a home, etc. affect my money?
mymoney.gov MyMoney is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching the basics about financial education.

Your Education

Where can I find information to compare colleges and universities?
 collegenavigator.gov College Navigator is a free consumer information tool designed to help students, parents, high school counselors, and others get information about over 7000 post-secondary institutions in the United States.

   
 
collegeboard.org
Find colleges, learn about financial aid and use expert college planning tools.

Your Giving

Should I give to this charity?  charitynavigator.org Charity Navigator works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,500 of America's largest charities.
   
  give.org
The Better Business Bureau's charity evaluator to help you make informed pre-donation decisions.

   
   charitywatch.org
The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) is a  nationally prominent charity watchdog service whose purpose is to help donors make informed giving decisions.

Your Dependents

How much life insurance do I need?
 lifehappens.org The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers make smart insurance decisions to safeguard their families’ financial futures.
 
   
Should I keep or replace my cash value life insurance policy? (i.e., whole life, universal life or variable life) evaluatelifeinsurance.org
Using the Linton Yield Method, this organization calculates returns derived by comparing the cash value policy to the alternative of buying lower premium term insurance and investing the premium savings in a hypothetical alternative investment, such as a bank account or a mutual fund.