Sharing financial information with online budgeting services

In this day and age it's easier than ever to manage your money with online budget solutions and mobile apps. Usually, the most favourable budgeting tools are the ones that keep others (third parties) out of your business as much as possible. That means packages that share your sensitive data at a low level and are not trying to sell you on other financial products.

The right budgeting tool can make creating your budget and managing your money more effective and maybe even (more) enjoyable. When it comes to managing their finances, people's needs and preferences differ in the same way as they lead different lifes. So it comes as no suprise that plenty of budgeting solutions have evolved to take care of those needs. These budgeting tools can be separated into three main categories: traditional budgeting, software budgeting, online budgeting. Last of which usually involves sharing your financial data with online services. If this budgeting category appeals to you, you might ask yourself:

"Do I want or do I need to provide my financial data or Bank and Credit Card Login Information to online services?"

In an effort to help you to stay on top of your finances, there is software for computer and mobile devices that assist you with tracking and categorising every aspect of your personal finance, i.e. checking, savings, credit cards, loans and investments. Typically, the software will pull in all relevant transactions for you through bank accounts, credit card numbers, and other financial information that you provide and categorize them so that you can see all of that info in one place. It goes without saying that when turning over your account information, you want to be sure that the financial service software in question takes adequate security measures to keep that information safe. Reputable providers of such budeting tools have strong enough security measures in place, but you’ll still have to decide for yourself as to whether they are worth your trust.

I personally don’t trust online services with my login credentials and financial data. My hesitation does not concern doubts regarding their security, though; I feel confident that security is not an issue. The issue is that online services (not only budget services, for that matter) usually offer a single entry point to all my personal data, which simply makes me feel uncomfortable. Whenever I have the freedom of choice, I would always prefer offline solutions over online solutions when sensitive data, such as financial data, is involved. Since there are enough budgeting tool solutions that don't require sharing that kind of personal data online and satisfy me needs, I have no reason to share my info with yet another online service. That said, I found that when I manually enter my expenses and my income, I'm more involved in the whole process and it's easier for me to reflect on individual expenses. This keeps me mindful of all that information, giving me a better chance to do things differently the following month if need be. That's one of the reasons I came up with my own budgeting Excel-spreadsheet, allowing me to manage my personal finances up close and personal.

Other things to consider when choosing the right budgeting system