by CI Staff
There are a bevy of high-quality personal finance websites available on the Internet, and Buxfer is one of the best. The site offers the ability to import all your credit card and bank accounts and will keep track of changes to each account. Furthermore, the projections area is a section that is very useful and unique to this site.
Buxfer is very easy to use and simple to set up. After pulling up the homepage, you can create an account by clicking on the “Sign up for FREE” icon and entering your e-mail address and a password. After setting up and logging into your account, you can import your bank and credit card transactions directly into the program. Providing Buxfer with your login information will allow the site to synchronize with your online bank and credit card accounts so that the transactions can be downloaded. From here onward, any credits and debits to your accounts will be automatically populated into Buxfer. Furthermore, you can set up reminders for upcoming bills and income paychecks.
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In addition to tracking your spending and income, Buxfer will attempt to tag each of your transactions by categories such as rent and shopping. You can manually tag those that the program is unable to tag, or tags inaccurately, by simply editing the tag on the main page. Buxfer then uses these tags to organize expenses into a pie chart depicting your various spending areas.
Once you are finished setting up the account, the program will provide you with budgets, reports and projections. Links to these sections are displayed at the top of the page.
The budgets section allows you to add weekly, monthly or yearly budgets and monitor your spending according to categories. The ability to focus on short-term budgets in order to achieve long-term goals is a definite advantage of the program.
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Next, the reports section provides details regarding your income and expenses. The summary page compares your income with expenses and presents a line graph of your monthly balance over the past year. The income page breaks your income down into categories and shows a graph of your monthly income over the past year. Expenses are presented in a similar fashion. The income and expenses section can be further broken down by account. A balance report is also provided, depicting your account balances over the past year, individually or as an aggregate of all accounts. Finally, the trend report shows your monthly income compared to your monthly expenses for each account and as an aggregate of all accounts, allowing you to see past trends.
The last area is projections. This is a feature that we have not seen from other personal financial management websites. Buxfer will take your projected monthly income and subtract bills and budgeted expenses. Each month, your projected balance will be presented, providing an incentive to stick to your budget. The downside is that the projections area is only available to Pro subscribers, a plan that costs $3.79 per month.
Overall, Buxfer is one of the more powerful personal financial websites available online. The ability to synchronize with your bank accounts and credit cards makes tracking your finances especially painless. A Basic membership will allow you to create unlimited transactions with automatic tagging and mobile access. The Plus subscription, which is $2.79 per month, allows for unlimited accounts, budgets and bill reminders. The Pro version gives you access to balance projections. Each plan is affordable, so the choice of the best version is up to you.
System Requirements: Internet connection, Web browser
Price: Free for Basic, $2.79/month for Plus, $3.79/month for Pro