by CI Staff
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MoneyStrands is a free online personal financial service that automatically gathers data from your various financial accounts (savings, checking, loans and credit cards) to provide an up-to-date and unified view of your finances. MoneyStrands also allows users to anonymously compare themselves with other users in similar financial situations.
The first step is to add your financial account data. Simply choose from hundreds of financial institutions, add your log in information and click "Update." After you have added all of your account information, you can view a list of recent transactions and an expenditure analysis. A colorful pie chart shows you where you are spending your money (charity, food and dining, home, healthcare, shopping, vacation, etc.). You can view this breakdown by account or for all of your cash accounts and credit cards combined.
The "Community" area of the site allows you to compare your financial situation with other users. First you will need to answer some simple questions about your age, education level, number of children and more. You can see how much you earn and spend compared to others as well as the categories you spend more and less on compared to others.
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The biggest issue with the site is that it only downloads about six weeks worth of data. You can manually enter old data or build your history in real time. The analysis and comparison tools are less useful when you have less data to analyze. Overall, the site is easy to use and provides an easy way to track spending habits.