A few weeks ago I put together a list of time saving software, and referenced a financial tracking and planning website called Wesabe (www.wesabe.com). I lamented the fact that my current bank, which has the worst website of any bank in Canada, did not work properly with Wesabe’s interface, thus denying me the benefits of this most excellent online software.
I kept trying however, and managed to get about three of six accounts uploaded including the biggies — chequing, saving and credit card. No luck loading my mortgage, investment or RRSP accounts.
The Wesabe software wouldn’t work with my bank’s website intuitively, like it seems most other banks do, but that is not always an obstacle because Wesabe will record the actions you take accessing your account and replicate those actions to keep your accounts up to date.
So far it’s worked with my chequing account, but for some reason the credit card upload information works one day and then stops working the next. I blame my bank rather than Wesabe for this issue, but I’m hoping to resolve it soon.
I can tell you that when it’s working Wesabe is amazing. It keeps a record of every transaction on my bank account and credit card, then lets you assign a tag to each transaction to keep them organized for budgeting purposes. For example, for gas and car repairs I created a “Car” tag. The system is smart, and once you’ve tagged a few items it knows to automatically file all charges originating at our Husky station to the “Car” tag.
Once your account is updated, all you have to do is click on your tags to see how much you’ve spent so far this month and what your average has been for the past four months. All transactions falling under that tag are listed below so you can double check, and see just how you spent that much money.
On your spending page you can set spending limits for every tag item (e.g. $200 a month for restaurants), as well as a total spending limit for the month when you get a better idea of your budget.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg for Wesabe. There is a Goals page, where you can write down your financial goals for the future and read tips from other Wesabe users that have the same or similar goals.
Security seems pretty good at first glance, and I’m encouraged that my bank — as bad as their website might be — has additional security in place if a hacker attempted to access my account from an unrecognized computer.