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Yodlee MoneyCenter Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

Yodlee MoneyCenter Dashboard shows an overview of your personal finance accounts and budget.

Yodlee MoneyCenter Dashboard

Screenshot by Shelley Elmblad

The Bottom Line

Updated: 09/20/2010

Yodlee MoneyCenter is free online personal finance software that automatically updates financial account transactions and balances. View all of your accounts on one page or individually, check your net worth and keep an eye on your budget. Yodlee MoneyCenter is the only free online personal finance software I know of that has no ads, and it's suitable for beginner to more advanced users.

Score: 4.07 on a 1-5 scale
Percent: 81%

Yodlee provides account aggregation services used in many desktop and online personal finance software titles. Better budget tools would earn Yodlee a solid 4.5.

Pros

  • Easy to set up, easy to use.
  • You can share your Yodlee MoneyCenter with another trusted individual.
  • Accounts and transactions update quickly.
  • Impressive investment portfolio reporting.
  • Automatically tracks credit card points.

Cons

  • No features for determining capital gains or other taxable income.
  • Budget reports look at present and past activity, no future forecasting.

Description

  • Dynamic net worth reporting.
  • Get alerts for bills and account activities.
  • Integrated online billpay.
  • Manual accounts (cash accounts) can be set up if desired.
  • Manual entry of transactions into any account is supported. Checks can be entered as they are written.
  • Accounts can be reconciled.

Guide Review - Yodlee MoneyCenter Review

Setting Up and Getting Around Yodlee MoneyCenter
Account set up in Yodlee is called linking accounts, and I linked personal finance accounts in MoneyCenter for a checking account, credit cards and investments. Linking accounts took an average amount of time compared to other online personal finance software.

Navigating Yodlee MoneyCenter is pretty straight forward, with four top navigation tabs and sub-menus, and links to common tasks on the Accounts Overview.

Budgeting with Yodlee MoneyCenter
MoneyCenter budgeting tools are pretty basic. Only yearly budget amounts can be set up, but budget reports are viewed by week, month and a other time periods. There are no custom income and expense categories, but any of the substantial number of personal and business categories offered can be renamed.

Transactions automatically categorize when downloaded, and like all financial software with this feature, you will need to do a little work to get Yodlee to assign categories correctly. The categorization rules feature handles this well. There is no report or tool for viewing projected budget balances, a feature that would let you know if your budget works into the future.

Your Net Worth
Net worth tracking in MoneyCenter is accurate when you enter your home and other significant assets to be included in the net worth calculation along with all the accounts and loans you set up in Yodlee.

Multiple Currency Support
Set up your preferred currency to view your personal finance data in a meaningful way for transaction totals, net worth, portfolio value and more. Budget goals are adjustable in and financial reports reflect your preferred currency.

Share Information, Print Reports, Online Bill Pay
You can give another personal access to your MoneyCenter to make it easier to work with a financial advisor or significant other.

Printable views let you print out reports that fit on paper and do not look like a web page that's been printed out.

MoneyCenter includes easy set up for online bill pay, and downloads updated balances for points programs such as those offered with credit cards.

Don't Trust Automated Account Updates?
Yodlee MoneyCenter is very flexible in that it allows for easily creating manual transactions so you can record changes to accounts that aren't reflected in downloaded updates. For example, you may want to record checks written from an account before they get cashed for a more accurate picture of your personal finances.

If you don't want to use automatic transaction downloads for one or more accounts, you can set up manual accounts and update them yourself. This feature keeps your net worth report accurate.

Yodlee MoneyCenter is Worth a Try
Based on experience testing MoneyCenter in the past, I did not expect it to be the efficient personal finance tool that is. Yodlee MoneyCenter has improved quite a bit over the last year or so, and it should work well unless you need more detailed budgeting tools.

Yodlee MoneyCenter was tested by setting up and using a free account, using the Firefox 3.x browser on a laptop running Windows 7 64 bit operating system.

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