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InternetWorks: Show Me the Money

June 17, 2010
By Henry Kenyon

"Money. It takes a lot of work to earn, save and manage. Fortunately, in this digital age, tools that simplify these tasks are available at the click of a button. Whether people need to find calculators, make plans, educate children or just learn more about what others are doing, the Web offers it all. And sometimes, the help can even be fun.

Bundle
Bundle is all about money. Not one person's money, not the stock markets' money, but all the money spent by people across the United States. The site has a feature called "Everybody's Money" where visitors can see who buys what, where. The application enables users to narrow down results through different criteria. Another tool breaks down where people in different locations dine out and shop. Site visitors can take a quiz to find out their spending type. People also can discuss various life and money matters on the site itself or through Bundle's presence on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

The Motley Fool
According to its own description, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial company striving to build the world's best investment community. The main site is only part of a broader outreach effort that includes books, newsletters and more. The people who run the main Web site also have other sites focused on specific subjects such as stock ratings and asset management. The Motley Fool's main site has a range of financial information such as articles, opinions, the current status of the U.S. stock market, a stock of the day and a chart comparing The Motley Fool's returns to the Standard and Poor's 500 index. Additional site resources help visitors learn how to invest or plan for retirement. More personalized advice is available from various experts on different categories for certain fees. People who want to reach out to others, but would rather do it for free, can take advantage of the community discussion boards.

ESPlannerBASIC
This free, easy-to-use Web site helps people develop personalized financial plans based on their situations. Users enter their information about subjects such as family, income, assets and housing and the planner generates life-cycle spending, saving and life insurance suggestions. People can follow the recommendations to help create a more complete plan. For those who want more comprehensive planning tools, the site also sells advanced versions of its software.

KidsBank
Looking for a way to teach children financial responsibility? KidsBank uses animated characters to instruct youngsters about different aspects of money such as interest, saving, checks, electronic funds transfers and even where money comes from and how it is made. The site features two calculators: one helps children figure out how much they need to save to buy a car; the other helps them determine how much money they will have to spend during holiday season. A "Game Room" section features quizzes about different money-related topics. Adults can visit the Parents' Page to find out more about the site and what their children will learn.

NerdWallet
Money is about more than just banks, saving and spending; it also is about credit and rewards. NerdWallet helps site visitors find the best credit cards for their needs and compares various cards so consumers can make informed decisions. People can search all cards, or narrow down selections based on the rewards that matter most to them. Anyone more interested in low annual percentage rates (APRs) or balance transfers can find credit cards in those categories, and student and "pre-approved" choices also are covered. The site's blog features not only discussion specifically about credit cards, but other money decisions as well, such as whether to purchase car rental insurance and how credit cards are involved in that choice.

Coupons.com
Sometimes, it just comes down to the savings. Coupons.com offers no tools to manage money; it simply allows people to find savings on items they want to purchase. Visitors can search for savings by category or see all the discounts available. Users also can enter their ZIP codes to find coupons specific to their locations. The site features a "Daily Deal" section where goods and services are offered at discount rates. A free membership allows people to take advantage of additional savings, rewards and promotions. For easier saving, the site enables users to add their grocery story loyalty rewards card to their coupons.com account, and the online savings can be sent right to the card eliminating even the need to print a coupon.

These sites are not affiliated with AFCEA or SIGNAL Magazine, and we are not responsible for the content or quality of the products offered. When visiting new Web sites, please use proper Internet security procedures.

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