28 November 2008

Budgeting for Dummies Series: Thrive.com

The last piece of my budgeting puzzle was justthrive.com. Thrive tracks your spending, savings, and gives you a score (out of 10) based on how much money you are stashing away and how much you are spending based on your income level.

After you've been in their system for a short time, thrive will have advice for you whenever you log in. Whether it's "you're meeting all of your spending goals, keep at it!" or "You're overspending. Slow down!" thrive is like your honest best friend who keeps track of all of your money.

Thrive was how I found my high yield savings account, and occasionally they suggest I move my money around so that I can accumulate more interest. When I decided to get a new credit card, I used thrive in conjunction with mint.com to shop around and find the best interest rate and rewards program.1

I highly recommend thrive.com, although it's system seems to update more slowly than either of the other websites I use for budgeting. I wouldn't use it alone, but your mileage may vary. It's very handy and very helpful in a refreshingly honest way (I was nearly offended once when the website told me to stop spending money, but then I realized that this was exactly why I needed budgeting software).

1I only applied for a new credit card because my old credit card's APR was alarmingly high, even after I called and asked to have it lowered. I have an impeccable credit rating, though, so this is definitely something I do not in any way endorse, because it's not my place to recommend getting a new credit card to anyone I don't know. Any time you apply for new lines of credit, your score can drop, and it's up to you to determine whether a new line of credit is a good thing. While "freecreditreport.com" gets a lot of airplay, I've found that Credit Karma is a much better way to keep tabs on this information - and it's actually free. For more credit advice, there is plenty of information on the web, but you can start here for some tips.

Thrive has recently added a feature that predicts your credit score based on the information they have, but personally I've found that it highly underestimates my score for whatever reason.

1 comment:

elisa said...

Thanks for the great review! We've been working hard to bring new and exciting features and would love to hear from you about your experiences with Thrive, and any thoughts/suggestions on how we can better serve your financial needs.

And just a note - we're "Thrive" but "justthrive.com", this has caused a bit of confusion in the past and we're putting our noggins together on how to de-muddle the situation.

Shoot me an email or give me a call at our office!