I’ve been using Yodlee applications to track my finances for several years now. I started with Fidelity but they use either an old or stripped version of Yodlee so I migrated to Bank of America’s My Portfolio. I decided I had enough with Bank of America and closed that account which left me to choose between going back to using Fidelity’s product (which didn’t have my new bank) or just using regular Yodlee. There are other sites that do similar things like Mint. Most of them are powered by Yodlee anyway so I figured since it’s free I might as well just go to the source at http://moneycenter.yodlee.com. They also have a decent mobile site which I don’t think BofA or Fidelity subscribe to.
So what is Yodlee? It’s an account aggregator which means I give them all of my personal info to get the convenience of being able to see all of my financial and reward accounts on one screen. It also allows me to classify transactions into spending categories and run reports.
As I mentioned in the post about money I use my credit cards based on reward perk which doesn’t always correlate to business or personal. for the first 3 years of using yodlee products while traveling for business I’d use the normal categories that got assigned to transactions. The problem was that “restaurant” could be personal or business. The same with gas. I was always in the black, but I never really knew if my transactions balanced within business or personal.
I changed the way I classify things now. I just use “business expense” for reimbursable transactions and “personal expense” for stuff that comes out of my pay check. I can also split transactions so if I withdraw cash for taxis but don’t use all of it I can split that into business and personal.
Then I run the spending category reports to make sure that I’m not spending my savings (since my checking account gets 4.25% I moved my savings from ING Direct into that account so it’s all mingled). I can also see if I’ve been reimbursed for everything I should. I sometimes forget to submit receipts if they wind up in the other side of my wallet.
Time to check the balances to make sure I can justify my shopping spree last week.