Wesabe is one of a new breed of online personal finance tools that uses community knowledge to aid you in your personal financial decisions. It also follows the first of the two main rules for Web 2.0 startups, it has a catchy but silly name. Even though they’ve secured 4 million in Series A funding I do worry about their success since they aren’t following the second Web 2.0 rule of plastering “beta” all over the place.
To get the most out of Wesabe you need to upload your financial data to them, most banks and credit card companies provide you with a way to download your data, but it’s usually a mess. Wesabe cleans up the data if it can and it learns from you when you clean up your own data for the items it can’t. Now if the idea of uploading your financial data to someone else’s website doesn’t strike you as immediately ridiculous you need to STEP AWAY FROM THE INTERNET NOW. It was Wesabe’s data bill of rights that convinced me to join. Making your data readable is just the first step the next step is…
… to tag your data to help you organize your spending. Wesabe remembers tags for vendors to make this a less painful process. Once you’re done you can check out your spending on graphs and organize by tags, in my experience this is Wesabe’s most powerful feature because once realize how much money you are spending on things like eating out and you have a big ‘ole bar graph staring you straight in the face you are forced to think about what you do with your money. Once you start thinking about it you spend your money instead of your money spending itself.
Tips are Wesabe’s main selling point. Do you know how to save money on eating out? Well I do and I wrote a tip about it and if you have restaurant as a tag then you will see it on your my tips page, so you learn all the good ideas that people have for saving money and can share your own! There’s a lot to Wesabe and the employees are very active in the tips and in the groups section, taking questions and asking for ways to make the site better. I know I’ve saved money using the site and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get a handle on their personal finances.