Moneystrands – tracking your money automatically

Money strands – now you pay

 

I wrote about money strands back in August 10 – see related posts below.

 

I must admit I haven’t logged into it for a few months. I had a problem getting one of my credit cards onto moneystrands, so I ended up not using it.

 

I did get a few questions from my IT minded mates about security.

IT concerns

  1. If you give them your bank login details – how to you know they won’t steal your money
  2. Might make your internet banking agreement invalid, meaning if you do have any problems you won’t get insurance/money refunded
  3. Banks won’t like it if someone else logs in for you.

 

However, in my opinion (which is not to be relied upon!), I think money strands answers these reasonably well. Of course there are still risks.

Risks

When you put your money in one of Australia’s big four banks – there is a risk that the bank will collapse and you won’t be able to get your money.  That risk is a very very small risk in my mind.

So the risk that by giving your bank login details to money strands, Moneystrands could be hacked and your money stolen is slightly more than the above risk – I still see it as small (of course you will do your own homework on this).

 

Money strands paid service

Similar to the Grooveshark model –there is still a free service, but in Moneystrands case, it doesn’t do much. But the paid service (which was originally free to get you in) is inexpensive. ($2.99/month or $30/year for the main version and $5.99 or $60/year for the most expensive when I last looked).

 

The free version

The free version that they now offer allows you to manually upload bank transactions (i.e. download to CSV file and then upload) and then (I believe) the automatic characterization of your transactions will happen.

 

This would make it cumbersome to monitor your finances (although might work if you manually update it every month or three when you look).

 

I think the free version is their way of saying we will give you the bare basics but nothing more so that you upgrade to the cheap paid service.

 

New features

There are a few new features and improved functionality of the program.

 

Why I like moneystrands

I still love the automatic feature where the Moneystrands system guesses what your transactions are.

 

It doesn’t get all of them right, and it doesn’t automatically guess based on previous transactions what type of expense it is (which  is the next step), but you can make rules so that transactions are categorised correctly.

 

In my case, in Sydney there are a few Hotels that are now restaurants and bars. So the moneystrands system assumes accommodation rather than restaurant when it finds these transactions.

 

It called interest I paid as a ‘finance charge’ (which I suppose is ½ correct).

It found it hard to distinguish between Coles (supermarket) and Coles Express (Petrol – or in the USA terminology on the site “Gas”).

 

Should you use it?

Mmmm I think there is better stuff out there. Xero is a service that I like.

Posted in Saving Money

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