1. On Mint.com, you can upload your account information and get immediate insight into where your money is going. You can then use that information to start saving more money, like Flannigan did. That ease of use makes it one of the top-rated tools.
2. Doughhound.com, created by Danny and Jillian Tobias, lets users create a budget and track spending without sharing passwords and other personal information.
3. Geezeo offers its money-management tools through banks and credit unions. While it stopped working with individual customers, anyone with a bank or credit union who uses the program can take advantage of the platform to set goals and track spending habits.
4. Yodlee also works with financial institutions to reach customers interested in online money management, but individual consumers can sign up for the service. Users say it's easy to upload their spending data and analyze where their money is going.
5. Pennyminder is ideal for families with multiple spenders because it allows users to see other family members' spending and jointly manage a household budget. The company now offers its platform to credit unions (not individuals).
6. You Need a Budget is aimed at people living close to their budget and trying to pay off debt. The tool encourages you to decide where every dollar earned is going on a monthly basis, then helps you make adjustments if you spend too much.
7. Buxfer's simple design is appealing, as is the fact that users can sign in using a Google or Facebook account. It also has an easy tool for people who share expenses, such as roommates.
8. Pocketsmith focuses on calendar-based planning, which means it allows you to see how your monthly and annual expenses compare with what you bring in. It also encourages rigorous goal-setting.
9. Moneydance sells its desktop software for about $50, but provides an extensive free trial. Users say it's easy to use with responsive customer service help.
10. Your own bank or credit union. About 1 in 4 financial institutions currently offer online personal finance management tools. While the Aite survey found that they don't rate as well with users as independent sites do, banks are improving their offerings all the time, so customers should check up on what their bank currently offers. Aite's survey found that 60 percent of financial institutions that don't currently offer personal finance tools are considered doing so. Banks, says Shevlin, are looking for ways to say, "We can help you," in order to forge stronger relationships with customers.
Meanwhile, new websites and tools are constantly popping up, including Adaptu, Personal Capital, and a "Can I afford it?" app. Informational-based websites such as LearnVest.com also offer free tools, bootcamps, and advice, as well as access to financial planners (for a fee). And websites such as BudgetsAreSexy.com give away free budgeting templates.
Flannigan, who also runs the website The Guide to Get Rich, says he'll continue monitoring his money habits online because he can see such a clear benefit. He says, "I've spent less money. It opens up your eyes to how much you're spending in each category and makes it easy to account for everything."