In my continued quest to find free personal finance software, I checked out Yodlee. It’s actually the software behind Mint and the online software packages at several banks. Like Mint, it’s completely secure. In fact, you travel through several identity confirmation screens before you enter your password. The only odd thing about it was how hard it was to find the Yodlee MoneyCenter registration page. Rather than going to their primary site, I had to Google it.

How Yodlee Works

After checking out Mint yesterday, I was surprised by how much more robust Yodlee is. It isn’t as pretty to look at it, but it has much greater functionality. My guess is that they keep it sparse so their corporate customers can customize it with their own logos. As with Mint, it was very easy to import data for my accounts. In addition to banks and credit cards, it can read pull from loans, investment accounts, even Gmail and PayPal.

Yodlee Account Setup Screen

It offers several different views of your spending habits, including spending compared to income and expenses categories. I haven’t customized it yet, so my biggest expense is checks. That isn’t terribly helpful at first, but you can edit the categories to indicate which one each check belongs to. It not only shows the pie chart, but also dollars and percents of total spending for each category.

Yodlee Expense Analysis

I could also view specific transactions. It labels transactions when it downloads them, but I could re-label them if it had chosen the wrong title. In addition to built-in categories, you can create and rename the categories.

Yodlee Transaction Register

The Positives of Yodlee
As with Mint, Yodlee was simple and seamless to set up. It pulled in the data effortlessly. Of course, I was using a bank account and credit card from their primary list, which probably helps.

It offered a very detailed overview page where I could set up my own alerts in a variety of categories and view my Net Worth. It didn’t offer me any advice about saving money, but those aren’t tools I need at the moment.

It does offer the most important element I need: the ability to manually enter transactions. It took a bit of looking around to find the small “manual transactions” button, but at least it’s doable. I could imagine the entry screen becoming tedious if you have a lot of transactions to enter, though.

Yodlee Manual Transactions

The Negatives of Yodlee
It had fewer negatives than Mint, at least for my needs, but it wasn’t perfect.

  • Difficult to add a cash account. In the current version, it tells you can add manual accounts, but then won’t let you. Finally, I visited their forum where I learned that you can track cash by going to “Portfolio Manager” and selecting “Add manual accounts for offline assets.” They’re working on a simpler method for the next update.
  • No help search box. The help screens are only FAQs, there isn’t a way to search for the answer I need quickly. I had to join the forums to find the info I needed.
  • Tiny font. I didn’t see a way to easily adjust the font size. I’m not old, but staring at this tiny front would make my eyes swim after a while.

Final Thoughts
I was impressed with Yodlee. I like that it can track all of my accounts seamlessly and provide me with very detailed information about my overall financial picture. It’s not as intuitive as Mint, but I’m okay with that. As with Mint, there were a couple things missing that I’d really like to have, but maybe I could figure them out with a little more time. I think this one is a definite possibility for us.

Comments

32 Responses to “Free Money Management Software: Yodlee Review”

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  4. Sajith on March 10th, 2009 1:02 am

    I would say that, it does provides an option to enter cash transactions in the form of manual transaction.

    Manual transactions can be entered in whichever account you would wish to.

  5. Sam on November 7th, 2009 11:08 pm

    All the negatives of mint and yodlee has been overcome by Perfios (http://www.perfios.com) it is fully automated and i have been highly impressed by it since the time i started using it a month ago…..
    -Sam

  6. Rebecca DeShaw on August 21st, 2010 8:27 am

    I was using Mint. Unfortunately for over two weeks it failed to update transactions from my Boeing Employee Credit Union (BECU) accounts and STILL has not been able to. The problem is the extra level of security. I was testing Yodlee and these accounts failed to update HOWEVER I was offered an opportunity to d a manual update which asked for the additional information needed and now the automatic update is working again. This last step is missing from Mint. I also appreciate that a request for support from Yodlee actually gets a response!

    Be warned…Yodlee does not work with Google’s Chrome browser. Well I should say SOMEthings do not work on Chrome and there is no warning.

    Now I just want to find an Android application that works with Yodlee and allows mobile entry of new transactions.
    -Becky

  7. Henry @cash advance on March 22nd, 2011 1:12 am

    Yodlee MoneyCenter is very flexible in that it allows for easily creating manual transactions so you can record changes to accounts that aren’t reflected in downloaded updates. For example, you may want to record checks written from an account before they get cashed for a more accurate picture of your personal finances. If you don’t want to use automatic transaction downloads for one or more accounts, you can set up manual accounts and update them yourself. This feature keeps your net worth report accurate.

  8. Paul Jackson on June 11th, 2012 11:43 am

    Well, some four years after the above review (its now June 2012, not March 2011) one can add a manual account to track assets easily enough.

    However one CANNOT add any transactions to that manually added account. One can only track the gross value of some asset this way.

    I require tracking a Cash account for my purposes, which means that the time I’ve spent adapting to Yodlee is a complete waste, as I will have to try something else.

    Their tech support (apparently from India) replied with instructions to manually add transactions to an account linked to a bank account (checking or savings, for example), but these instructions require clicking tabs and options that are simply not provided for manually created accounts (cash, for example.)

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