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One for All

When it comes to managing your money, you don't have to go it alone--social networking can help.

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This story appears in the June 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

At least three times in the past decade, my wife and I have tried to wrestle the family's budget to the ground using Microsoft Money or Quicken. We dug out receipts and investment account statements, estimated expenses in various categories and tried to figure out the software's idiosyncrasies. Yet within a couple months, we were back to lamenting the hassles of turning on the computer and updating our accounts regularly. These were and are great pieces of software--powerful and useful--but we just didn't have the discipline to do the busywork they required.

That's my pocketbook confession. And it's exactly the kind of thing that makes me want to give computer-based personal finance another try. This time, I'm interested in websites that combine social networking with financial tools. I want to hear other people's financial confessions and have complete strangers react to mine. Years of experience tells me I can keep the checking account balanced and my investment accounts more or less in order without the help of my PC. But I could use some ideas on how to be smarter financially--and some motivation to take the necessary steps. Granted, Microsoft Money is linked with the MSN Money website and its robust financial forums. But I'm interested in new entrants in the field--internet outposts built around social networking with a financial theme.

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