Thursday, January 19, 2012


I may be a stay at home mom right now, but unbeknownst to those other moms at Gymboree, I used to be in IT. I was a tech writer, business analyst, project manager, manager of people... basically anything that I could do and not know the details of code or hardware. I really did enjoy it.  Well, most of it, sans a couple of bad apples on my old teams.  I still have nighmares about a particular old employee, but that's another post.  And I honestly did have some trepidation about giving it up.

I really couldn't be happier with my decision right now, but I do miss certain things.  The projects, putting together a nicely organized deliverable, talking in front of a room full of people about something I am proud of working on.

So when it came to tracking and budgeting the family finances, I quickly stepped up to the task.   I've been able to channel my nerdy, spreadsheet making self and it has been so much fun.  But the old software I've been using, Microsoft Money, is no longer being supported. I've been struggling with finding something to replace it that might work on a Mac (we are in the market for a new computer and are leaning towards Apple) and that I can view on my iPad.  I also have some pretty detailed requirements, like being able to split transactions and customize the categories that things get assigned to.

Enter Yodlee!  I am so in love with this site.   Not only will it replace my old Microsoft Money, but it also gets rid of half of my manual spreadsheets. It is a free (so far at least) online software that allows you to link not just bank accounts and credit cards, but virtually any account you can think of that has an online log in. It even connected to my Wright Patt Credit Union account, which totally impressed me.  And they have a $4 iPad app that allows you to view your accounts, charts, and do basic tasks, which is like the cream cheese icing on the cake. (Yeah, you know that's the best kind.)

So my uber-nerd side has been able to shine over the last couple weeks as I transitioned everything over. I think I have all of our accounts loaded and it has given me a new view of our real net worth, which I never fully got with my old system. It even connects with Zillow to estimate how much your house is worth and adds it as an asset. How cool is that!

The bad news is that the site and the app both have some annoying issues. But I logged my first "question" on their forum, and the developer said that he was able to replicate the problem and asked for more details. Needless to say, my inner QA tester emerged and got way too detailed with the answer, but hopefully it will allow them to find and fix it. Very encouraging overall, which just solidified that the software/company is something worth working on.

I have a half dozen or so issues that I've found so far on their site and iPad app already. Hm, maybe they will start paying me for every bug I find for them.  :-)

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