Though your financial life may be the last thing you want to open up to some random stranger across the ‘net, you could manage your money better by doing it socially. Of course money management matters to web workers, because the better you manage your money, the more flexibility you have to choose work that really suits you.
Here’s how to use the social web to improve your money management:
Get a read on your net worth. NetworthIQ allows you to track the changes in your net worth and look at how other people’s net worth is changing too. You can check by various attributes like geographic location, education, and so forth in order to see how you’re doing relative to your peers.
Find pricing guidelines for freelance work. If you run a service-based business, you can look at what other people are charging for similar services by checking their websites. For example, Cristy Hayes publishes a page of prices for her copywriting services.
Edit and tag bank transaction information. When you download transactions from your bank or credit card company, the names of the payees might be a mess. Money management site Wesabe lets you take advantage of other people’s work in cleaning up those names and in tagging what the transactions might be — like gas for a Shell purchase or groceries for Safeway.
Compare your spending habits to other people’s. Tools like Expensr allow you to compare your spending with the spending of people like yourself.
Share financial goals and tips for achieving them. Wesabe also lets you see what financial goals other people have and get tips from them on how to achieve your goals. Or you can use a more general social goal-setting site like Goalmigo or 43 Things.
Lend and borrow among your peers. Sites like Prosper and Lending Club allow you to borrow money directly from other people rather than resorting to a bank loan or credit card. If you’re flush with cash, you can lend money and make some interest.
Blog your finances. Share your progress towards your financial goals on a blog. For an example, check out PFBlog, chronicling one person’s journey towards financial independence.
Have you tried any social money management tools?