smart spending

7 money-related things to give thanks for

Free money management tools
Free money management tools © pcruciatti/Shutterstock.com

One thing to be thankful for: free apps and tools that help you track, manage and set goals for your money, says Linda Sherry, director of national priorities for Consumer Action.

No matter what the specific need (or level of computer savvy), consumers who want to budget can find tools that help them do that pretty easily, she says. "And a lot of these tools have the ability to warn you, alert you and keep you on your toes" if you veer off course from your goals, she says.

Don't know where to start? Try the firms that are already involved in your finances and have your financial information, like your bank or credit union, your credit card issuer, and your investment firm, Sherry says. Another good one: genuine nonprofit credit counseling agencies affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.

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