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Tag your way to Better Financial Decisions with Wesabe

by Pete Quily on May 15, 2007 · 0 comments

Impulsive, easily distractible, stimulus seeking, time blind, forgetful, procrastinating ADDers often have problems with their personal finances regardless of level of income. Common problems I hear from some of my Adult ADHD coaching clients are, late payments for bills they have money for, being years behind on filing taxes when the government owes them money, family arguments over money etc.

More than most people we ADD adults need to keep better track of how we’re spending our money. Here’s one possible solution.

Wesabe is an online program that helps you track your spending, and give you a better idea where your money is going and give you contextual tips about how to spend more wisely and track your financial goals. It’s a social web 2.0 app similar to 43 Folders for personal finances.

Privacy and security is built in and having privacy advocate Cory Doctrow on their advisory board was a brilliant move to allay privacy fears. Here’s their Data Bill of Rights, something that more net companies should emulate.

It aggregates spending data for users without personal identifying info so you can see who in your area is buying product or service x and if they’re happy with it or not (Fan, user or captive) and the average cost. You tag your spending items and you can see how much you spend on each category, i.e. groceries, beer by week or month. The tagging function allows you to get tips specific to the item you’re buying to spend smarter.

You get a tag cloud of your purchases i.e. items you buy once a month or more or big ticket items. Here’s a three-minute overview video showing a member using Wesabe.

There’s a detailed review with screen shots at get rich slowly via Money SmartLife

Wesabe’s tagging system is a key to its power. Every transaction, every tip, and every goal can be tagged. If you’ve ever used Flickr or del.icio.us, tags will be instantly familiar. They’re one-word descriptors used to categorize your transactions (and tips and goals). For example, if you take your friend Sue out for dinner at a nice restaurant, you might use three tags for the transaction: “food restaurant friends”. The ever-present list of tags can be used to check your spending. If I click on the “food” tag, for example, I get a list of all my recent food transactions, as well as graphs representing my food spending over time. I can also access tips tagged “food” from other Wesabeans.

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