One unpleasant surprise about switching to USAA from Washington Mutual is that I could no longer download all my transactions in .CSV format. When I was with WaMu, this made it very easy to import all my banking into my tricked out Excel sheet I use to manage my finances. USAA only lets you download in Quicken or Microsoft Money’s proprietary formats. Cutting and pasting the transactions as they appear on the website, even in Print mode, still is less than perfect. What I found out though is you can use a personal finance management site like Mint or Wesabe to do most of the grunt work for you. UPDATE: Reader Stephen pointed out there is a handy link at the bottom of the USAA page that lets you export as .CSV. I didn’t see this link because I was looking at the “download fund activity link,” which doesn’t have a .CSV option.
Wesabe, the personal-finance social networking site, introduced a Firefox extension to ease member’s upload and access to banking data. [Wheaties For Your Wallet]
Social finance sites are evolving from utilities that track spending into resources that can provide useful, personalized advice. The sites allow anyone to anonymously upload and tag banking records and credit card statements and receive advice tailored to their particular financial situation.
Some of the sites, such as Wesabe.com and Geezeo.com, include many of the same features offered by popular software programs such as Intuit Inc.’s Quicken and Microsoft Corp.’s Money, such as the ability to track spending in different categories and from different sources in one place. But they also allow users to get feedback from peers that is tailored to their specific circumstances. Some allow users to rate the quality of other members’ tips or provide feedback on various products or services they’ve used.
Have you found the advice from social finance sites useful? Share your experiences in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER