'Rudder' Provides Your Daily Financial Status Via Email

Rudder is a new personal finance service that differs from the dozens of other ones now available in two key ways: it presents a simplified overview of your available funds, which it calls “What’s Left,” and it delivers it (along with bill reminders and balance notifications) to your email inbox instead of requiring you to visit a website. Think of it as a highly customized “Very Short List” or “Daily Candy,” only the topic is always your current financial health.

The “What’s Left” approach might be too vague for those of you who want details, details, details when it comes to your money. Instead of presenting you a dashboard of data, Rudder uses what our editor Ben called a “no-thought-required cash flow management” approach. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially if you feel like you need to take control of your finances but don’t know where to start.

Click here to see a sample Rudder email.

As Cnet puts it:

Rudder’s name for this magic number is “what’s left” and it figures out what you’ve got for discretionary spending based on when you’re getting your next paycheck and what’s in your various savings and checking accounts, compared to credit card payments and other bills that need paying off. The entire process is shown to users, something Roy hopes will educate as much as it does take the work out of doing the math yourself.

As far as security, Rudder asks for read-only access to your accounts through CashEdge; Rudder itself doesn’t store any user names, passwords, or account numbers. It’s free as in ad-supported—you can see an example of the sort of ads they serve in the sample email above.

“Rudder steers personal finance to your in-box” [Cnet]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Brine says:

    Despite my natural wariness, this seems like it would be pretty damn helpful, at least for me.

  2. wellcum says:

    Great, most Americans are just too stupid and too lazy to check their finance online.

    • Colage says:

      @wellcum: Oh, come on. Americans are stupid and lazy? If I had a nickel for every time I heard some faux-enlightened person say that between drags off their clove cigarette, I wouldn’t need to track my finances.

      Outside of wariness about disclosing bank information to a third party, this seems like a fine idea. If you have multiple bank accounts, or if you just wanted to have a brief summary in the morning, it does what it needs to do. If I’m lazy because I don’t check all my accounts and then forecast it out all before breakfast, I suppose that I’ll just take that tag.

    • theblackdog says:

      @wellcum: It’s not that we’re stupid and lazy, it’s that it’s a real PITA to have to visit multiple websites to get all of our finances.

      Do you have all of your finances with one bank? Does every single company you owe money to send an E-mail when a bill is due? Good for you, but that’s not how it works for everyone.

  3. DreadPirate says:

    I really like the idea but I am very wary of giving out any info on my financial accounts, even to supposedly “reputable” websites.

  4. numindast says:

    “it figures out what you’ve got for discretionary spending based on when you’re getting your next paycheck”

    So in other words, it’s perfect for the people living paycheck to paycheck?

    I have to wonder about the name. Instead of “What’s Left” you could say “What’s Port”. And if you are flush, it can tell you that you’re Starboard. If spending suddenly ceases, you’ve been Anchored. And, if your available cash dips negative, I’d call that “having Come About”.

    Okay, enough nautical terms … but wait, what about the Buoy?

  5. ericshmerick says:

    Wow, this thing doesn’t even recognize ING Direct.


  6. georgi55 says:

    No go, doesn’ work wih ING.

  7. snowbug says:

    Take a look at mint.com if you have time. I found its ability to track the spendings a huge plus.

  8. Tankueray says:

    Second to mint. It tracks all my accounts and sends me text messages.