Web sites that show you the money
Many financial tasks are made manageable with online help
The Internet has made it possible for individuals to become proficient financial planners and investors. (iStock Photo)
Whether it's getting rid of debt, paying for college, planning for retirement or investing with skill, just about any task is made manageable -- complete with work sheets and calculators.
Here are some of my favorites.
People don't have to feel out of control as they await their next paycheck.
Gain peace of mind by making a budget. Google "budget work sheet" and find hundreds of easy tools.
One starting place: The National Foundation for Credit Counseling at nfcc.org/FinancialEducation/monthlyincome.cfm. For more detailed, ongoing help: quicken.com, mint.com or greensherpa.com.
When they complete a budget, people are often shocked by how much they waste each month on interest.
Compare rates and terms at cardratings.com and bankrate.com.
Bankrate.com also provides a wealth of information and calculators on everything from mortgages to credit cards and CD rates.
To see how to get out from under debt and how soon: bankrate.com/calculators/credit-cards/credit-card-payoff-calculator.aspx.
Consolidate debt: finance.cch.com/sohoApplets/DebtConsolidate.html.
Affordable house hunting: bankrate.com/aff/calc/newhouse/calculator.asp. Compare loans: calculators.aol.com/tools/aol/home15/tool.fcs.
Your credit score will affect the interest you pay on everything, so you want to keep it in the 700s or higher.
To get a free credit report, which influences your score, visit annualcreditreport.com.
To see your score, pay less than $50 at myFICO.com.
To improve your score: creditkarma.com.