Monday, January 4, 2010

Green and Frugal -- 5 FREE Websites That Help You Save Money

Another great post from our friends at The Greenest Dollar...

I was doing research online for a client today and came across some really amazing websites that I had to share with all of you. These websites all offer one thing: free advice or free services that will help us save money.

1. is a financial planning site that helps users track their spending by pulling information from their online bank account, and then uses that detailed information to graph exactly where their money goes.
Yeah, I can hear your heart drop from here, because when I first heard about last year, my heart did the same thing. But I decided to give the site a try anyway, because it had gotten amazing reviews from, who named it the best budgeting site out there, and Money Magazine, who gave it a 5-Star Top Pick.

Well, I got all the way to the part where I enter my bank account and routing number and then I chickened out. I was just too afraid that someone would hack the site and have instant access to my bank account.
I forgot all about until today. I browsed through the site again, and have decided to give it another go. After all, if Kiplinger and Money Magazine have endorsed the site, it has to be secure. And, uses the same security that many major financial institutions do. So, it’s at least as safe as my online banking.
How can help you save money? Well, the site will help you to:
  • Easily create a budget that revolves around your current spending
  • Meet your savings goals
  • See exactly how much you’re spending each month on housing, food, entertainment, utilities, etc. with easy, color-coded graphs and pie charts
  • See exactly how much debt you have, and come up with a plan to pay it off
  • Receive alerts from to help you stay on top of debt repayment and savings goals
Pretty nifty, right? And, it’s completely free.

Are you getting an uncontested divorce? Need some advice on filing for bankruptcy? Need to figure out how to create a living will, or get out of the lease agreement you just signed with your landlord? is a website that offers people and businesses free legal advice on everything from child custody to real estate deals to immigration. Their forums are divided up by very specific topics, and lawyers from all over the country volunteer their time to answer questions.

The site also has an amazing list of free, downloadable legal forms that everyone can access, and there are tons of well-written, well-sourced legal articles that you can use for research.


3. Flickr’s Creative Commons Site
If you have a blog or business and need some copyright-free photos to use (like the one shown on the right), then check out Flickr’s site of photos that fall under Creative Commons License.

The Creative Commons License is a way for people to share their work with others under certain conditions without the strictness of full copyright.

For instance, some photos on the site are available for anyone to use for any reason, but only if you give that photographer credit for the image.

Fair, right?

Other photos can be used without giving credit at all. And still others can be used without credit, as long as they’re not sold or used for commercial reasons.

Flickr gives a very clear explanation of what photos can be used in what ways. So if you want to save money on photos, this is a great way to find some great images without paying a dime.

The full site address is: 

If you’ve ever had to pay someone to come out to fix your computer, create a network for your business, figure out why Vista won’t work EVER, or clean up your hard drive from viruses, then you know how expensive it can be.

Well, is a website that offers free, yes free, tech support to people and business owners.

Techies from all over the world volunteer their time on the site to help non-tech people (like me) do everything from update software to solve incredibly mysterious and complicated computer problems. has been around for ten years and they’ve been featured on The Today Show, the BBC, in PC World Magazine, and in Reader’s Digest, just to name a few.

If you’re starting a small or home-based business you’re going to need a website. But, you probably can’t afford to hire someone to make you a nice one.

This is where comes in. is a site that allows you to build sleek, professional-looking Flash sites for free. And, it’s practically fool-proof.

The site was designed specifically for people who don’t know how to build websites. So don’t worry if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing; has made it really, really easy to build a great site. And again, it’s all free.

Last Word…
I have to admit that I was overjoyed about the Flickr discovery. It’s so time-consuming to look for photos I can legally use on this blog, and I’m over the moon that so many photographers have generously donated their photos for public use!

I’m also going to sign up for today (and yes, I’m really going to go through with it this time!). I’ll post a review of the site within the next week to let you all know how I like the service, and if I think it’s going to help save me money.

Do any of you know some great sites like these that help you save money? Want to share? I’d love to hear about them!

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