Before I get started on a particular topic, I want to introduce one of my favorite things:
One of the most powerful things you can do to take control of your personal finances is figuring out where you money goes. It's nearly impossible to meet your goals without being realistic about your spending.
Kudos to my good friend, Liz Fay, for introducing me to mint.com. A free, secure, online aggregator of your various accounts. Instead of visiting 4 or 5 different web sites to check your credit card(s), debit card(s) & investment balances, transactions, etc... just visit Mint. "Mint downloads and categorizes your balances and transactions automatically every day— making it effortless to see graphs of your spending, income, balances, and net worth."
Did I mention Mint is secure? & it makes simple graphs? & it remembers how you've categorized spending in the past? & it will create a budget for you based on your historical spending? & it alerts you when there are large or unusual transactions? & it's intuitive? I used Quicken for awhile, and I must admit that I don't miss it at all. I plan on spending an entire post gushing about Mint, but for now, do yourself a favor and check it out!