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It’s tax time: 5 free apps and websites to get your finances in gear

With the tax season well underway, people are asking more questions than ever about their personal finances.  Thankfully, there are many tools online that’ll put you in the right direction and offer some really helpful suggestions.

Take a look at a few great choices below:

Finance app_MintMint, www.mint.com, FREE

If you are looking to start tracking personal budgets so you can hit financial goals, Mint is the solution for you.  The beauty of this free website is that it brings in all of the finances from multiple bank institutions so you can have a general overview of where your money is going.

Mint can automatically categorize your spending so you can see how much of your income is going towards bills, rent, food, restaurants, etc., and you can set your monthly budgets accordingly.

Finance app_Canadian Mortgage

Canadian Mortgage, iOS, FREE

This application, available for iOS devices, is great if you’re looking for an easy-to-use mortgage calculator.  If you’re a potential new homebuyer, this will give you a helpful snapshot as to a payment schedules.

With this tool, you can calculate your total monthly home cost, the variable and/or fixed payment rates and frequencies, including Canadian-specific factors like premiums, land transfer fees, first-time buyer rebates, local maps, and more.
This app is about as precise as an estimate is going to get.  The numbers are easily manipulated with a visually friendly slider to adjust the values and calculated results.  Calculations are tested and verified with some of Canada’s largest banks, and provides a good benchmark estimate of the payments to Canada’s lenders.

Finance app_moneyStrands

moneyStrands, iOS, FREE

moneyStrands is the app for you if you want to get your bills in check.  Using their bill tracker, you can view all reoccurring bills and colour-code them to indicate the urgency of payments.

Debt management is a cinch.  Their debt-to-income widget will assist in calculating whether your bills will outweigh your income.  It’s easy to setup, free to use, and your content is secure with bank-level encryption on all information.

TurboTax Online

TurboTax Online, www.turbotax.ca, FREE to use; $17.99 for standard NETFILE

Filing taxes yourself is simple to do with this software-free solution.  Its smart wizard will take you from start to finish, including direct and secure NETFILE to the Canadian Revenue Agency.

If you have a question, no problem!  There’s a live forum with frequently asked questions for you to reference, including determining what is eligible for a deduction.

TurboTax’s Deduction Toolbox will help you find every possible savings for your return—over 400 of them in their A-to-Z list.  TurboTax takes you through a personal profile, which will help them determine what you’ll be able to deduct from your income.

Finance app_SnapTax

SnapTax by TurboTax, iOS, FREE to use; $9.99 for NETFILE

If you have generic and simple taxes to file, SnapTax by TurboTax is literally as easy as 1-2-3.

This app—yes, I said app—is for Canadians who have an iPhone, don’t have children or dependants, are under the age of 65, have RRSPs, charitable donations, and/or student tax deductions to claim.

Simply snap a photo of your T4 slip, answer a few questions, pay and NETFILE your taxes securely—all from the comfort of your smartphone.  It really doesn’t get easier than that.

Take a look and try out the above apps and websites.  How do they work for you?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

GIVEAWAY

The great folks at TurboTax and Winston Sih Media want to help you get your taxes done on time!  We are giving away FIVE copies of TurboTax Online Standard Edition to five lucky readers.

Here’s how you can enter:

1. Give my Twitter a Follow – @WinstonSih.
2. “Like” our Facebook page here – Facebook.com/WinstonSihFans.
3. Post the following on your Twitter and/or Facebook feed(s).  You may enter ONCE on your Twitter, and ONCE on your Facebook.  Duplicates will not be recorded.
Click HERE to automatically Tweet, or copy-and-paste the message below to your respective Twitter/Facebook feed(s).
“It’s tax time! Check out TurboTax Online and enter to win a FREE copy from @WinstonSih here: http://bit.ly/11bfGUf”
The deadline to enter is Friday, April 5, at 11:59 p.m. ET.  

*Click HERE for the Official Rules and Regulations of this contest.