Day 2: Open an Account Aggregator

by Jason Unger

It’s Day 2 (or three, if you count the introduction) from Automatic Finances: 17 Days to Your Financial Freedom, where I’m posting the contents of the ebook absolutely free for you to read. Previous entries: Introduction and Day 1.

Here’s Day 2: Open an Account Aggregator.

P.S. Don’t complain that I’m including what one might consider outdated information here. Yes, Wesabe is no longer an account aggregator, but it was when the ebook was written. You’re getting the info for free, so don’t post comments saying what I’m telling you now.


Today, you’ll open an account with one of the newest – and most useful – services on the Internet.

Account aggregators are just what they sound like: they combine all of your financial accounts (from primary banking to investing to credit cards to debts) to give you a better look at where you currently stand.

There are a number of account aggregators available, including:

Your bank may also offer aggregation services, where it pulls in the information from your other accounts and presents them in one view.

Each aggregation service has its benefits – Yodlee is made by the same people who develop software that major banks use; Mint offers suggestions on saving money by switching to cheaper services; Wesabe has a thriving community of users; and more.

Instead of walking through each service, we’re going to focus on Yodlee’s MoneyCenter. After signing up for it, you may find you don’t like it and want to try a different service – and you should, since the system works best when you are completely comfortable with it and all its tools.

How to Open a Yodlee Account

Opening an account is easy.

After you have registered, head back to and log in.

You’ll be greeted by your account summary, which is currently blank. It’s time to change that!

Linking Your External Accounts

Let’s get started adding your financial accounts to Yodlee.

Click on the “Link an Account” link, and you should be presented with the “Search for Your Account” option.

Fill in the name of your bank/investment house/loan company/credit card/etc. and click “search.” Be sure to select the correct one: some results may look the same, but one may be checking when you really want credit card.

Wait, Why are they Asking for my Account Information?

In order to pull in the information about your account, Yodlee will need access to it. The only way they will get it is if you provide your credentials.

Yodlee is extremely safe; as previously mentioned, they actually create the software that many banks use for their online services.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

Your account data is safe with Yodlee. Our Yodlee MoneyCenter service is security-tested on a continuous basis by industry leading security firms and federal regulators, and is certified to meet the highest security standards.

Our highly-secure site, Yodlee MoneyCenter, helps thwart would-be-thieves by reducing their opportunities for “phishing” attacks, key-stroke-logging, and other means of ID theft. What’s more, Yodlee MoneyCenter lets you track every transaction on all of your accounts, in one, easy-to-monitor list. And it’s all backed by a name you can trust, Yodlee.

We’ve never had an issue with Yodlee. But you need to feel comfortable inputting your account information before you go on. So, if you’ve made it this far but are uncomfortable using an account aggregator, email us at and we’ll refund your money – no questions asked.

Adding More Accounts

Once you’ve finished linking your first external account, go ahead and do the next one, and the one after that.

If you bank at a small credit union or community bank, there’s a chance they may not have it in the system. But you’d be surprised – many local banks and credit unions are in the system.

Yodlee also offers the option to add Manual Accounts. So if your bank isn’t listed, or you owe a personal loan, you can input how much it’s worth and categorize it accordingly.

Well, that’s a lot for one day. Tomorrow we’ll come back and start using these tools!

TIP: If you’ve got a little bit of time, check out more than one aggregator. You don’t need to keep an account open with them forever, but you’ll want to feel out which one works best for you.

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