Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Money & Finance #58: Banking, Budgeting, and Spending

In today’s tough times, everyone is watching their money a little more closely. But did you know you can watch it online and find ways to better organize your finances? There are two posts in the Money & Finance module. Library staff who complete both posts will receive two hours of training credit.

Because financial information is very personal and private, before you consider using online financial sites, please review Online Safety & Sharing from the original iHCPL and Internet Safety. Please note that most banks have secure sites.

Many banks nowadays offer traditional banking services online including balance inquiries, money transfers and even bill paying. It’s a great way to check on your bank accounts daily to keep track of purchases and also helps the planet by eliminating paper statements and bills.

Originally uploaded by Tracy O

Some of the more popular banks that offer online services are:
There are also several sites out there that allow you to link multiple bank accounts into one service to see collectively where your money goes. One such site created by the guys at The Motley Fool is called Mint. After setting up your account on Mint and adding your banking information, it can help you see where your money goes each month in relation to several categories. Add your credit card information and Mint will also help you find lower interest rates and set up payment schedules to help you pay off your debt quicker. Mint can also help you set up a budget for your household and gives you many tips and techniques on how to better budget your money.

Other sites offering free budget help like Mint are:
Do you have friends and family that you are always lending money to (or borrowing money from)? There are several services that also let you keep track of those IOU’s so you can truly stay on top of where your money goes. Check them out at:

Walking on a Coin
Originally uploaded by Darren Hester
Once you figure out where all your money is going to, then you can begin to think of ways to cut back or save money.

Check out the Do You Have a Spending Problem? quiz to see if you’re already a savvy spender.

And then check out Spend Less on Everything from Consumer Reports for ideas on how to cut back on your spending without cutting back on your life.


1) Does your bank offer online banking? Is it free or fee based? If so blog about your experiences with online banking. What features do you like or dislike? If your bank doesn't offer online banking, blog why they should or should not consider adding it. What security safeguards does the bank offer when you use online banking? What safeguards can you use when banking online?

2) Take a look at several of the budgeting tools listed above. Do you see any that you particularly like? Can you see yourself using these? Test them out and blog about your reactions.

3) Read the article on ways to cut back on your spending. Blog about 2 or 3 ideas mentioned that you'd like to incorporate/implement into your financial plan.

This module brought to you by Monica Norem (CYF), Rhiannon Perry (LAP), & Melanie Metzger (CYF).


Anonymous said...

When is the deadline for this module?

Anonymous said...

What is the deadline?

Betty said...

A note of appreciation for a timely module on finance! Thanks!

Betty Rugh