I openly and shamelessly admit that I have “shiny object syndrome”. Throw a new tool, software, app or service my way and I’m most likely going to schedule a demo, play with it, put it through it’s paces, etc. As as matter of fact I have a separate list I keep in Basecamp on all of the “coolness” I discover that I will (presumably) blog about someday. I believe there is truth behind, “You get what you pay for” and that free doesn’t always necessarily mean “good”. This is a prime example of FREE = Awesome!

This past weekend I was listening to Pandora while doing some personal budgeting and heard an ad for Manilla several times. I made a note for myself to check it out to see if it was “blog worthy”. OMGosh, yes!!! If you have a computer and have more than a handful of accounts with credit card companies, banks, airlines, magazine subscriptions, etc. you are going to want to check it out. It’s so great I’m not even sure I could sum it up in one succinct sentence; but I’m going to try.  (I’m not really a succinct person anyhow!)

Manilla is a central “place” to connect and keep your accounts with just one login with a built-in bill payment reminder service.

That sentence sucked. I know. So I’ll get into the wordy, bullet version.

Why I Think Manilla is Awesome

  • Free service that allows you to link all of your banking/credit card, deal accounts (Groupon, LivingSocial), and other household services (cell phone, cable, utilities, etc) in one central location.
  • They will email and / or text you reminders of payment due dates (and amounts) on accounts (or when your Groupons are expiring)
  • Just one login to their site (no more scratching your head to figure out what your log in is for each individual site)
  • Super easy to set up (see my tips towards the end of this post for a few things I learned while linking accounts)
  • Cloud storage for all of your statements, for as long as you want! (Verizon in particular frustrates me that they only keep statements for 12 months) ~ Better yet, the statements are automatically synced into your Manilla account.
  • Setting option that allows you to select “set up on auto-pay” so you can immediately see what payments are auto-deducted and no scheduling is necessary.
  • Homepage snapshot that shows you what is coming up and needs attention (such as my Groupon for a local restaurant that expires in 36 days)
  • Make payments from homepage (I haven’t tried this yet though as all of my accounts are set up on auto-pay)
  • They work with 1300+ companies (I was impressed that Florida Power & Light, Netflix, Paypal, Groupon and Living Social are on their list)

It took me about 20 minutes to sign up, link 13 different accounts (I haven’t done my frequent flyer accounts yet) and get familiar with the interface. It was super easy with the exception of my Chase and Bank of America credit card accounts.

*Helpful tip* If you have an account with a bank that offers multiple types of accounts – use the search option instead of choosing the button that shows on the “Finance” tab – that way you can be certain you are grabbing the correct account type. In my case I chose the default “buttons” shown for Chase and Bank of America and ended up deleting them because they weren’t the correct type (and I only learned that after getting a notification that there was a problem linking).

*Note* I don’t have any magazine subscriptions so that is an area I didn’t test out; so I don’t know what it will show on your individual homepage snapshot once you add one.

Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to consolidate everything into one location, go paperless and free up some of your mental RAM from the need to remember multiple account logins.

Check it out…you’ll be glad you did!

PS: They also have iPhone and Droid apps but I haven’t download the Droid app yet