I've spent a good part of the last year and a half getting my finances in order, keeping better track of bills, trying to have a longer view... So this post is unrelated to music and instead, all about the nerdy websites I've found that have really helped the cause:
1. Mint.com is invaluable. I have all of my accounts, credit, savings, debts, etc. all hooked into this free site, and in turn it analyzes my spending, lets me know when bills are due, alerts me to interest rate changes and helps me budget. I haven't racked up any accidental charges since since signing up. Plus, since all my transactions from all my accounts are categorized, this year's taxes are going to be a breeze.
2. Smartypig.com is an online savings account with a 2.15% interest rate. All I do is connect it to my checking account and have anywhere from $25 on up sucked out each month and put into Smartypig. There are no fees, and the only catch of sorts is that when I want to take money out, I have to take all of it. But that's cool, because it's designed for savings goals, in my case, long-term.
3. Billshrink.com - this one's handy for analyzing cell phone bills and figuring out what you really need. I was surprised to find out how few anytime minutes I actually use, once nights, weekends and mobile-to-mobile were taken out of the equation. I subsequently switched plans and cut down on my bill.
4. studentrate.com - not just for students. Speaking of cell phones and plans, anyone with an .edu email address can get these discounts, and some are substantial. I just switched to Sprint from Tmobile, and by using studentrate.com to make the switch, I got a $200 Sprint Evo for $125 after rebates and credits. Best of all, I get 15% off of each month's standard Sprint rate plan.
5. ibrinfo.com - a life changer for those of us with federal student loans. This new payment plan, income-based repayment, went into effect last July, but it wasn't well publicized. Turns out that you can send in a form along with last year's tax returns and potentially lower monthly payments a whole lot. IBR is a 25-year payment plan - long, I know - but after that, whatever is left is forgiven. I was on a 20-year payment plan to begin with, and this plan cut my monthly payment way down. Now I send extra payments every few months and I don't worry about the small monthly ones that get auto-debited.
6. creditkarma.com - an easy way to keep track of my credit. Its easy to use credit calculator lets you see the effects of hypothetical financial decisions, like borrowing more, or being late with a payment. It also suggests ways of improving credit.
Those are the ones that come to mind for now. Maybe I'll follow up with a second list if I remember some others or have another nerdy itch to scratch.