In This Chapter
Evaluating the different types of software and Web sites
Performing financial tasks with your computer
Although a computer may be able to assist you with your personal finances, it simply represents one of many tools. Computers are best for performing routine tasks (such as processing lots of bills or performing many calculations) quickly and for aiding you with research.
This chapter gives you an overview of how to use software and cyberspace as you work with your finances. I tell you how to use this technology to pay your bills, prepare taxes, research investments, plan for retirement, trade securities, buy insurance, and plan your estate, and I direct you to the best software and Web sites.
You can access two major repositories of personal finance information through your computer. Although the lines are blurring between these two categories, they're roughly defined as software and the Internet:
Software refers to computer programs that are either packaged in a box or DVD case or are available to be downloaded online. Most of the mass-marketed financial software packages sell for under $100. If you've ever used a word-processing program such as Word or WordPerfect or a spreadsheet program such as Excel, then you've used software.
The Internet is a vast ocean of information that you can generally access via a modem, cable modem, or DSL (digital subscriber line). These devices allow your ...