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YoBucko: Practical (Financial) Magic

  You’re 24-years-old and a recent college graduate - now you can breathe easy! Wrong. You may be done with that god-awful class, your lab…

You’re 24-years-old and a recent college graduate - now you can breathe easy! Wrong. You may be done with that god-awful class, your lab partner with B.O., and living in a broom closet with four other people, but now you get to pay off those student loans. And did I mention? You know nothing about finance or money, except, of course, how to spend it.

Not to worry, though, because that’s what Eric Bell expected, which is why he founded YoBucko, a free, online personal finance guide targeted at 20-something-year-olds who are just starting out. The platform consists of two primary features: a social support network and an online marketplace.

The website is so simple that at first glance it seems like the only thing they offer is articles related to a variety of topics: loans, education, taxes, jobs, credit, and budgeting, among other issues. But you can find all that on your own with Google. Continue clicking around, though, and you can find a veritable minefield of information. Across the top of the site are multiple tabs such as “Learn: where you can find the articles by topic, “Ask YoBucko”, which includes FAQ’s and the option to ask specific questions of your own, the option to sign up for their newsletter and even “Tools”, which offers users topic specific worksheets and financial calculators. One particular strength is the “Shop” option (no, sadly, it’s not t-shirts with the pig on them). The shop function brings to financial services and products what websites like BizRate and NexTag offer for other products, allowing you to compare prices on credit cards, student loans, different types of insurance, software and more.

The marketplace compiles product reviews from thousands of users and experts, then generates a percentage score that enables users of the website to quickly locate only the top three solutions in each product category. That, essentially, is why YoBucko seems to be better than just uselessly fishing for solutions on Google, since it does the sifting for you. Also available are multiple support groups and forums where you can connect with financial experts and others just like you.

There are some other websites, like FeeFighters, that appear to be competition for YoBucko. But FeeFighters only helps users compare prices and fees for various credit cards. YoBucko, conversely, integrates information services like articles and videos, interactive forums and practical real-world help across a range of topics, which you need to in order achieve your financial goals. Maybe now you can finally move on from your Ramen-noodles-every-night diet and be a real grown-up.

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