5 Best Free Software Programs

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You know how expensive software can be, but some great software doesn't cost a dime. Five free programs to help you save and manage your financial life...

Depending on what you do, computers run the gamut from useful to mandatory. But a computer by itself is of no use, you need software to make it work.

And software can be expensive… or not. Because there’s plenty of great software that’s free for the taking. Here are my favorite programs that can help with your financial life.

First, a program called KnowYourStuff. It helps you make a list of your possessions so if disaster strikes, you’re not left wondering what you used to own and how much it cost. .

Springpad lets you keep a calendar and any number of lists. You can store contacts and get reminders when you’re supposed to do something.

When you print out web pages, ever get that extra sheet? Save a tree: GreenPrint is a free program that keeps that from happening.

Microsoft Office is both ubiquitous and expensive, but OpenOffice has the entire office suite, or something very similar, and doesn’t cost a dime.

And last but not least, Skype. Imagine talking to anyone in the world on your computer. Now imagine doing it absolutely free. That’s kind of hard to beat.

Bottom line? Harness technology to get yourself organized and keep track of your financial life, but don’t spend a bunch of money unnecessarily… try free solutions first.

Stacy Johnson

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