Pressured by the savvy financial tools ramping up with Web-based (and free) money-management platforms like Wesabe and Mint.com, Intuit has updated its free Quicken Online service to include forward-forecasting tools.

Mint and Wells Fargo’s My Spending Report have each recently unleashed budgeting tools for their personal financial management suites that not only track spending, but allows users to set budget and savings goals that come with tracking and alerts features. The new Quicken service adds paycheck and forecasting tools that scope out what bills and potential shortfalls that lie ahead for consumers, who can set alerts to warn of potential overdrafts, approaching credit limits or low balances, or be used to notify users when exceeding budget goals.

Quicken says the spend-tracking feature is unique among other online software vendors, although Mint.com, which claims more than 500,000 users, has added incremental upgrades to its service that have included budgeting, cash-flow forecasting, data categorization and most recently investment tracking.

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