Longtime listeners of my Sunday show know that I’m a big fan of online banking.

I’ve been paying my bills online for years, and not only is it free but I’m saving 29 cents every time I write a check.

After a lot of industry talk, online banking is about to take a big step forward.

Several big banks like Citibank, Wells Fargo and Chase are giving accountholders access to advanced personal finance tracking tools, like Quicken and Microsoft Money, which will allow you track your spending and investments online, in addition to writing checks. As you write checks, the information will be automatically recorded in the software programs.

And a new company called Yodlee will allow you to track all of your spending across all of your financial accounts, even if they’re held with different companies. If your bank or financial services company signs up, you’ll be able to pay your bills from your bank’s site with a credit card, and transfer cash into a higher-paying CD at another.

If you’re not online with your accounts, now’s the time to get there.

With practical, informative consumer advice, I’m Ilyce Glink, News-Talk 750 WSB