Personal Capital Review: 5 Powerful Free Features

Personal Capital Review: 5 Powerful Free Features

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The first time I heard of Personal Capital, I was working as a Financial Counselor at the University of Utah. This was back in 2016 and we were working on revamping our website.

We got a call from someone in Denver, Colorado and they asked if we would be willing to place a financial calculator on our website that was created by Personal Capital. I politely declined because I had never heard of the company before and didn’t want a bunch of noise on our website. 

After the call, I looked into it and decided to create an account. I connected a few accounts and then completely forgot about it for about 6 months. It felt very overwhelming at first and I didn’t want to take the time to learn it.

After 6 months, I was reading a post from Millennial Money and saw that he was a big fan of Personal Capital. A lot of bloggers were big fans!

Because of the online positivity, I spent a little more time setting it up and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Here’s my Personal Capital review and why I think it’s the best free financial planning software of 2020.

What is Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is an online wealth management company that believes the power of technology can make the financial services industry more affordable, accessible, and honest. 

You can think of the company as two main divisions:

  • Free financial planning software
  • Online wealth management

I have never used their paid online financial planning and wealth management services and so I’m not going to be reviewing that today, only their free tools. 

They also offer their free Personal Capital app that I’m guilty of logging into nearly everyday.

After the initial set up, and once I became comfortable with Personal Capital, I discovered some powerful features.

Here are 5 powerful features that I love about Personal Capital.

1. Accurate & Visual Graphs

One of my favorite features is seeing my complete financial picture in one simple dashboard.

By connecting all of your financial accounts, it’s able to create a nice-looking picture of your where you are with your finances. And it updates on a daily basis to give you accurate information and visuals.

Seeing how my assets are going up and my liabilities are going down is super motivating to me.

If you set up a Personal Capital account today, in ten years you’ll be able to look back and remember how broke you were and just how far you’ve come. 

I’ve got four years of data under my belt now and it’s amazing to see how thing have changed based on the markets, my jobs, when I borrowed money, etc.

It also integrates with Zillow for property values and over 10,000 other financial institutions.

I’m a very visual person and seeing all of their graphs is very satisfying.

2. Account Aggregation

I love being able to see all of my accounts in one place.

Personal Capital Budget | Personal Capital Review | Simplifinances

As many of my readers know, I’m a HUGE fan of the JARS Money Management System. And this system requires six bank accounts.

It’s nice to see each bank account along with my credit cards, mortgage, and investments.

If I wasn’t able to see all of my accounts in one place I would probably forget that some of them existed.

Seriously. 

It also shows you all of your spendings and compares that with the previous month to see how you’re doing. 

As you can see, it automatically categorizes transactions and shows you what percentage of your spending that category represents. It will compare what you’re spending this month to what you spent last month.

To be honest, I think Personal Capital is lagging when it comes to robust budgeting tools. For that, I use my favorite free budgeting software.

Read: Top Rated Free Budget Software That Will Simplify Your Finances

3. Investment Performance

When I first created an account, I was also in business school learning about investments.

I was becoming very familiar with terms like index, benchmark, blended, S&P 500, DOW, foreign markets, and so on.

Weekly Updates | Personal Capital Review | Simplifinances

At the time, none of these terms meant anything to me personally.

After connecting my investments to Personal Capital, I started understanding these terms better. I was able to see how my portfolio was doing compared to the S&P 500, foreign markets, and so on.

Before that, when I would hear how the markets did today on the radio, it didn’t make sense to me. But because of the Portfolio and the Holding & Allocations section of the app, these things began to make sense.

I could see the percentage change of my investments for the day and see the dollar amount change as well.

Certain days when the markets did well, and I saw how it impacted my net worth, I was a happy camper.

On days when markets are volatile and down, I try not to let it bother me.

Each week, I continue to get a summary email like this. 

4. Net Worth Tracker

When you track your net worth, you’re more motivated to make better financial decisions.

Personal Capital has literally forced me to make better financial decisions because I want to see that graph going up.

I will mention that checking your net worth too frequently can cause undue stress and I do try and limit how much I log into the app.

Anyone else know what I’m talking about?

I also find ways to have a balance between saving and spending. Because of the way I manage my money, I force myself to spend money on fun things as well.

You shouldn’t bee 100% extreme all the time with your savings. You have to have balance.

5. Fee Analyzer

I never really knew how much I was paying in fees until I was able to see the expense ratio for each individual security within the Personal Capital fee analyzer.

Investment companies make it difficult to see what exactly your expense ratio is. The fee analyzer made it really easy to see how much money I was paying for each investment and get rid of the ones that were too expensive.

It was one of the main motivating factors that pushed me to invest in an ETF at Vanguard (VTI) with an expense ratio of 0.03%.

Related: I Don’t Know How to Invest & I’m Scared I’ll Make a Mistake 

You can see that there is a lot to like about Personal Capital. These are only 5 of the many powerful features that Personal Capital has to offer.

Mint vs. Personal Capital

Toward the beginning of the article, I mentioned my favorite free budget software. Which happens to be Mint.

Personal Capital and Mint’s features are quite complementary.

I’ve been using Mint since 2014 and found it to be great for tracking expenses and staying on top of my finances, but it lacked big time when it came to investments.

I now use both because they each serve a different purpose.

When it comes to budgeting:

Mint > Personal Capital

When it comes to investing:

Personal Capital > Mint

Here’s a comparison that Personal Capital put together comparing themselves to Mint. 

Is It Safe to Use Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is safe to use. They use many layers of security to keep your money and your information safe and private.

Like Mint, the don’t actually have access to any funds. You’re simply aggregating the information and then they’re able to analyze it.

Of course, nothing is un-hackable but they definitely take extra safety precautions. So much so that I would have to update my USAA connection every day by logging into my bank with 2FA if I wanted to see accurate bank information.

Because Personal Capital is a free financial planning software, you would think that they sell your information like many of the free personal finance apps out there. But in fact, according to their privacy policy, it states; “Personal Capital’s core business is wealth management. This means that our objective is to win you over as a Personal Capital Advisory Client. We do not rent, sell or trade your Personal Information.

How Much Does Personal Capital Cost?

After everything I’ve mentioned, you may be thinking, “is Personal Capital really free?”

And the answer is, yes! It really is free. But if it was completely free they wouldn’t be in business. So that brings up the next question.

How Does Personal Capital Make Money?

Personal Capital uses it’s amazing software to draw people in. They’ve been able to amass quite a large amount of users who use their tools frequently. But if it’s all free, how. do they make money.

Once a user has over $100,000 in investable assets, that person then becomes a lead for their wealth management department. You don’t ever have to invest any of your money with them if you don’t want to.

But if you decided to invest with them, they charge an asset management fee of 0.89% for portfolios between $100,000 and $1 million. Which is actually quite high for a robo-advisor. Once you have over $10 million, the fee becomes 0.49%.

Personal Capital is different than Betterment or Wealthfront in a sense because it is more expensive but they promote their Certified Financial Planners being willing and able to meet more frequently.

What Are The Downsides of Personal Capital?

There are two major downsides to Personal Capital:

  • As soon as you have $100,000 in investable assets, their financial planners will start reaching out to you. You don’t have to work with them though unless you want to. You can politely decline and they won’t reach out to you again. 
  • Their budgeting software is not as user-friendly and easy to use as many of the free budgeting apps out there. I recommend using Mint or even Qube Money.

In Conclusion

I’m a big fan of Personal Capital’s free tools and I think it’s the best personal finance software to help you reach your retirement goals.

If you haven’t signed up for an account before, I encourage you to get started by clicking the link below!

Create a Personal Capital account for free!

If you’ve heard of Personal Capital before but have never given it a try, I encourage you to try it out.

Don’t get overwhelmed at first as I did and give up.

Take the time to accurately set it up and I promise it will help you make better financial decisions because you’ll be well on your way to financial independence. 

Let me know your thoughts about Personal Capital in the comments below!

Personal Capital Review | Simplifinances

Top Rated Free Budget Software That Will Simplify Your Money

Top Rated Free Budget Software That Will Simplify Your Money

With bills, rent/mortgage, student loans, credit cards, savings, and much more, how do you keep track of all of it? And is there a free budget software that makes it easy?

Someone recently told me, “I know exactly how much I spend each month. I keep track of it in my head.”

Keeping track of your finances in your head, may not be the most effective. Especially if you’re not a budgeter!

The good news is, you don’t need to keep a running tab stored in your brain. We all know what happens when you miss a payment.

Many years ago, I met with a financial planner who wanted to help me set up my first investment.

He said, “We take care of all the confusing stuff for you. You don’t need Mint or other budget software.”

I thought, “what’s Mint?”

After the appointment, I went home, set up an online account, and never spoke with him again.

Since then, Mint has become a huge part of my life and has done more for me than the gold based annuity he was trying to sell me.

I want to share with you why I’ve used Mint so much and the benefits it’s brought to me.

What is Mint and Why Should You Use It?

Mint is a free money management software that was acquired by Intuit in 2009, the same company that owns Quickbooks and Turbotax.

It’s super easy to use with a clean user interface. It gives you a clear overview of your finances.

It connects to all of your existing accounts to help you stay on top of managing your money in one place.

“Every time you visit their site, your financial data gets updated automatically. It presents your financial information in a slick easy-to-use web interface, with pretty graphs and all.”

– Investor Junkie

Mint has helped over 10 million Americans reduce their debt, pay their bills on time, and increase their overall net worth.

You’ll find boatloads of other great software to use for your money, but none of them really come close to Mint.

So, what are the features?

It’s Free

It’s incredible that Mint offers this budget software for free!

They receive their funding through companies that offer deals such as credit cards, investments, and recently, loans, and many other offers.

You can ignore the advertising links, but if you really are in the market for different products, it’s a great place to shop around.

Bank-Level Security

With the amount of online fraud, it’s common to worry about your personal information being stolen.

It’s usually a concern for people to connect a third-party to their bank account. However, Mint uses bank-level security.

They cannot transfer funds or access your account. They can only view it as read-only. Kind of like taking a picture of your bank account balances and putting it all in one place and giving you a quantitative analysis.  

Mint is also analyzed and certified by prominent third-party providers like TrustArc, VeriSign and other trusted professionals in online security.

Free Budget Software | Simplifinances

Financial Dashboard

We love having everything in one easy-to-see dashboard. Mint gives you a complete overview of your finances and having it in one place brings peace of mind.

Imagine the days before Walmart when you went to multiple stores to buy what you needed.

Now you get everything at one store.

Mint does the same. No need to go to each bank, loan, or credit card website separately to view your balances.

Free Credit Score

Mint gives you a free credit score!

But you’ve probably heard of free credit scores and how they are not really accurate.

Let’s be honest, what credit score is actually accurate?

Once you sign up for the free credit score, it may be off, but the biggest benefit is the summary of your overall credit situation.

From payment history, credit limit and usage, inquiries, and more information that explains why your credit score sucks or is really good.

Although it may not be your exact credit score, it’s smart to have a rough ballpark estimate of where you are.

Alerts

How easy is it to forget when your bills are due?

It’s a good idea to set up automatic payments, but for those bills that are variable, set up an alert to be sent to your phone or email a number of days in advance so you’ll never miss a payment.

Mint has more than 20 types of alerts to notify you of fees, warn you if you’re going over budget, or let you know if something seems suspicious.

I get an alert every time a purchase of $200 or more is made with one of my credit cards, in case it get’s stolen.

Trends

One of my favorite things about Mint is the Trends section.

Have you ever had these questions?

  • How much did I actually spend last month?
  • What categories do I spend the most on?
  • Or how has my net worth changed over the past year?

You can answer all of these questions and many more in the Trends section.

 “You can’t manage something you don’t measure”

A few years ago, I was asked to write down all of my expenses for the month. I wrestled with myself to think of everything I spent my money on. It seemed like things changed every month.

When I finished with my expense sheet, I knew in my mind that it was not accurate.

With trends, you can take the average amount spent each month throughout the entire year, or multiple years. This gives you an idea of the actual amount of money that is spent on different categories each month.

This is a great way to get started with a budget and setting goals to spend less and save more. Which brings me to my last point.

Mint Budgets and Trends | Simplifinances

Goals

Each of us has goals:

  • Going on a vacation
  • Saving for a home
  • Paying off student loans
  • Saving money for Christmas gifts
  • Etc.

Mint helps you reach those goals by assessing the amount the goal requires. It then gives you a specific date in the future and tells you how much money each month needs to be allocated to that goal.

It will let you know each month where you put enough or not enough money towards your goals and whether or not you are on track to achieve it.

Conclusion

With all the services this free budget software offers at no cost, why wouldn’t you use it?

I’m not affiliated with Mint, I’m simply a raving fan. Whenever they release an update, I get excited. And I love it when other people tell me they started using Mint and that I was the one that introduced them to it.

The only downside with Mint I’ve found is the investments section.

I haven’t understood how my investment accounts are aggregated and how I did compared to the market.

Mint is great for basic money management and budgeting but if you’re looking for something a little more in-depth that gives you a clear idea of how your investments are performing, I use Personal Capital. You can read more about my review of Personal Capital.

If you haven’t opened a Mint account yet, I urge you to do so.

Stick with it for a few months or years and I hope to hear from you on how your experience has been.

It’s safe, free, accurate, easy to use, and convenient. This free budget software has many more capabilities and features that I didn’t mention, but that you’ll soon discover.

It’s time to be good with your money.

Where to Stash Your Cash

Where to Stash Your Cash

Every dollar of yours is like an employee.

If you let them sit around and do nothing, it will hurt your business.

If you “employ” them, which means to put to work or make use of, it will benefit your company.

Is every dollar of yours benefiting your personal finances or are there lazy dollars sitting around doing nothing for you?

Where Should You Stash Cash?

Here are 5 places to stash your cash for goals that are 1 to 5 years away to get the maximum value from each of your little green employees. 

Depending on your financial goals, where you stash your cash will determine if you reach those goals.

If you plan to spend the money within 1 year, be safe! If you plan to spend it in 1 to 5 years, go for a higher rate of return.

Where I save my money depends on the goal.

I’m willing to invest my savings for something like a vacation fund because the cost of a vacation varies and when we go is flexible. On the other hand, if I’m going to put money down on a house soon I don’t want to lose any of that money.

Read: I Don’t Know How To Invest & I’m Scared I’ll Make a Mistake

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Goals

Let’s use three examples of goals:

  1. Saving for a vacation
  2. A down payment on a house
  3. And building an emergency fund

Using these three examples, where is the best place to stash your cash if your goal is 1 to 5 years out for each of these?

When it comes to long-term goals, like saving for retirement, we need to take a look at other options. 

Here are 5 places you can stash your cash. Some are better than others.

1. Under Your Mattress

Some people suggest you keep cash somewhere in your house. Other than the internet disappearing or banks seizing to exist, it doesn’t do you good to have cash under your mattress because those are lazy dollars that need to wake up!

Some people like cash because it’s tangible. If you’re new to budgeting or teaching your kids to manage money, using cash is powerful! 

Cash is good for teaching. It’s a powerful tool because you can hold it and feel it. And let’s be honest who doesn’t love holding a wad of cash!? 

But cash is becoming obsolete. We live in a world where money is more of an abstract idea than a physical object. 

Cash is good for changing behavior. I used cash for years as a teenager to manage my money. Now, I don’t have more than $5 – $10 of cash on me unless I am traveling (thieves wouldn’t be happy to rob me). 

If you struggle with spending, cash is harder to spend than swiping a card. According to a study, people spend 17% more money when using a credit card than if they were to use cash. 

Other than for behavior change or teaching purposes, I think you’re better off doing something else with your dollars then leaving them in cold hard cash.

2. Your Savings Account

My bank is my central hub for my money and everything else flows from it. This allows me to transfer money easily to savings, investments, or paying bills.

The best part is I can track exactly where I spend my money unlike using cash using a free budgeting app.

Some people don’t like having their money sit in a savings account because most banks pay an interest rate of 0.000Nothing%.

I don’t blame them with the average interest rate on savings being 0.06%. But, having money in your savings accounts could be good for a few reasons: 

  • Liquidity – It’s easy to get to when you need it
  • Security – Your money is FDIC insured up to $250,000
  • Safety – Essentially no risk (except for one major risk below)

Although the peace of mind of having your money in a savings account is nice, you run a risk leaving it there.

That risk is called purchasing power risk.

$100 today will buy you less in 10 years because of inflation. Inflation can fall between 2-4% per year.

So if you’re not earning at least enough interest to keep up with inflation, the value of your dollar decreases over time.

It’s not a good idea to leave too much money in a savings account for a long period of time.

Where to stash your cash | Simplifinances

3. A High-Yield Online Savings Account

Many online banks now are willing to pay a higher interest rate to keep up with inflation.

Online banks have lower overhead costs because they don’t have to pay for physical branches. That means they can pass the savings to the consumer by offering higher rates.

The interest rate is important when you’re looking for a place to keep your money, but it’s not the most important thing.

Other things to consider are:

  • Your savings rate
  • The credibility of the bank
  • Terms and conditions

One of the downsides of a high-yield savings account is not having all of your money in one place.

If you need to transfer money into your primary bank quickly it could take a couple of days.

Don’t put your everyday spending money in one of these accounts.

High-yield online savings accounts are actually one of my favorite places to stash cash. I’ve looked into savings accounts that offer up to 3% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) which is changing all the time.

As of May 2020, the high-yield online savings bank that I use is offering up to 2.80% on cash deposits. The bank I’ve used for high-yield savings is Varo Money.

Banks vs. Credit Unions

When deciding where to stash your cash, should you use a bank or a credit union? There are pros and cons to both.

Banks are for-profit enterprises, while credit unions are nonprofits. Credit unions also offer higher interest rates on deposits, lower rates on loans and lower fees.

Why Choose a Bank?

  • More branches in the region or across the country
  • Typically quicker to roll out new apps and new tech

Why Choose a Credit Union?

  • Typically has lower fees and higher interest rates on deposits
  • Emphasis on customer service

I go for the best of both worlds and use USAA for my personal banking and Wells Fargo for my business banking. I’m happy with USAA and would recommend them to anyone (you must be a service member or be related to one to access their banking).

Think of it as an online credit union with low fees, great customer service, and always at the front of technology. They were the first bank to introduce biometric sign in. I was using my face to log in to my account back in 2014.

Although I’m happy with USAA as my primary bank, I’m always looking for an online bank that’s going to offer a higher APY for savings.

4. A Money Market Account (MMA)

Money market accounts are federally insured short-term interest-bearing instruments that generate a variable yield while preserving principal.

They tend to have interest rates that are higher than savings accounts, but they often require a higher minimum deposit.

The difference between a savings account and an MMA is what the bank can do with your money.

The bank is restricted in how they can loan your money. With an MMA the bank may put your money in a CD, low-risk mutual fund, or government securities.

It’s easy to confuse an online bank that offers a high-yield savings and a bank/investment company offering money market accounts because sometimes they are used interchangeably.

Many people have an MMA already and don’t realize it. That’s because in your investment account there is typically cash waiting to be invested that is stored in an MMA. For example, I have cash sitting in my Vanguard account when I don’t have enough money to purchase an entire share of VTI in my Roth IRA.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about these accounts for your goals. 

5. A Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit (CD) acts as a savings account and has a fixed interest rate.

It also has a fixed date of withdrawal, known as the maturity date.

I call these Certificates of Depression. 😁

Why would I do that? Because, if you want to invest your money for the long run, the interest rate is measly.

Although it’s higher than a typical savings account or money market account, your money is going to be locked up for a period of time. For example, at my local credit union the terms of a CD are:

  • 2.00% 1-year CD 
  • 2.50% 4-year CD
  • 3.15% 5-year CD

That means you can’t touch your money for 1,4, or 5 years to earn that percentage rate.

I don’t use CDs anymore because I had a bad experience in the past.

Here’s what happened.

I deposited $5,000 into a 2.5 year CD when I was 19. After 2 years, I’d made $50!

But unfortunately, my car broke down and I needed to access the money early.

I had to pay a $25 fee. Eating 50% of my profit. Then, I had to pay taxes on that $50 which was $7.50.

So my $50 return went to $17.50 which is a 0.0035% return.

Basically the same as if I would have left it in the bank. 😢

I could have planned better. I could have found a better CD and accessing the money early wasn’t smart. But, either way, I’m not a fan of CDs.

I want control over my money and I’m willing to take more risk if I’m going to be saving that money for a few years. 

However, CDs seem to fit some people very well and there are many reasons why they may make sense for you. Something that seems to be effective with CDs is called a CD ladder.

How it works is, you open multiple CDs to have access to your money at different times in the future without locking all of your money into one long-term account. Then you’re able to access certain amounts at different times because your CDs are maturing.

I still think there are better places to stash your cash.

The Bottom Line

To be honest, I stash my cash in two places. I use traditional savings accounts at USAA and one online high-yield savings account at Varo Money.

Then, if I’m putting money away for retirement or for goals more than 3-5 years away, I contribute to my Roth IRA at Vanguard or purchase individual stocks or cryptocurrency with Robinhood. Very carefully.

I’ve made my fair share of investing mistakes.

Read: Investing Mistakes I’ve Made With a Roth IRA

These are simply a few ways you can employ your dollars and stash your cash. But, more important than getting the highest interest on your savings is how much money you save. 

If you’re having trouble saving money I recommend you set it up automatically.

You can set this up with your bank or you could use a tool like Qapital or Digit to do it automatically for you. They don’t have a high APY but they can help you consistently save.

I love personal finance technology that helps change behavior!

Where do you stash your cash!?

Using the Money Jars System to Manage Your Money

Using the Money Jars System to Manage Your Money

Let’s be honest, there are hundreds of ways to manage your money. But today, I’m going to tell you why the money jars system that I use to manage my money is the most effective.

I tried the cash envelope system (which became messy), I tried saving everything in one savings account (which felt like deprivation), and I even tried not managing my money at all (bad idea).

None of these things worked for me.

When I Learned About the Money Jars System

We were poor growing up. And I never wanted to be poor again. I needed to change things to make sure I never had money problems.

When I was 16, I learned the importance of managing my money so I could reach financial freedom one day. Luckily, I applied what I learned with a simple money jars system to manage my money.

This set the foundation for the rest of my life. I have successfully used the money jars system to manage my money for over 10 years. I’m well on my way to becoming financially independent by simply using the money jars system I’m about to share with you.

Before we jump in, download the free PDF so you can get started.

Free Money Jars System PDF

What is the Money Jars System?

After learning about the jars money system, I purchased 5 mason jars and used a random popcorn box because Walmart didn’t sell mason jars in packs of 6. To get started you’ll need 6 physical mason jars.

Money Jar #1

The first money jar is for necessities. Each time you get paid, 50% of your money will go into this first money jar. This money will be used for things like housing, transportation, and food. Spending that takes up 70 – 80% of people’s budget. You’re going to learn how to get this spending down to 50% of what you make.

This requires decreasing your expenses and spending money on things you absolutely have to. This will require major discipline on your end.

Even after trying new things, you can only cut so far on your expenses. And in some cases, it requires increasing your income at your job or through a side hustle.

Learn more about how to increase your income if you feel you don’t make enough money.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Making Side Income

Money Jar #2

The second money jar is your financial independence jar. 10% of EVERY dollar you make—no matter what—goes into your financial independence jar. Even if it’s a small amount of money, this will help you build the habit of saving money each time you get paid.

What about debt? Should you put money in this jar if you’re paying interest?

The answer depends.

Don’t wait to save money until all of your debt is paid off and you have an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months. You should be doing both.

Once you understand compound interest, this will make more sense. The more money you can save early in life the better off you will be. So get started saving 10% of your income no matter what even if you have debt.

Jar System | Simplifinances

Money Jar #3

The third jar of money is long-term savings of 10%. How is this different than money jar #2? Financial independence money will be spent when you become financially independent. That money will sustain your lifestyle.

Long-term savings has two functions:

  • Save for long-term things like a down-payment on a house, car, starting a business, etc.
  • This money jar serves as your emergency fund.

I’ve discovered setting money aside in a savings account labeled “emergency fund” doesn’t work.

Because guess what happens?

An emergency!

And the money gets spent on things that may not actually be an emergency.

I’ve honestly tried building an “emergency fund” at least 10 times and the money always gets spent.

It hasn’t worked for me.

What allowed me to have money in case of an actual emergency was if the funds were going toward a long term savings goal.

In the event of an ACTUAL emergency, I had the money and it simply meant we had to delay our goal.

Money Jar #4

The fourth money jar is tithing/give.

I believe in paying a 10% tithe to my church. However, It goes a lot deeper than simply giving 10% to my church.

When you have a giving mentality, you’re looking at life with an abundance mentality. And that will spill over into other areas.

Avoid having a scarcity mindset. It’s no way to live!

10% doesn’t have to go to a church, it could go to your favorite charity or you could even use the money for birthday and Christmas gifts.

Either way, when you give, you look at life in a different lens.

What if you’re thinking, I’ll start giving when I have more?

Stop it.

No amount is too small to give. Just get started.

Using the Money Jars System to Manage Your Money | Simplifinances

Money Jar #5

The 5th money jar is play money to blow.

10% of your income will be set aside and spent on whatever the heck you want. This is non-guilty spending that will help you maintain balance in your life.

Your hard-earned dollars should be going toward things you love to spend money on. And if you could choose to spend more, you would totally do it.

Things like weekend getaways, expensive date nights, massages, concerts, fairs, whatever you want.

Life is meant to be enjoyednot just endured.”

There is one caveat.

If you’re paying more than 5 – 7% interest on any debt, you should be paying that off and not spending money on play.

This is about priorities and you can’t afford to be flushing money down the drain each month on high-interest debt. Pay off that high-interest debt first, then you’ll be able to start spending more money on things that you value.

Money Jar #6

The last money jar is for education and is the most flexible jar.

Invest 10% in yourself and your skills.

Pay for college, buy courses, books or anything that will help you increase your skills.

“The best investment with the highest ROI is an investment in yourself.”

Benjamin Franklin

Setting aside money for education could do more for you than any other jar. You should be doing this if you’re able to master all of the money jars above.

However, If you’re unable to live off 50% of your income or you’re paying off high-interest debt, you should be using the money from your education jar to pay for those things.

Conclusion

If you’ve tried managing your money in the past and it didn’t work, what do you have to lose by giving the money jar system a try?

This will help you build a foundation for financial wellness and allow you to live the life you’ve always wanted.

Using cash can be difficult. A question I’ve been asked is, “how can I use this money jars system digitally?

You absolutely don’t have to use physical jars. I recommend it starting out but you can do the exact same thing with your online bank accounts.

Read: Don’t Like Using Cash to Manage Your Money? Try This…

Free Money Jars System PDF | Simplifinances

You can also sign up for the free course on learning how to manage your money with the money jars system where I give you the step-by-step guide you need to get started in 7 days.

Sign up HERE! You’ll be glad you did!

Qube Money Lifetime Memberships On Sale!

Qube Money Lifetime Memberships On Sale!

Because of the way Kenzie and I manage our money, we’ve never been able to find the perfect solution to budget easily in our digital world.

It’s always been a little bit difficult.

Having multiple bank accounts for different purposes works, but sometimes it sucks.

I haven’t seen a digital system built for the jars money management system or the cash envelope system.

Until now…

Check out this video:

You’ll be able to create mini bank accounts with purpose and you’ll even be able to set up how the money gets divided automatically.

Budgeting no longer has to be a dreaded task you do once a month. It becomes a part of your life, impacting the spending decision you make on a daily basis.

Last month, I talked about my decision to join Qube Money and gave more information about the Utah-based company.

How much does it cost?

Right now, Qube Money is offering a 15% discount off of their lifetime memberships.

Normally, the prices for the premium version is $179 and if you have kids, the family version is $249. But if you use my code: SCOTT25 before December 22nd, you can get a 25% discount!

Qube Money Premium will be $8/month or $96 a year when the app launches in the spring of 2020. If you purchase an annual membership it will be $80 (2 months for free). Premium features include:

  • Companion accounts
  • 2 physical debit cards
  • Partner permissions
  • Partner notifications
  • High-yield savings
  • Digital cash envelopes automation
  • Account aggregation
  • Automated payment controls
  • In-app notes/picture upload
  • In-app icon customization

Qube Money Family will be $15/month or $180 a year. It comes with all the above premium features but more for the family. If you purchase an annual membership it will be $150 (2 months for free). Family membership features include:

the home screen of the Qube Money app
  • All the features of the Premium version
  • Parent permissions
  • Up to 10 kid cards
  • “Kid view” Qube budgeting
  • In-app chore tracking
  • In-app kid money request
  • Parent-to-kid money transfers

The fact that you’ll be able to purchase a lifetime membership once and you’ll have access to all of these features and all of the amazing features to come forever is a no brainer!

Even Dave Ramsey’s budgeting app is $130 per year or $11 per month. And You Need A Budget (YNAB) which so many people rave about is $12 per month or $84 per year.

Qube Money will be so much better than both of these because it’s not just a budgeting app, it’s a banking budgeting app combo that no one has built before.

To purchase a lifetime membership, or give it as a gift, do so by clicking here!

Be sure to use my discount code: SCOTT25 and you’ll get 25% off!

Why should you buy a lifetime membership if you can’t even use the app right away?

Qube Money has a 100% money-back guarantee. If for whatever reason you feel like it’s not for you, they will give you your money back no questions asked.

Also, Qube Money already has a successful track record. They had over 10K users and around 2K daily active users and hundreds of positive reviews in the App Store. Shutting down and rebranding to Qube Money is only going to make the product better.

At the end of the day, you’re taking a leap of faith hoping that this product will help you with your finances for the rest of your life. But right now, the price is the lowest it will ever be and you have the chance to get 25% off with my code. SCOTT25

You really have nothing to lose and I think you should go buy a lifetime membership.

Purchase your lifetime membership here.

Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Full disclosure: I work for Qube Money and I may also be compensated when you purchase a lifetime membership. Happy budgeting! 🙂

[BIG NEWS!] I Decided to Join the Qube Money Team!

[BIG NEWS!] I Decided to Join the Qube Money Team!

I mentioned two weeks ago that I quit my job as a financial planner. I had a bunch of people reach out and ask me what was happening!

I’m excited to share the new chapter of our lives with you!

The new opportunity is with a fin-tech start-up company based out of Utah called Qube Money (formerly ProActive Budget).

Qube is rebranding and relaunching in spring 2020. I’ve been watching this company since meeting them at FinCon 2018 in Orlando. This past FinCon 2019, I learned they were relaunching and adding new features. So I wanted to find a way to be a part of it!

Why I Made The Switch

“85% of people who need help financially can’t afford it.”

This is a quote from Alan Moore of the XY Planning Network at a conference in San Diego two years ago. This has driven me crazy and is one reason why I became a financial counselor.

“Many of the people who most need financial planning services and investment advice can’t afford to pay for either. To be in a position to hire someone to advise you on how to build wealth, you first have to build some wealth,” says Rick Kahler of Brightscope

Seeds of doubt have been planted in my mind for many years. Things like, you can’t make money helping people that don’t have money. But I’ve wanted to find a way to help as many everyday individuals and families with their finances as I can. One of the reasons I started a financial coaching business and this blog.

I’ve worked in academia and helped people in their 20’s. I’ve worked as a financial planner helping clients with their investments. And, I started a financial coaching practice and helped clients pay off debt and start saving. These have all been great opportunities. But it kept coming back to one problem that was hard to solve. Cash flow management.

This is one of the biggest things keeping people from reaching their financial goals and becoming financially independent. I’ve taught people the jar’s money management system with success but it was missing something.

Why This Aligns With My Purpose

I’ve been interested in the new financial apps that have released over the years like RobinhoodAcornsSimple, and Varo. They’ve all experienced rapid growth addressing needs for younger people and lowering fees. I’ve thought it would be cool to work for a new company like one of these.

Most would require us to move to San Francisco if I went that route. But this won’t require us to do that. Utah is experiencing insane growth and it’s largely driven by financial service and fin-tech companies.

What’s been done in the past to help people is moving online and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

More About Qube Money

Qube first launched as ProActive Budget two years ago and did well. They experienced issues with their processor and shut down operations. They’re now with a better processor and rebranding. When you google proactive budget you could probably guess what kept showing in up the search results. Skincare. Which is a big-budget item for a lot of women, apparently!

This video explains what it is:

Qube money requires you to be intentional with your spending. Most people have heard of the cash envelope system because it’s powerful and it helps with spending behavior. The problem is cash is a hassle and writing down each transaction sucks.

Qube is like digital cash envelopes. If you don’t have money in your qube for a certain purchase it will decline the transaction.

No other financial app makes you think before you buy, changes behavior and is effective long-term.

I believe this has the potential to impact millions and help them live healthier financial lives.

I can’t share everything yet but a lot is happening behind the scenes that make this super exciting!

What’s Going to Happen to Simplifinances?

Don’t worry, Simplifinances isn’t going anywhere. I’m still trying to figure out what my plan is for 2020. I will most likely scale back on how much I write. For two years, I’ve published one article a week and at times that can be a lot. Especially on top of a full-time job, school, family, church, etc. I may write once or twice a month or whenever I feel like I have something to share.

I’m excited about the new opportunity and feel grateful to be a part of it! This is something I would have never had the opportunity for if I wouldn’t have decided to start Simplifinances.

I don’t write a ton about blogging and growing an online business because that was never my intent from the beginning. But this week I’m going to share a course with you if blogging has been something you’ve wanted to try. I am an affiliate for the course and I think it will give you a great starting point.

Make sure you join my mailing list and look out for an email in the next couple of days.

If you’d like to learn more about Qube and be a part of the launch join the waiting list at www.qubemoney.io.

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