I’ve been coming across a LOT of great financial apps and services lately, so thought we’d do a round up of some of my favorites here – Cliffs Notes style :)
All of these apps/services below are either new-to-me, new in general, or up and coming and looking like they’re about to change up the game here… And believe me, I’m getting a greaaaaat handle on what’s going on in our blogging community as I’ve started scanning EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST our industry puts out EVERY SINGLE DAY! Roughly 200-250/day.
You can do the same, if you have hundreds of hours to spare ;) –> directory.rockstarfinance.com/feeds
Hope you find this helpful!
#1) Blooom — A way to automatically optimize and manage your 401(k)
This one’s my #1 favorite on the list because a) I could have used it a TON back in my employment years!! and b) Hardly anyone is doing this right now – but it affects millions and millions of people.
Ever wondered what the hell you’re doing with your 401(k) or 403(b)/401(a)/457 accounts? Then this is the company for you. For $10/mo Blooom will not only make sure you’re invested into the right – lower cost – funds for your situation, but also physically *manage it all* for you so you literally don’t have to do a thing anymore (though of course it’s always good to know what’s going on and stay in control).
You sign up once, get your free analysis of how your account is looking currently, and then either go away and continue managing it all yourself (accepting their recommendations or not) – OR – continue forward and let them do all the monitoring and heavy lifting for you from now on.
And the best part is you get direct access to registered financial advisors who can’t put you in any random or outside funds or upsell you on anything because there’s nothing to upsell you on! You’re limited to the funds that your employer has hand-picked for you to choose from, for better or for worse, so it’s just a matter of optimizing them in the best way for you.
If you’re already comfortable managing your 401(k) and don’t need any help, then Blooom isn’t for you. If you prefer to have someone else do it for you while keeping you in the loop, then I’d def. check them out.
You can learn more get your free analyzation here: Blooom.com ($10 flat rate per month)
#2. Chime – a simple online bank w/ built-in app features!
This is one of the first banks I’d check out if I wasn’t such a fanboy of USAA. Similar to Simple Bank who we’ve featured here before, Chime gets how ridiculous Big Banks treat their customers and wants to make the banking process as easy and helpful as possible.
Without fees, without hidden costs, and definitely without headache.
What separates them from the other online banks though is their understanding of how much we LOVE our apps and features coming out left and right. Their vision is to have everything in one centrally located and connected place where you don’t need a bank plus 15 other apps to log into to get $hit done. You just have one – Chime (in their perfect world :)) – and you’re good.
They’re still a ways away from this, but they’ve already rolled out some of the more popular savings tricks from apps which is currently available to anyone with a Chime account. Here’s a list of some of their features:
- Save When You Spend – Similar to Acorns and other “round up” applications, Chime will help you save more by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar every time you buy something. They’ll then automatically transfer the difference right into savings for you.
- Save When You Get Paid – You know how everyone tells you to “pay yourself first?” Well, this does exactly that. Activate this feature once, and then chime will automatically transfer 10% of every paycheck in the future right into your savings account before you even have a chance to spend it. Nice and simple (and smart).
- Early Direct Deposit – This one I’ve never heard of before (?), but basically if you’re a member of Chime and your employer directly deposits your paychecks every payroll, you can sometimes see your money show up in your Chime account up to two days faster than normal. Again, never seen this before as I’ve been out of the 9-5 world for a while, but sounds kinda cool?
- Pay Friends – Lastly, Chime makes it super easy to xfer money between friends with a click of some buttons.
You can find more info about Chime here: ChimeBank.com (FREE / BudgetsAreSexy readers get $5.00 bonus at sign up)
(They also have a pretty cool sister site where people can see how much they’re *really* spending in nonsense fees from the Big Banks out there: BankFeeFinder.com. Even if you’re not in the market for a new bank, I highly encourage you to run their analyzation anyways so you can see exactly what’s going on with your current bank! Some of them are good at hiding stuff! (I’m looking at you, Bank of America))
#3. Trim – a personal financial assistant that saves money for you
While not exactly an *app* (Trim works through text messaging and Facebook Messenger), they act in pretty much the same way. And particularly, to better help you save money.
They do this through four ways:
#1. Trim Financial Manager – Hook up your bank accounts once, and then Trim will analyze your transaction history and allow you to do a number of pretty slick things right there directly through them:
- Cancel any unwanted subscriptions (and let you know what subscriptions you even have!)
- Set spending alerts
- Get balances
- Find out how much you spent on Netflix/etc last month
- And even fight fees automatically with your bank
#2. Trim Savings – Connect your Visa card to them through FB Messenger (must be a Visa, and must go through FB Messenger), and then get the following free perks:
- Coupons that automatically get applied to your card
- $1.00 on any grocery purchase greater than $5.00 (you’ll get 10 of these)
- $1.00 on any dining purchase greater than $5.00 (you’ll get 10 of these too)
- $10.00 on any movie purchase greater than $20.00 (you’ll only get 1 of these)
In total you can nab $40.00 of cash back, again – only through your Visa card.
#3. Trim Bill Negotiator – Sign up through either FB Messenger or text message, then connect your Comcast bill (update: and now any other cable/internet bill as Trim works with them all now!) and credit card you use to pay it with, and Trim will start negotiating it down on your behalf. If they succeed in saving you money, they take 25% of the savings for the first month only, and then you get to keep all the rest, and if they fail they don’t charge a thing. They say the average savings is about $30.00 every month – PRETTY COOL!!!
(Another update: For Comcast users, Trim will now monitor your area on an ongoing basis for outages, and if they catch any they’ll automatically try and get you a credit!)
#4. Amazon Price Patrol – Lastly, Trim will monitor your Amazon transactions if you want them to, and then anytime they find a discrepancy in the price you paid vs the current price of an item, they’ll automatically go out and get you a refund for the difference. It’s very similar to Paribus if you remember our review of them the other year, but it’s also still in beta mode so may be a little wonky until they get it all streamlined. Still, another cool task to give to robots while we’re out enjoying our lives ;)
You can learn more about all these features here: AskTrim.com (FREE, except for the Comcast commission part)
#4. Stockpile — A way to buy fractional shares of stocks
I’m going to cheat with this one and share a pretty infographic instead of writing up a summary :) These guys have popped up almost every single day since starting our Blogger Feeds Tracker, so either they’re really great at marketing, or they’re starting to take off (or a little of both?)
Either way, here’s what they’re about below. The gifting option is my favorite! Much better to receive a gift of stock than another random tschotske or toy right?? Especially for kids?
Click here to learn more: StockPile.com (99 cents/trade, BudgetsAreSexy readers get $5.00)
And those are my 4 latest favorites in the fintech world!
More and more are coming out every day which is AWESOME (we need as much help as we can get!), so I’ll try and be better about doing more of these roundups around here. I wanted to do full in-depth reviews of all these guys, but it just wasn’t happening so hopefully this is enough for you to go on :)
Here’s a list of some of our past reviews over time too, in case you’ve missed any:
- WealthSimple — A financial company that helps you build a portfolio of low-fee funds (ETFs), without charging you an exorbitant amount to do so. They’ll then manage it all for you, help you grow it, and offer advice along the way. So pretty much a “robo-advisor”, just without any minimum balance requirements and set up to be as simple as possible. (Available in Canada too!)
- brightpeak financial (FREE) — A division of Thrivent Federal Credit Union that rewards you for saving money into their “emergency savings account” (such a perfect name for an account, right?) Stash $50/mo into it for two years, and brightpeak will drop an additional $100 into it for you.
- Clarity Money (FREE) — A new app that claims they’ll be killing Mint.com (hah!). Hook up your accounts with them once, and then Clarity will analyze all the data and make suggestions on how to better optimize and save your money. But rather than just telling or showing you what to do, you actually have the ability to *take action* there directly in the app – the major difference between them and most other fintech apps.
- Self Lender — An alternative way to build credit back by saving. Their “credit builder account” offers a CD (certificate of deposit) that you *pay into* every month until the term is up, all the while recording your good payment history. It’s not free, but it could be a good option for anyone struggling hard w/ their credit right now.
- Qoins (FREE) — Similar to Acorns, this app rounds up all your daily transactions to the nearest dollar, and then applies the difference straight to your debts. I don’t know why this is the first app that’s offered this over the years (??), but of course I’m loving it! Anything that gets you to take action is good, even if it’s just a handful of dollars each month!
- Tip Yourself (FREE) — An app that allows you to transfer small dollar amounts from your checking account to a Tip Jar so you can reward yourself anytime, anywhere, whether it’s just $1.00 or a larger amount for something special! Been following these guys for over a year now and REALLY like what they’re doing. So easy and uncomplicated!
- Debitize (FREE) — If you’ve ever wanted to mix the benefits of both credit cards and debit cards (credit cards for the rewards, and debit so the bill doesn’t rack up!), this is the tool for you. Debitize monitors your credit cards for new activity, and then automatically initiates a transfer out of your checking account into your Debitize account whenever you make a charge. When your credit card bill comes due, Debitize pays it for you – automatically and on time – with the funds from your Debitize account. So you still go about your business using credit cards as normal, but now without the fear of not having the $$$ in your account to pay for it at the end of the month.
- Honey (FREE) — One of the easiest ways to save while shopping online. Download the browser extension once, and then at check out click the Honey button and it’ll automatically scour the internet for coupons, and apply each one of them to your cart until it finds the one with the most savings. Sometimes it’s $1.00, and others $10.00 (depending on what you’re buying), and in all cases it literally only takes like 15 seconds. I’d say it finds me something about 50% of the time.
- Digit (Free for 100 days, then $2.99/mo) — My all-time favorite, despite them now charging $2.99/mo for it. Attach your bank accounts with them one, and then have their digital robots analyze your income/expenses and automatically transfer out a few dollars here and there that they know you won’t miss. They’re one of the pioneers in this automated savings game, and I believe in their vision so much that I actually joined their board of advisors! As of January of this year, BudgetsAreSexy readers who have signed up to them have saved $4,608,568.32 – pretty wild!
- Acorns — My 2nd all-time favorite app, that rounds up all your transactions and drops the spare change into a diversified portfolio of funds for you. They’re one of the first apps to ever offer this, and in combination with Digit you’d have a helluva system already going in tandem :)
- And then lastly, Personal Capital (FREE) — One of the PF world’s favorite fintech company which helps you visualize your entire financial picture all in one spot. Connect up your accounts one time, and then get immediate insight into your spending, income, investments, and our personal favorite – net worth. It’s a turbocharged Mint.com, only geared towards investing more so than budgeting.
So there you have it – 15 hot apps & services out there ;)
Meant to just stick to the top 4, but oh well haha…. Better chances that you find something new you like, eh? And to think how far we’ve come since this:
Happy $$$ growing!!
Needless to say, most of these apps/reviews above include affiliate links which means I’ll benefit financially if you end up signing up to any of them. As you know from over the years though, I only share companies I love and use myself, or those I think will greatly help others in different situations than I’m in (like the debt apps). In either case though, I never share anything just for the payout and do my best to provide value to y’all. Please let me know what you think whenever you sign up to any of them, or if you’d like me to check out other apps out there you find are powerful!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!