9 Interesting New Financial Apps & Services ✨

by J. Money -

gold piggy bank

What up what up!

Been compiling a list of some of the more interesting financial apps and services I’ve been pitched on lately, and out of the 872 of them this year here were the ones I thought looked most promising ;)

Let me know if you end up trying any of them out!

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Bring Your Own Budget (byobudget.com) — “I made a webapp, BYOB, that lets you use texting to record purchases in a google spreadsheets based budget (e.g. a budget that one might already be using). I built it for myself, and as I did I realized that some people might find it useful as well.”

KeeperTax (keepertax.com) — “Keeper Tax automatically finds tax write offs for 1099 contractors / self employed people. We do this using algorithms and human bookkeepers to search through bank / cc statements for tax write offs. Things like home office, business travel, insurance premiums, etc.”

Worthy Bonds (worthybonds.com) — “Earn 5% interest on $10 Worthy Bond purchases while supporting your fellow humans.” Highlights:

  • Can start investing with only $10
  • Earn 5% annual interest
  • Bonds can be cashed in anytime
  • Totally free service – no account or transaction fees
  • 3 easy ways to buy – on demand, a “set it & forget it” monthly recurring investment or via our round-up your spare change feature to auto invest
  • Bonds are backed by a diverse portfolio of secured loans
  • Supports American companies as bond sale proceeds are lent out primarily for inventory loans to growing businesses

U-Nest (u-nest.com) — “The first mobile app designed to help families save for college with a 529 College Savings Plan. In under five minutes, families can be on their way to ending the crushing cycle of student debt – no paperwork, no expensive advisors, for as little as $25/month.” UPDATE: The $25/mo is the minimum *investment*, not the cost to use U-Nest :) That is only $3.00/mo…

Root (joinroot.com) — “A mobile AI app that allows users to save up to 52% on their car insurance. Users receive their rates primarily based off of their driving performance following a 2-3 week long test drive.”

MaxRewards (maxrewards.co) — “MaxRewards is a free app that helps you build your credit, track your spend, and maximize your rewards. Our typical users earn over $1,900 in rewards in their first year.” Features:

  • Best Wallet Recommendation: The app simulates millions of credit card combinations to objectively identify your best combination of cards for your unique profile and preferences.
  • Sign Up Bonus Tracker: The app keeps track of your qualifying spend towards your signup bonus.
  • Upcoming Bills: See all of your upcoming bills and their autopay status in one place so you never pay a late fee again.
  • Best Card To Use: MaxRewards shows you the best cards to use wherever you are. The app keeps track of bonus categories, spending limits, and reward valuations so you can focus on making your life more rewarding.
  • Card Overview and Details: Quickly review your cards, balances, and credit availability. Deep-dive into any card to see rewards, fees, transactions, and card information.
  • Trends: Understand how you spend and how you earn rewards. Filter your spend and rewards over time, by card, and by category.
  • Credit Scores: Instead of relying on one or two scores (not actually used by your banks), see ALL your credit scores, factors, and history from all of your issuers.

(MaxRewards is currently on beta, but you can request an invite here, and it’ll give you access when you put “JMONEY” in for your access code. It’s currently in Apple TestFlight and the Google Play Store.)

Trust & Will (TrustandWill.com) — “Trust & Will is the easiest way to create, edit, store, and share your trust and will. We offer Trusts, Wills, & Guardianship to help protect the ones you love, starting at only $39.”

(Another will-related service that seems to be blowing up is Tomorrow.me, where you can actually craft a legal will right from your phone (and for FREE). Seems a bit wild, but hey – it’s a new age, eh?)

AskZeta (askzeta.com) — “Zeta helps couples master their finances together. Our platform allows couples to link their accounts, auto-set budgets, and understand their spending.” Features:

  • Personal and shared views (budgets, net worth, spending, goals)
  • Privacy controls (you keep 100% control over what your partner sees)
  • Customizable (custom-categories, split expenses, manual transactions)
  • Automate everything (budgets, rules)
  • Easy access (we support both desktop and mobile apps)

And then one new’ish product on the scene, that’s not money related but some of you parents might appreciate, is a spinoff from Republic Wireless called “Relay”.

republic wireless relays

Relay (relaygo.com) —  “The simplest and safest first phone for your child. It’s screen-free, as easy to use as a walkie talkie — and works everywhere.” Features:

  • Integrated GPS location tracking
  • No screens = no screen time concerns
  • Durable, play-proof design
  • Nationwide 4G LTE coverage, just like your phone
  • Free voice apps available including music, language translation, and more
  • $9.99 per Relay / monthly service + no contracts

We’ve actually mentioned these on the blog before in passing, but I recently got my hands on a few to test out and my kids have been having a blast playing around with them :) Which, granted, isn’t the main point of them, haha, but they def. work well when hiding in closets or any other hidden places around your home/backyard! You literally do just have to push a button and talk into it to use these guys – pretty ingenious… (And also probably good for outdoor enthusiasts or even seniors who get frustrated with how fancy phones have become these days…Tons of applications for these things)

At any rate – hope you find something interesting here! We’ll start a fresh new list and see what else smart people come up with over time ;)

Anyone already using any of these products?! Are they as good as they sound?

XOXO,

j. money signature

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Some of the product links above are affiliates, meaning I’ll get a few bones if you end up trying them out… Though I’ve listed *all* the products I’ve found interesting lately regardless of affiliations.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh May 22, 2019 at 6:06 am

Very cool collection. Worthy is a neat concept and I put a few dollars into them several months ago. MaxRewards sounds interesting as well.

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2 J. Money May 22, 2019 at 7:27 am

Oh good!! They’re both actually companies that keep popping up on the scene over here, which usually means it’s time for me to share them too :) Glad you’re already testing one of them out!

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3 Jules May 22, 2019 at 9:19 am

Haven’t heard of any of these – thanks for the roundup, J!

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4 J. Money May 22, 2019 at 9:42 am

No problem! You’ll have to let me know if you end up trying any out!

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5 Life Outside The Maze May 22, 2019 at 9:25 am

Thanks for another useful list J Money. The relay device may be exactly what I’m looking for for my kiddos. Also, if I use Root can I return to driving like a maniac after the 2-3 week test drive? ;)

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6 J. Money May 22, 2019 at 9:45 am

They’re great for kids!!! They can’t get sucked into screen time and they’re super fun to play with! For even more fun have THEM take the test drives too ;)

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7 David T May 22, 2019 at 10:48 am

I’ve been slowly putting some money into Worthy for about a year now. I like that interest rate!

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8 J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:59 am

Oh nice!! Hadn’t realized they’ve been around that long – def. great interest rate!

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9 Kim May 22, 2019 at 11:42 am

Awesome! Excited to check these out. BYOB especially.

Just a note — I thought “for $25 a month” sounded like a TERRIBLE cost for U-Nest, so I clicked over to their website. You can invest as little as $25 a month, and the cost is $3 a month. Just mentioning in case others misread it the same way I did :)

Although, $3 a month sounds like a killer on your returns if you’re only investing a small amount every month! But I’m not sure how this compares to other 529 services?

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10 J. Money May 23, 2019 at 6:04 am

Ahhh great catch! Haha… It does sound badly worded like that, doesn’t it??!

Just updated the post to clarify it more – thank you :) And to answer your question, I do not know how it compares to others, but similar to any other apps that cost money every month (Digit, Acorns, etc), my feeling is that if it gets you to START INVESTING it’s 1,000% better than not doing anything at all. And for less than the cost of a coffee I’d say that’s a bargain :)

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11 Bart Thomas May 23, 2019 at 6:43 am

The Relay is great! I have been a Republic Wireless member for years and got the Relay recently for my grandparents to use since they could not handle a complicated cell phone. Now we can keep track of where they go and if they need something it is easy for them to contact us.

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12 J. Money May 23, 2019 at 5:59 pm

Excellent use for them!! I’ve been saying for years that someone needs to DUMB DOWN phones again for those who don’t want to (or can’t) use all the fancy ones these days, and glad it was Republic Wireless who came through :) Not surprisingly either!

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13 Nate May 23, 2019 at 8:23 am

The Worthy thing sounds very intriguing. Tempted to plop some of my emergency fund in there since I can get double the interest rate I’m getting at CIT Bank. I’ll definitely do a little more research on it!

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14 J. Money May 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm

It really does seem like a great place for it, so long as you don’t mind having extra accounts around :) (I’m so minimalist now I can’t bring myself to do it haha…)

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15 JoeHx May 23, 2019 at 3:37 pm

WorthyBonds initially sounds fishy, but I guess they’re legit. Not FDIC insured, but instead SEC. They got a link to their SEC filings at the bottom of their webpage (https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1699834).

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16 J. Money May 23, 2019 at 6:02 pm

yeah, I don’t think bonds are actually FDIC’d anywhere though…

(just googled: “The FDIC covers the traditional types of bank deposit accounts – including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts (MMDAs), and certificates of deposit (CDs)” // https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/faq.html )

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17 Elizabeth May 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm

As a parent of two growing little ones, the Relay “phone” is super interesting! I’d never heard of it before, so thanks for sharing.

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18 J. Money May 24, 2019 at 2:53 pm

no problem! let me know if you try them out – my kids love talking on them! :)

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