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Online banking has undoubtedly taken the ability to manage your finances to a whole new level. You can keep up with your accounts no matter the time or your location, deposit checks with a quick snap and click, and transfer funds on your own time. It’s extremely convenient, but if you’re like me and have multiple bank accounts, it can be difficult to keep up.
I was once a loyal Mint user until one of my blogger friends mentioned Personal Capital. It was free.99 to sign up so I decided it wouldn’t hurt to test the waters, right?
It didn’t take long for me to make the switch permanently, and I seriously cannot recommend them enough! Check out this Personal Capital review below.
What is Personal Capital?
Personal Capital is a wealth management company and online financial advisor managing over $5.5 billion in assets. Needless to say, they know their stuff.
You can manage all of your finances under one log-in, so no more switching between different banking apps. You can see your net worth, account balances, transactions, investments, and retirement portfolio all for free in just one place!
Using the features
To get started, you’ll enter some basic information about yourself, such as your name and date of birth. This information will be used to keep track of your retirement goals.
Link all accounts
To enjoy the benefit of managing your accounts all in one place, search for your financial institutions and enter your log-in information to have them each added.
One bad thing that I can say in this Personal Capital review is that they didn’t have one of my credit unions listed. To their defense, it is a local credit union in little ol’ Arkansas. They did, however, have my other credit union available.
My favorite feature is being able to see all of my expenses broken down into categories, such as groceries and entertainment. From here, you can actually see where most of your money is going, which can help you stop any unnecessary leaks in your wallet before they make a flood!
To get the most out of this feature, make sure each of your transactions is categorized.
Plan for retirement
I’ll admit that I haven’t given my 401K much love since I cut off most of my contributions to help me pay down my student loan debt. Next year, however, I’m determined to get back on track.
If you’re a millennial like me, Social Security may be a thing of the past when it’s time to retire. Setting aside funds is vital to ensure you have enough money to allow you to live comfortably while you kick back on the beach.
Using the retirement planner, you can create your own retirement plan and keep up with your projected goals. Other free tools include the Investment Checkup and Retirement Fee Analyzer.
Posts to check out next!
Why do I need Personal Capital?
Personal Capital allows you to easily view your whole financial picture on one screen. Accounts are updated in real-time, so you get an accurate view of all balances and transactions.
We each have goals in life that require good financial health, such as owning a home or buying a new car, but poor financial management WILL be a deal-breaker. When you’re wily-nilly with your money you may find yourself with overdraft fees, suffering credit, and never-ending calls from bill collectors.
*If you’re looking to keep track/improve your credit score then I highly recommend Credit Sesame. They’re similar to Credit Karma, but more in depth. It’s completely free to use and comes with free identity protection!
Budgeting is easier
Personal Capital makes sticking to your budget so much easier because it keeps up with your spending categories for you. I simply just compare how much was actually spent to how much I’ve allotted to each category in my budget to ensure that I’m staying on track for the month.
To get a more detailed overview of your spending, make sure each of your transactions is reflecting the correct description. If not, simply click on the transaction to update it.
You can establish or modify your financial goals
Viewing your spending habits against your loans/debt, savings, and net worth may lead you to create new financial goals, or modify your current ones.
I’m ashamed to say that one of my savings accounts was bare-bones, and because I never logged into my banking account its importance took a backseat. To be frank, it slipped my mind, but I was able to modify a part of my budget to add more funds to that account each month.
You can make a game plan
There’s no better time to start working on your financial health than now. Having your income and expenses on one screen may unveil some things that will make you wince, but you will not discover the need to fix the damage if you cannot see it.
Personal Capital gives a side-by-side comparison of the money you have coming in versus the amount going out each month, thus giving you a better visual of your cash flow.
If something like your food category is sky-high (*raises hand) then it may be time to establish a game plan in order to cut back on those expenses.
Personal Capital review conclusion
Creating a budget is a great first step, but you must also evaluate your spending behavior. Monitoring your spending should be a top priority, and this app makes it super easy to keep track of your transactions!