I came across a new app and decided to check it out.
It is Personal Capital and it’s a little different than the apps I have tried before.
I am really enjoying using it and checking it out so I decided to give Personal Capital a review.
Here is my breakdown of the app including the pros and cons.
Personal Capital Review
What is Personal Capital?
Personal Capital is a financial service app that allows you to see all your accounts and investments in one place.
It allows you to track spending and cash flow as well as investments.
It also has a premium Wealth Management program.
This app is not really a budgeting app but a net worth and investment planning app.
It does show you your spending and budget categories so it can be used to track your spending. However, it doesn’t let you set budget amounts for each category.
I do love having all my accounts in one place and I can track my net worth very easily.
If you are looking for an app to analyze and track investments, this is perfect for you.
It has a 401(k) analyzer and retirement planning and analyzer all in the free version.
The paid version using their Wealth Management program and will actually control your investments for you.
How does it work?
You create a free account and then link to you bank and other accounts so that it can pull in the information.
It is free to sign up and link all of your accounts.
It is incredibly easy to use and took me less than 30 minutes to link to all of my accounts.
The dashboard shows you the snapshot of your spending, income, investments, and net worth.
You can then go in and look at your cash flow, spending and categories and see where your money has been going.
You can also adjust the categories for expenses. It will automatically categorize them based on what it thinks they are. However, it isn’t always right.
It did however get almost all of them correct and I only had to change a few transactions.
It also has investment and retirement analyzer with the free version.
You can input your retirement goals and it analyzes your investments to see if you are on track. It will also remind you of your savings progress in your dashboard.
Who should use it?
This app is really for people that are looking to manage their money well.
Personal Capital allow you to plan and manage your entire portfolio, not just your budget.
I would not suggest this for someone that is just looking for a budgeting app.
This app works very well in conjunction with your budgeting app.
If you are not wanting to do just a budget and are looking for a place to track your net worth and investments as well as track your overall spending, this app is for you.
If you are wanting to see your budget categories and know how much is left in each category, this app is not for you.
What is the cost?
It is free to use. You can do a lot of things with the free version including analyzing spending and investments.
The free version is incredibly powerful and perfect for the average family.
They do have a Wealth Management Program that has all-inclusive fees. There are no additional fees and they only charge you for the accounts they actually manage. So their analysis of your company 401(k) is not subject to a fee.
There are minimum initial investment amounts with their Wealth Management Program.
Personal Capital does have a free app that you can download onto your phone which makes it quick and easy to track your spending. It also is simple and easy to use to see your overall financial picture at a glance.
It can be used for monitoring your spending and budget but you can’t set your budget amounts. So this will not replace your budget. But it will make it easier to follow your budget and your spending through the month.
It makes it quicker to change budget categories on your spending tracker as well if it needs adjustment.
It will help you monitor your spending in each category at a glance which could help you spend less or think twice about a purchase. Especially if you left your written budget at home or are sharing the app with a spouse.
For example, you could create a budget for each spouse for lunch and then you can monitor the spending in the category via the free app.
Then you both can see how much you have left in that category.
Pros and Cons
The pros to using this app is that it is free and has a lot of things with it.
You can analyze retirement and see a snapshot of your finances.
It does have tracking for budget and cash flow but it doesn’t allow you to enter budget amounts for the categories.
If they added that feature, this app would be perfect for budgeting and managing your overall finances.
I like that it is easy to use and see a snapshot of your overall financial picture.
The retirement analyzer is great and helps make sure that you are saving enough for retirement. It will also analyze your investments and help you manage them as well.
Personal Capital vs Mint
Personal Capital and Mint work well together. Personal Capital shows all your accounts, spending, categories, etc in once place but also helps you plan for investments and retirement. It actually works well in conjunction with Mint.
They are not mutually exclusive to one another.
They both specialize in different areas even though some of their features overlap.
They actually complement each other well. They also both have a free version which is great when trying to decide which to use.
Mint is more geared toward setting your budget and makes it easier to track how much you have left in each category.
Personal Capital shows your spending but doesn’t have a way that I found to set your budget limits. It does however show what you have spent in each category.
Both apps work about the same way. They both let you adjust categories on transactions easily and see your overall financial snapshot.
Personal Capital is a great app to see your personal financial snapshot and get help with planning and managing investments and retirement.
It also helps you track your spending and see where your spending has been and areas you can cut back on.
This app will not replace your budget. However, it is better than no budget at all.
It is a great start and even better when paired with your zero-based budget or budget planner.