Before I begin this post I should note that I use Personal Capital to track my expenses, but I am not affiliated with the company. I get no money or anything for promoting their services (although I wish I did).
One of the things that can improve any financial situation is tracking your finances. I actually track some of my finances with three different services. Specifically, I use Credit Karma, Mint, and Personal Capital. I like Credit Karma because it gives me two fairly accurate estimations of my credit score. I can also check out a preliminary aspect of my credit report. Mint I started using a few years ago because it was free and I was turned onto it by different websites. Mint is ok for budgeting and doesn’t do a bad job of tracking my spending, but it needs improvement in other areas.
So on the advice of other bloggers I decided to sign up for an account on Personal Capital about 8 months ago. And after 8 months I can safely say that Personal Capital is my favorite way to track my finances. Now there are other choices out there, but I still think Personal Capital is the best. Here are some reasons why:
- It is free. Now most of the personal finance apps and sites out there are free, but Personal Capital offers a variety of services potentially for free.
- I can put all of my finances into one area and track them. I am a big believer in keeping things clean and simple. I have all my investments at Fidelity. I do most of my banking at our local credit union, including our mortgage. That said I do have several accounts at other banks, an online savings account, and a loan at another site. Personal Capital allows me to link all of my accounts keeping track of everything under one house.
- Tracking My Transactions. Personal Capital is not the only online service that tracks your spending, but I find that their website allows me to put my income, expenses, and bills into more categories than Mint or other services. I can then examine all of those transactions and make changes if necessary. Now you still have to go in and categorize specific transactions like checks or some things that might be far afield, but it does a pretty good job of putting those transactions into their proper place.
- Investment Advice. I think one of the primary things that I like about Personal Capital is that it can analyze my investment strategies and actually provide an analysis of my overall strategy. It can assess my asset allocation, do an analysis of any fees I am paying, and also provide a strategy for future income and retirement.
- Ease of Use. I am by no means a tech guru (I leave that to Mrs. ROB) but it was a fairly easy process to hook up my differing financial accounts and then I can categorize different transactions from there. It probably took me only about 15 minutes to set up everything and at the end of the week I sit down, go through my transactions, and make sure that everything is being categorized in the proper way.
The Bottom Line: If you want to track your investments, spending, and net worth I suggest you use Personal Capital.