Stay On Top of All Your Finances With Personal Capital

Finance is one area of my life where I always like to feel that I am in control and I know what is going on. When I was single it was easy to handle, but now with a wife, her small business and a son, the financial accounts have grown and become a little more complicated. I still want to stay on top of things and like to make sure that we are doing okay, but now I get a little help from an app called Personal Capital.

I have the bad habit of never keeping a very good record of our money, in that I don’t log somewhere every time we make a transaction. With debit cards and automatic withdrawals, it has made that process so much harder, in my opinion. What I would do is that I would just check my bank accounts every day to make sure that the transactions that took place the previous day, matched up with what I thought it should be. That can be a tedious process, and so I began searching for an app that could help me out, and that is where Personal Capital came into play for me.

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Getting Started

The first thing you need to do with the app is to connect all of your accounts that you have. This is the first feature that really impressed me as with other apps that are similar, there would always be an account or two that wouldn’t be able to connect. But, with Personal Capital, I was able to connect all of my accounts from major banks and even my small credit union that we use here in our state. Not only that, but it was able to connect to my investment and retirement accounts as well as my all of my credit cards.

Adding your financial accounts.

Adding your financial accounts.

 Analyzing the Data

One of the things that initially got me interested in Personal Capital was the amount of information that they were able to give you about your accounts. For some reason, I love to always analyze our financial situation and look for ways that we can save more so that we can have a nice nest egg when we get older. Personal Capital does a great job of giving you a lot of good insight into your financial data, but does not overwhelm you to the point where you feel incompetent about your money.

Main screen with all of your accounts.

Main screen with all of your accounts.

The main screen presents you with an overview of all of your accounts that you have connected to the app. From here, if you want to dive deeper into an account you can click on it and you will see all of your transactions for that account. Expenses and deposits are automatically put into a preset category, which the app does a very good job of knowing what items belong in where. If you ever need to change it, you can easily do this by clicking on the transaction and choosing one from the list that they give you.

Transactions (left) Editing a single transaction (right)

Transactions (left) Editing a single transaction (right)

The second screen is called the Cash Flow; this is where you can see all of your expenses over all of your accounts. You can look at all of your transactions and see a chart of your net cash flow. The second part of this screen shows you your income that you have coming in and charts to help give you a visual representation.

Net Cash Flow (left) Income (right)

Net Cash Flow (left) Income (right)

The last major feature when it comes to analyzing your data is being able to take a look at your investments. Here you can take a better look at how your investments are doing, whether it be stocks, bonds or even your retirement account. Again, you are given financial data as well as charts to help give you a better idea of how your money is doing. The one thing that I wish I could do with this feature is to be able to look more in depth into a specific stock and get more data.

Investment portfolio (left) Glance at your stocks (right)

Investment portfolio (left) Glance at your stocks (right)

Paying Others

Another great feature that I really like in Personal Capital is the ability to transfer money or to pay someone using the iPhone app. I can transfer money between accounts, even if they are not the same bank and I can also send money to people or companies. This is a great way to be able to pay someone back or if you need to pay a bill, you can do that straight from your phone. I really like this feature, and although I don’t use it a lot, the handful of times that I have, it has come in very handy.

Payment Feature.

Payment Feature.

Flexible

One of the things that I really appreciate about Personal Capital is that it can be used in a variety of ways by just about anyone. Just because there is a lot of data and information that can be gleaned from it, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to use it all. It is great for people that want a simple way to keep track of their accounts and it can be as sophisticated as you need it to be. I felt that someone who didn’t need all of the extra features that I mentioned could still use Personal Capital and not get too overwhelmed.

Conclusion

Overall, I really did like using this and it has really worked well for me. I liked that I have all of this information at my finger tips and I especially like that there is a payment feature. One feature that I would love to see added is a credit card payment reminder, which is something that they have in the web app. Both the web and the iPhone/iPad version are free to use and there are no strings attached. If you want to know more about the online version, feel free to check out my review of it over on Web.AppStorm. If you are looking for a way to stay on top of your finances, or just want to get a better look at what your money is doing, you need to check Personal Capital out.


Summary

Analyze your financial data and be able to pay others with Personal Capital

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