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Whether you’re looking to get better control over your spending, save more money, manage your investments, or create a personalized financial plan, there are free tools and apps that can help you to do just that.
With the technology that’s available today, there’s never been a better time to take a more proactive approach with your finances.
Let’s take a look at seven specific resources that can help you with various aspects of your financial life, at no cost to you.
Savology is a unique resource that can help you to create your own financial plan in about five minutes. It’s free and very easy to get started. All you need to do is go to Savology’s website, click the button to get started, and you’ll be led through a series of questions.
You don’t need to enter a lot of personal information (last name and social security number don’t need to be entered), so if you’re concerned about privacy, this is a major plus. You also don’t need to link it to your financial accounts, but you will need to have at least a rough idea of details like the balances of your accounts.
The questions are broken down into a few sections:
- Personal profile
- Spending and debt
- Risk management
After answering the questions, you’ll be able to get instant access to your custom financial plan that has been created by Savology. In the dashboard, you’ll see an overall grade for your current position, as well as a report card with grades for several different aspects of your financial life.
You’ll be presented with a list of action items that Savology determines to be a priority based on your own unique situation. These action items can be extremely helpful to get you on the right track.
In just five minutes, you can get a great financial checkup to either make sure that you’re on the right path or get some clarity about the changes that you need to make. The advice provided by Savology is actionable, so you can definitely put it to use if you’re looking for ways to improve with your money.
Because it’s free, non-invasive, and can be done in just a few minutes, there’s really no reason not to use Savology. And once you’ve completed the intake questions, you’ll be able to login to the site at any time. You can go back and adjust details as your situation changes, and the recommendations from Savology will be updated as well.
2. Atom Finance
Atom is a free app that you’ll definitely want to consider if you’re an investor. Available for desktop, iOS, or Android, Atom provides you with a dashboard that links to all of your investment accounts so you can easily keep track of everything in one place.
In addition to serving as a personal dashboard, Atom also gives you access to data and analysis tools that help you to invest more effectively. It also provides you with real-time news for any company, sector, or industry. You’ll also get access to analyst estimates, historical financials, market commentary, real-time quotes, and more.
There is no cost to use the basic Atom app. They are in the process of rolling out Atom+, which will provide even more tools and resources for a fee, but that’s not available at this time. You can sign up for the waitlist to be notified when it is available.
3. M1 Finance
M1 Finance provides free automated investing in stocks and ETFs. If you like the idea of a robo advisor but you don’t want to pay the fees, M1 Finance could be a great solution for you.
The investing functionality of M1 is based on a pie approach. The pie determines what percentage of your money will go to specific investments. You can select from one of their professionally-created pies, create your own, or use a pie that has been shared by someone else.
Once your pie is set up, all you need to do is add money to your account and M1 will invest it according to your pie. The pies provided by M1 have been created for specific purposes and investment objectives, so you can choose one that is a good match with your own goals. And, of course, you can adjust or change your pie at any time.
In addition to the investing component, M1 also offers a debit card with cashback rewards and lines of credit up to 35% of your portfolio balance. The basic M1 account is free and they also offer M1+ for $125, which gives you some extra perks like additional cashback and lower rates on loans. The free plan is sufficient for most users.
4. Personal Capital
Personal Capital offers free financial tools as well as wealth management services. The wealth management services are not free, but the financial tools have no cost and you don’t need to use their wealth management services in order to take advantage of the tools.
With a free Personal Capital account, you’ll get your own personal financial dashboard. It will link to your accounts (investments, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.) and once everything is synced, which only takes a few minutes, you’ll have a really handy dashboard that gives you a great deal of information in one place.
Personal Capital will automatically calculate and track your net worth, which is definitely one of the most useful and important aspects of the software. You can see how your net worth increases or decreases over time, and you can dive into the details to see the performance of your investments and accounts.
The Retirement Planner provided by Personal Capital is another extremely useful tool. With its help, you can quickly and easily see if you’re on track for your retirement goals and calculate your projected monthly income during your retirement.
The cash flow reports will make it easy to see how much money is coming in and going out so you can stay on top of your money management. The Fee Analyzer will show you the impact that investment fees are having on your returns and the potential impact on your retirement.
If you’re looking for a tool that will help you to organize your financial life, Personal Capital is a great choice. For free software, you’ll be amazed at how much it can do (they use it as a way to generate leads for their wealth management services, which is why they can afford to give it away for free).
Truebill can help you to save money in a few different ways. It’s free to signup and try it out, but some aspects will involve a fee (I’ll explain that in this description).
To get started, you’ll create a free account with Truebill and link it to your financial accounts. Once the accounts are linked, Truebill will give you an overall view of your finances. It will help you to find unwanted subscriptions that you can cancel to save money.
The reports section of your personal dashboard will help you to see where your money is going with all of your expenses categorized. You can also set savings goals and have Truebill set money aside for you.
One of the most significant aspects of Truebill is their bill negotiation service, and this is where fees can come into play. Optionally, you can allow Truebill to negotiate on your behalf to lower your cell phone, cable, security, or other bills. If they’re able to negotiate a lower bill for you, they’ll keep 40% of the savings. If they are not able to save you any money, no fee will be charged.
Of course, you could try to negotiate your bill on your own and keep 100% of the savings. You may have success, or you may not. If you try it and you’re unable to save, there’s no harm in giving Truebill a shot to see what they can do.
6. Blooom Retirement Analysis
Blooom is a robo advisor that focuses specifically on retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs. These services are not free but Blooom does offer a free analysis of your current accounts. All you need to do is give Blooom access to see your current accounts, and in a few minutes you’ll have a very handy report that provides a lot of data on your current retirement accounts.
Regardless of whether you decide to use Blooom’s management services or not, taking advantage of the free analysis is highly recommended. You may be able to make good use of the recommendations even if you decide to continue managing your accounts on your own. It takes just a few minutes of your time and could provide you with very valuable insight.
When I got the analysis of my own 401(k), I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail and information in the free analysis. Blooom does more than provide a cursory overall look at your current plan and investments.
SaverLife is a non-profit organization that exists to help people save money. You can sign up for a free account and participate in different savings challenges for a chance to win money. The prizes range from $5 to $5,000.
There are different activities that you can use to get chances to win. For example, if you save at least $5 in a week, you’ll get a chance to play scratch and save. If you save $100, you’ll be entered to win another $100. They’re also currently offering a tool to help you find the best use for your stimulus check.
While each of these tools or resources is a little different, they all provide you with significant value and help with your finances in some way. If you’re looking to improve your own financial situation, you should definitely take a look at these resources and see which ones would be a good fit for you.