- I have 25 credit cards, plus bank accounts, and it’s hard to keep track of them all.
- I use Personal Capital to help me see everything at a glance, for free.
- I’ve found that it’s user-friendly, it incorporates just about every type of account, and it neatly tracks your spending trends to suggest a budget.
If you’re juggling a collection of bank accounts, credit cards, and investment profiles linked to different banks, lenders, and companies with different websites, identifiers, and passwords, it can be really difficult to manage all of them at once.
I’m right there with you – I have 25 credit cards in total, and I’ve been tracking my rewards seriously since 2013. Now, I travel six to eight months of the year with a good portion of travel booked on rewards.
I need to keep things straight.
It’s much easier to monitor multiple accounts from one place, and there are wealth management tools for doing just that. Personal Capital is one of my favourites.
Basically, Personal Capital is a personal finance program that collects all of your accounts into one place, calculates your net financial worth, and runs analysis on your spending habits. The app keeps track of every transaction and sorts them into categories, creating your own personal budget that can be compared to months past.
It’s not perfect, and I’ll get to that, but it’s a free, streamlined, user-friendly program that does a pretty good job of organising multiple accounts and presenting spending habits in an easily digestible form.
It has wide reach
One of the potential problems with collaborative and comprehensive account managers is that they may not interface with each one of your accounts. But in my experience, Personal Capital has done a pretty good job of reaching to some more esoteric banks and profiles.
For example, I hold an account with a region-specific credit union, and Personal Capital had no problem validating and syncing my account credentials. Additionally, I hold a micro-investment profile through Acorns and that profile is accessible through Personal Capital as well.
As long as you can log into your bank, credit union, investment profile, or credit card with your credentials, Personal Capital should have no problem securely linking your information.
Occasionally, Personal Capital does lose the link between the app and your account, requiring me to sign back in. This isn’t a huge issue but rather a slight annoyance; it still seems like something that wouldn’t be necessary once the accounts are initially linked.
As far as wealth management goes, you don’t have to be a proficient accountant or financial adviser to use a tool like Personal Capital. On the contrary; it was designed for anybody who wishes to keep track of their assets and accounts, however large or small.
Setting up your Personal Capital account is as simple as providing standard personal information and linking your account to your financial accounts using your credentials. Personal Capital does the rest in terms of net worth, analysis, and trends.
It tracks budgeting and trends
Speaking of trends, knowing your current state of affairs is just as important as understanding your cash flow and spending habits.Personal Capital takes the guesswork out of that by tracking every transaction in almost live time (it does a pretty good job of keeping up to date) and making sure that you know how exactly your money is moving.
The budgeting tab keeps track of each category of spending (online services, travel, ATM/cash, entertainment, restaurants, insurance, surcharges and fees, etc). When you click on a category, you can see each particular charge as well as when the charge was posted during the month. You can even compare your overall monthly spending to the previous month to make sure you’re on track with your financial goals.
While the app isn’t buggy overall, there are a few default settings that surprised me. For example, Personal Capital has a tendency to double-report some of my liabilities, which creates an inaccurate picture of my net worth and responsibilities. Specifically, I have a credit card attached to my bank account which Personal Capital identifies as a line of credit through the bank, but again as a personal loan from the bank. That means that every time a transaction is posted on the card, the liability is doubled.
To fix this, I’ve deleted the personal loan double, but it seemed odd to me that Personal Capital would do that at all. Additionally, many PayPal transactions will get reported twice if the credit card or bank account that PayPal is connected to is also part of your Personal Capital profile.
Overall, Personal Capital is a good tool to have in your wallet.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.