Our phones are capable of some amazing things. You can speak with loved ones over the phone, take pictures, listen to music – the possibilities are endless. It used to be that we needed multiple devices for single tasks, and now that is reversed. One of the wonderful tasks you are able to engage in with your smartphone is tracking your spending and even automating savings through different apps.
I’ve used a couple of different money apps over the years, but my personal favorite by far is Clarity Money.
What is Clarity Money?
Clarity Money is an AI-driven budgeting application that has the best interface I have ever experienced in a finance mobile app. The animations are smooth, and elegant, and navigating through the application is easy-peasy.
The Set-Up Process
Setting up the app could not be easier. It uses multi-level encryption measures to ensure your data is protected and secure when linking your accounts (such as Wells Fargo, Chase, Discover, and more).
Once you’ve linked your accounts, the app then takes you to a very beautiful dashboard that gives you an overview of how much Cash you have (both savings and checking out together), your Debt (from any credit cards or loans that were imported), and Investments.
What Does the A.I Do?
Because the app is AI driven, it uses machine learning to analyze your finances, giving you some helpful insights to your spending. The second little “block” I like to call, gives you a little summary as to how your spending compares to your previous activity as analyzed by the app. For example, here it is telling me that I have spent $267.90 over the past few days, which according to the app, is high for me. (‘Tis the season.)
The next block shows you your recent transactions. If you have multiple accounts or cards linked to Clarity Money, it will let you filter between the different accounts. Otherwise the block shows you recent transactions spanning across your different accounts.
What’s the Savings Feature Like?
The third block encourages the app’s users to save for their future. I love the use of emojis that are used to portray the “savings” selections.
For example, you can save for a nest egg, or for a car, or a baby – with the emoji/icons looking really nice. Now because Clarity Money is backed by Marcus by Goldman Sachs, the savings block gives users the option to open a no fee savings account, allowing users to earn 1.70% APY.
Creating A Budget
A nice bird’s-eye view of your spending can be found on the month pie chart and line graph block. It lets you know what your income for the particular month is, as well as how much you’ve spent and even how much you have left to spend. This is a great way to quickly see how your income to spend ratio is throughout the month.
The Budget feature makes budgeting not seem like a scary or difficult thing to do. The app walks you through the process, noting that a good budget always starts with the right foundation.
The first step of setting a budget within the app is to confirm your average monthly income, as well as your fixed monthly expenses, such as rent/mortgage, your car payment, insurance, subscriptions, etc – anything that is set in stone.
After confirming that, the app then tells you what you are left with per week to spend.
Since this is a machine learning-driven app, it actually gives you a “typical spend” in which you can adjust your budget accordingly if it is higher or lower than what the app initially proposed you have to spend.
In this case, we are naturally on track for the budget we have set. The difference could be placed in a savings account or invested elsewhere.
The app has an arsenal of features, such as letting you know how much you have spent in specific shopping categories such as Dining & Drinks, Auto & Commuting, and more.
One of my favorite features that the app has is the “What Did I Spend On” feature.
This allows you to select a specific store or restaurant to see how much you’ve spent at that specific place in whatever time frame you would like to see. For example, if I wanted to know how much I spent on Starbucks this year, I would be able to see the total!
Not too shabby.
Clarity Money is available for free in the App Store! They do have a referral program, in which I do invite my fellow friends and bloggers to try out the app here and make budgeting and monitoring your spending easily and efficiently!
Let me know what apps you’ve tried out below!