Task: Try Out An Online Financial Aggregation Service
Rather than list out all your accounts on paper or create a complicated spreadsheet, you can gather all your finances in one place using a financial aggregation service or app.
These services all work pretty much the same: You create an account, connect all the accounts and assets you want to track — bank accounts, investments, property, vehicles, benefits, etc. (basically, everything we helped you get in order with the Organize The Details About Your Money & Assets Task) — and they compile the data in a nice, clean dashboard. They’re secure, often have built-in budgeting tools to help you get your finances in shape, and allow you to keep on top of the money coming in and going out without having to do any work.
For people new to this, here are some popular options. (NOTE: You can also automatically import your accounts into the Financial section of an Everplan, which is a one-time connection and doesn’t store any balance information if you want to keep that private.) Now, here are those options:
- Mint: A solid free offering; connects to almost every US financial institution — if they don’t list your account type you can email their support team with suggestions; easy to sort and search transactions; decent budgeting tools if you’re willing to put in the effort.
- Clarity Money: This is similar to Mint when it comes to aggregation but has a nifty feature that combs through all your transactions and suggests canceling subscriptions if you don’t use them often (multiple entertainment streaming services, the gym)
- Personal Capital: Operating primarily as an online financial advisor and personal wealth management company, their fee structure is based on a percentage of the amount of assets they manage for you; they also offer aggregation tools to link your accounts.
- Trim: Another free budgeting app, with optional paid features, that helps you cut (or “trim”) the expenses you don’t need, as well as gain a better understanding on where your money is going and how to spend less of it.
- Quicken: If you’re looking for software, you can use this oldie but goodie. Options include $35-$45 a year to see all your accounts in one place, categorize expenses, create budgets, track debts, and pay online bills depending on which subscription tier you choose.
The only way to gain access to the following platforms are through a financial advisor (if they offer it)
- eMoney Advisor: This isn't as flashy as the others, but it has the basics and shares all the info with your advisor so they can help you manage everything, if you want.
- Asset-Map: What sets this service apart is the graphical layout of all your assets that’s easy to understand, while highlighting the accounts or assets that need attention, so you can reach any goals you’ve set.
- MoneyGuidePro: This platform "help advisors navigate the complex financial elements of their clients' lives" by offering a suit of tools ranging from "What-If Worksheets" to estate planning to net worth statements.
Think of these as a handy digital tool for you, and a way for your family to understand your finances in an emergency or settle your estate.
Try out a financial aggregation service! Do a search using the ones we mentioned and, like with the Organize Your Passwords Task, dive right in. Start with one of your main accounts to see how it works and if you’re comfortable using it. If you’re not you can always delete your account.
If you already manage your finances and assets this way, great job. Make sure to share the login credentials in your password keeping method of choice with someone you trust. If you’re concerned about someone seeing your balances and net worth while you’re alive, put the details in your Everplan and select to only share after you're gone (learn more about that feature here).
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