The future is always uncertain, but now especially, it can seem difficult to know exactly what it holds. Inflation and interest rates are on the rise amid global shortages, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Instead, it’s a good reminder to take control. Fortunately, when it comes to organizing expenses and planning accordingly, technology makes things a lot easier.
In fact, Quicken’s Simplifi app makes it possible in just five minutes a week. And right now, you can get a 30-day free trial to see if it works for you. It was named best budgeting app two years in a row by The New York Times‘ Wirecutter – but what exactly does it do, how much does it cost and how can you use it to take control of your financial future starting today?
As a single owner working part-time at two businesses and self-employed at three or four (or five, depending on the month), my financial life isn’t exactly straightforward. So I decided to try this app for myself and see if it really Is help with budgeting and financial awareness.
- Securely sync your bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, and more.
- Track all your finances in one place
- Create spending plans and savings goals
- Visualize your expenses using charts and reports
- Organize and classify transactions
- Receive alerts on bills, subscriptions and payments
- Celebrate achievements and encourage good habits with badges
- Free for 30 days, then $47.88 for the first year
What is Quicken Simplifi?
Simplifi is a mobile and Web application created by Quicken, a trusted company that has been creating personal finance software for over 30 years. This ad-free and security-conscious app is designed to be highly customizable and track all your finances, including bank accounts, credit card bills, investment accounts, and more, all in one place.
While it’s particularly useful to see all your money going in and out at a glance, Simplifi doesn’t stop there; it also helps you stay on track with budgeting tools, savings goals, notifications, and graphical reports for those of us who are a bit more visual. You can even earn badges by saving money and increasing your investments, which helps you stay motivated.
My problem with budgeting
As stated earlier, my financial life is everywhere. I don’t get two clear paychecks a month like a lot of people; instead, some of my work is W-2 while some is 1099, and it can often come from 10 different sources in a year. Money arrives sporadically and as a result it can be very difficult to keep up.
My investments are also a bit chaotic. I’m especially lucky in that a few of my freelance clients and employers offer 401k, but I also have a few accounts (a Roth IRA and a cryptocurrency), so to calculate my total investments I would have to log in to multiple applications and do calculations – which is really not my strong point.
Simplified features that I like:
- All accounts in one place: I have a 401k with a freelance client, one with a part-time employer, a Roth account of my own, and some crypto investments. I also have four credit cards, all for different purposes. Finally, when my money comes in, it comes sporadically from all different sources. It’s so handy to be able to see a single number that represents everything I have (my net worth), or to be able to sort things by bank, credit, investments, and retirement.
- Subscription tracking: I’m a sucker for free trials, but while I usually mark the end of the free trial on my calendar so I can cancel it if I don’t see myself using it regularly, some subscriptions fall through the cracks. net. This app actually helped me realize that I was paying twice for a subscription – one through my old spam email address and one through my new one. (Whoops.)
- Real representation of your finances: Most bank accounts and budgeting apps show you your balance right this second, but they don’t take into account what you already owe on credit cards and other loans. As soon as I synced my credit card accounts with Simplifi, my bank numbers and net worth went down to reflect what I will have after they get paid – which is admittedly a bit daunting at the time, but ultimately I prefer to know my actual balance so I can plan accordingly.
- Web and phone access: I’ve used a few other budgeting apps in the past, and for some reason none of them had a platform that I could access from my browser. Since I’m always in front of my computer and only work on my phone when I have to, this was a deal breaker for me. I love it with Simplifi, I can connect from my phone and my computer, with all the features accessible from both.
The thing I didn’t like:
Although I am confident that this app will save me time and effort in the future, setting it up was time consuming. When I first synced the accounts, my main checking account (where all my money goes in and out) was not connecting. I eventually called Quicken to ask about the error code and was told it was an application-wide issue that should be fixed in a few days – a definite inconvenience, but du on the plus side, I was able to reach a human representative right away, which I appreciated.
I still can’t sync my cryptocurrency account and my mortgage provider. The first is negligible, but the second is a little disappointing as I would like to see how the equity in my home is factored into my net worth. If it doesn’t fix itself in a few days, I’ll call Quicken back.
Overall, Simplifi by Quicken is a great all-in-one budgeting app that’s definitely worth the $4 per month annual price. If you’re able to invest the time in setting it up, it’s a user-friendly and comprehensive way to not only track all your current expenses, but also plan for a more secure future. After my 30 day free trial ends, I plan to pay the annual fee and use this app indefinitely.
How much does Simplifi cost?
You can try Simplifi for free for 30 days. After that, it costs $3.99 per month (billed annually for $47.88, which only applies for the first year), or you can pay monthly at $5.99, which is 71, $88 per year.
How to start?
Click “Start Free Trial” to download the app to your phone or access it on your web browser. (You will need to enter your credit card information, as you will be charged after your 30 day trial period ends).
Once you have the app, Quicken will ask you to start adding your accounts. Theoretically, you should be able to connect all of your financial institutions to Simplifi — checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, 401k, and even your cryptocurrency accounts — simply by searching for the financial institution and using your credentials to sign in Once all your accounts are synced, you’ll be able to see everything in one place: your spending, savings, investments, and net worth.
From there, you can organize and tag your transactions; set up notifications about important invoices or incoming payments; set yourself up for success with goals and spending plans; and see exactly where your money goes with comprehensive reports and subscription lists.