A review of Personal Capital to see how this family used this app to save $15,000 more every year! Kiwi and Keweenaw

Manage Your Money – Personal Capital Review

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8 comments

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Are you looking to improve your finances and better understand where your money goes? Well, Personal Capital helps to make that process a little simpler.

We run a very frugal home, but our frugality was unguided until we started actually looking at where we were spending our money. Not just the big categories and purchases, but we track every single dollar.

Tracking our spending is the reason we have been able to decrease our spending and up our savings by $15,000/year.

We now save $15,000 MORE every year!

I know, tracking every dollar sounds miserable. But fortunately there’s a FREE app for that (plus there’s a website too)!

We use Personal Capital to track all of our spending, earning, and saving – so we can spend our days doing things we love.

Personal Capital Review

What is It?

Personal Capital helps you connect all of your accounts in one place. This is helpful to:

  • Check all of your accounts at one time (especially helpful for if you have multiple bank accounts, investment accounts, and credit cards)
  • Track your net worth

It allows you to connect your mortgage, bank, credit card, retirement account, investment portfolio, and more. You can quickly check in and see your savings, spending, and investments, all in one place.

(Note: The images used in this post are not from my own account, but are examples.)

Personal Capital Review

And, once more, it is free!

Why Use Personal Capital?

Personal Capital is great once you start the investing part of your financial journey. Mint and other budgeting softwares are best for motivating you to stay on budget. While Personal Capital excels at showing you where your money is going.

Personal Capital also has great tables that show your investment portfolio allocations and fees!

You can review growth in all of your individual accounts, or look at your big financial picture.

I still like maintaining a few money spreadsheets, but Personal Capital is so much more convenient. And it let’s me download my spending (from ALL of my accounts) to one spreadsheet, so I only have to look at my spending once per month. (Plus you can do a quick scan using the app throughout the month when you are curious.)

They also offer portfolio check-ups and will help you manage your investments (for a fee), but I haven’t taken advantage of any of those services. Your first consultation is free if you have $100,000 of investment assets connected.

Personal Capital Review
Is Personal Capital Safe to Use?

Keeping your money and identity safe is obviously very important, so I wanted to dig into why you can trust this software.

First, you can’t actually move any money using Personal Capital. They basically have “read only” access to your accounts. Also, they use bank-level, military grade encryption to protect your security. Personal Capital is a credible company that has been around since 2009. Their CEO, Bill Harris, was previously CEO of Intuit and Paypal.

How do I Use Personal Capital?

You can click here to sign up! Personal Capital will ask for your email address, password, and phone number. After that it’ll prompt you to connect your accounts.

I really enjoy using Personal Capital for their investment fee analyzer tool and net worth tracker, so I especially recommend connecting your retirement accounts. I have all of my (and my hubby’s) accounts connected under one account since we jointly share our money. The types of accounts you can connect include:

  • Roth and Traditional IRAs
  • 401k/Retirement Accounts
  • Taxable Brokerages
  • Credit Cards
  • Banks
  • College Savings (529s)
  • and more

Personal Capital Review
Once you’ve connected your accounts you will immediately be able to see where your money is going and try out the software. Personal Capital will automatically update your account balances and details. Plus, you can change the time window on their charts and graphs so you can review the past week, month, year, etc.

The “Extra” Money We Now Have

Remember that $15,000 I mentioned earlier? That money we were spending, but didn’t necessarily add a lot of value to our lives. Well, now it opens up a lot more options for our daily lives. Without saving the extra money: How to complain less! Complainypants!

  • Mr. Kiwi wouldn’t have quit his acceptable, but uninteresting job to pursue his passion
  • We would give less money to causes we care about
  • Our retirement accounts wouldn’t be fully funded
  • I’d be more fearful for our future
  • Early retirement would be far off into the future, instead of attainable in the next decade

We would not be where we are today if we hadn’t started by looking into our spending and thinking about our goals and values. Personal Capital helped us to quickly see our spending, investing, and cash flow, so we could focus on the fun stuff: figuring out our values.

What would you do with an extra $15,000 every year?

I hope you enjoyed the Personal Capital review, click here to sign up for free! Let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

8 comments on “Manage Your Money – Personal Capital Review”

  1. Reply

    I have been using mint for a while now. After seeing a lot of good reviews about Personal Capital, I signed up. I don’t see that it is any different in any way that you just mentioned (except for analyzing your investment and showing the expense ratios, both not that important to me). What am I missing?

    However, there was one thing that was impressive, but I didn’t see you mention it. Just wanted to know if you have any thoughts on that. It has that calculator that shows how your money will change with time (the way you have allocated it). I can also tell it when I think I will earn what, and add events like sales of property, etc. Is that calculation even reliable? Or do I just stick to the 4% SWR?

    1. Reply

      Mint’s interface is very cluttered for me, and I don’t need all of the budgeting categories, since I do that on my own. I like Personal Capital’s webpage/app much more. Since I’m on the investing part of my financial journey those investment charts and expense ratio analyses are super valuable for me.
      I stick to the 4% SWR, but honestly use it as a benchmark. When we get closer to needing to drawdown from our investments, I will then pay attention to those tools. Our goal is to not touch our investments for at least 8 years, and it is likely that the markets will take a big swing in that time. So instead of paying attention to my net worth, I focus mostly on my spending and my stock market allocations.

      1. Reply

        I just invest in a couple of index funds. Not so worried about stock market allocations. May be that is why I didn’t find it that special.

  2. Reply

    I love using Personal Capital. I link all of my investment accounts onto there and PC has helped me look over my fees with their fee analyzer tool. I also like their Retirement Planner feature in which they offer scenarios for not only your retirement but also for your kid’s 529 plan.

    1. Reply

      Oh that’s a great addition! We don’t have kids yet, so I hadn’t looked into the 529 planning! I’m sure we’ll use that too when we add some little ones to the pack 🙂

  3. If you keep pounding this into my head for long enough, I’m finally going to sign up 😉

    But really. It’s been on my list for a long time now. I have a mint account but I’m just not very happy with it.

  4. Reply

    It is a great tool for tracking net worth and cash flow but they also do a great job managing investments. I’ve had part of my portfolio with them for two years and they’ve earned great returns with a very diversified group of stocks and other investments. They charge more than Betterment and Vanguard robo advisors but they also are using a different model than just index funds like the others. I’ve got some with all three and will be interested in seeing who will weather the coming correction/bear market the best.

  5. Great post! We use Mint but I agree with you in that anything you can use to track spending is a MAJOR difference maker. So many people have no idea where their money goes at the end of the month. We’ve been able to cut back in areas we are spending too much in and have a better ability to plan ahead for the next year as far as what we are putting into retirement accounts.

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