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#217 – Alternative to Mint.com Budgeting Platform – Monarch Money
Episode 21727th December 2023 • Money Boss Parent • Anna Sergunina
00:00:00 00:17:58

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Welcome to another exciting episode where we venture into the world of budgeting platforms. Today, we're breaking down Monarch Money, a third budgeting app that's caught my attention. After years of being a loyal Mint.com user, I'm ready to explore what Monarch Money has to offer.

In this episode, I'll share my research on how Monarch Money works and why I've decided to give it a try. But that's not all.

I'll also introduce you to my personal budgeting system, the "Money Flow System" a system I developed over a decade ago that is designed to help you effortlessly manage your spending.

If you are ready to gain clarity and control over your finances like never before join me as we dive in!

Anna's Takeaways:

  • Personal Finance App Features And Benefits (03:54)
  • Using Monarch Money For Financial Advisors And Clients (07:37)
  • Personal Finance Management System (08:50)
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  2. Money Boss Parents! Welcome to Anna's Money Boss Parent podcast, your go-to resource for mastering money management while raising a family. Join me as we explore practical tips, expert insights, and inspiring stories to help you achieve financial success and create a brighter future for your loved ones. Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show to support our mission of empowering parents like you to take charge of their finances and build a prosperous life for their families. Let's thrive together on this incredible journey!
  3. Links mentioned in this episode

Monarch Money - Get you free 30 days trial.

Money Flow System- Free Download

How I got my Own Money Flow Podcast EP. 60

  1. FREE GUIDE- Kid Money Boss: School isn’t teaching my son about Money. It’s up to us Parents. Here are 9 tools I am using to team my son, everything I never learned as a kid.
  2. Websites:

3 Alternatives to Mint.com - Article by Katherine Edwards, CFP

www.mainstreetplanning.com

Transcripts

Anna Sergunina:

Hey, money boss parents, Anna Sergunina is here and welcome back to the money boss parent podcast. In this episode, I am finally talking to you about exploring a third budgeting platform called Monarch Money. I'm going to share with you how this platform works from what I have researched so far, and why I'm actually making a decision to give this platform or try for my own budget in need. As I have been a longtime user of mint.com. If you want to get 30 days free trial for this budgeting app, and you can download it on your phone, or actually use the web browser. Find me on Instagram, I am at Money Boss Parent and comment monarch m o n a r c h. And I will share with you a link where you can get a 30 day free trial, I also want to share with you my own budgeting system that I call a money flow system that I put together over a decade ago, which allowed me to layer it with a passive spending tracker to help me truly not worry about spending and where it all of it tracking it. And actually really having a clearer picture and idea where everything is at at any given time. If you want to check out my money flow system, and actually download I have a free diagram that you can download to kind of start exploring it. Also find me on Instagram, and I am at money, boss, parent, and comment flow. And I will share that diagram with you there as well. So without further ado, let's dive into how money flow system and monarch money apps together can create a platform that I'm excited to explore. All right, let's talk about another platform. We mentioned it already. So I kind of wanted to. And I'm so glad that both Jennifer and Catherine actually showed up today to help kind of talk further because I feel like there's there's a personality for each of these apps. And there's also like a personality, how you want to track your expenses. And so I feel like each of us fits into all of these. So I think and I'm really just like, a couple weeks trying this out, right? I think because I've been met user for so long, I kind of want to have like that sort of structure. And so monarch money seems like a platform that is very similar to mint. So I'm only going to speak from like my very little experience so far of how and what it does. And then I'll share with you just some of the things that I've learned already. So it acts very similarly in terms of like categories and what you can do with it. Like, man, you can have an app, which was really important to me on the phone. And I am the type of person that wants just like big picture. Jennifer likes all the details. And the spreadsheets were great, I'd love to see kind of like a snapshot, here's all your you know, categories or whatever it is you want to look at. And, you know, all in one place, just want to log in and click on it and kind of get a refresher. What's different with monarch money is that it has like a calendar that sort of outlines your recurring bills and subscriptions. So for example, if you have, you know, bills throughout the month, you can kind of visually see it. I like that. That looks

Unknown:

nice. That's how I demo availa. To really cool. Yeah,

Anna Sergunina:

I thought that was awesome, too. It has been their net worth tracker, just like mint, it helps has the goal section, I haven't really set that all up investments section was really interesting too. I mean, with mint, you, you could input your accounts. But here you can actually enter the holdings like you know, you've got mutual funds or exchange traded funds or your stocks. So you can kind of get that more robust, all in one place picture there. I love this there, this one here because you can share it with your partner. And they're going to have a separate login. So like, I've always had to like give my login to URI and I don't know how many times he had logged in in there because I was always the one who kind of pulling that data, but, and two, you can actually assign categories for them to review so like a lot of times I would look at like a credit card bill at the end of the month, right and see like, what's the trends? You know, what's this transaction Yuri? Why did you spend this like I have questions, right? So you can actually assign them those questions and making like help you categorize those things. So I haven't gotten there yet, because I'm like literally two weeks in with this. The data we've mentioned this, this program uses a different data aggregator because we we've we're very experienced with Yodlee, as we use it in our financial planning software and like, obviously mint, and Jennifer has tiller, that does the same thing. So one thing that I experienced that would be helpful, so if you've gotten human data, and you want to wait, it's perfect, because once you set up, and it's pretty easy, it's like it took me literally five minutes, I think to like, set up my username password login. And the first thing you have to do is you have to connect your accounts, because otherwise it will not work. So if you want to wait and get your mandate are on December 31, and give it a try that that would be actually a perfect setup. But you got to connect your you know, maybe just do one credit card and one checking account, or however many you have, and kind of see a Pappu populates information like amazingly fast I was I was astonished by that. I have not quite played with categories. I know you can start kind of geeking out on that. But I just wanted to give it a little bit more try. It does have a function where if you do decide to upload your mandate of right away, and actually the reason I took a screenshot of this is when you click on add an account, they actually have a separate section here, we can upload him in file. So it's really, really, really handy. Now, one of the things about monarch is, I think, why it looks very similar to men, because I think one of their executives who used to work at mint, kind of went on their own and started this company. So I think a lot of features and things that are meant are kind of like you can see through here, as well. So this one you have to pay, it's not a free app anymore, but they are offering I also just googled around this morning to see cuz there's so many I mean, black Friday's around the corner. So I think it I think it's because of that, but also if you happen not to sign up for that account, you know, around the holidays, right now, they're still offering mint users if you upload your data 50% On your first year, and so it's like, you know, 50 bucks to try it out for a year and see if you really like it. And they also have a free trial for 30 days. So I think for me like personally, because I guess I've just been too long of a mint user, this seems like an interesting platform to sort of not have a ton of learning experience, and kind of have the same functionality and just, you know, pop it on my phone at any time and have have the data that I need and get your involved to that

Unknown:

that piece I like a lot, especially for questions.

Unknown:

So I have one thing to add Anna. Yeah, the monarch money is one of the favorites of financial advisors to reading the Kitsis article recently, a lot of people, a lot of advisors connect to their monarch money, file, a file, they can share the data with an advisor. So there's a way for advisors, and I signed up for an advisor account, but I haven't tried it out with anybody yet. I have one client who's using it right now who's trying it out. That's true one. So that looks pretty cool that we can do view only for that, as well. So as you get more data, maybe you can sign up on both sides and see how it looks from both. Yes, yes,

Anna Sergunina:

I did. I did look at the advisory account. But I haven't signed up yet. So I'm like, I'm gonna set a personal account and then explore with the advisory one looks like and so yeah, it would be interesting, because if we can get data, spending data for clients, that way would be it would be awesome addition to. But yeah, that's to come, I wanted to also add something here, because one of the things that sort of, I think I think I'm pretty sad on the monarch money. But again, this is very short experience. So far, I have been using and I wanted to share with you this kind of like a flow or a system that I've set up for myself years ago, that sort of gave me this freedom of not having to not like I think I just don't like the degree of those details, but also kind of like having a really good grip on, on on our spending and just kind of like where everything resides. So I call it a money flow system. You may have heard me talk about this in the past, but it's basically kind of like a structure. And so meant for me over the years have really like plugged in this, this section here where it gave me like the spending information that I didn't have. And so I'll just go briefly through this with you and if you want more details, just reach out and I'm happy to share I have I have some recordings and I have a course on it too. So but if you get a check so I what I did is like I clearly defined what our fixed expenses are and what our variable expenses and I have two checking accounts. I actually still have the system up until this day, just a couple things evolved over the year. So my checking account number one pays for all the fixed expenses, you know, whatever where they are. And what also happens in why I'm excited about the, the monarchs calendar for subscriptions are bills, because all my bills are paid by the 15th of the month. So like, at the beginning of the month, and we happen to get paycheck here at Main Street once a month. And so it kind of works out that way. So I have like, all, you know, everything is just kind of like really involved. But by the 15th, then after that, I really don't need to pay attention that much to what is going on in this figure, in this fixed expense account or checking account. Number one, I keep, you know, keep a balance there just in case like something unexpected comes. And then when your and I just started. And this has been, this is actually really, truly before meant. I just wanted to have a clarity, like of what our sort of variable expenses are like, what's those groceries are eating out, and so forth. And so it was really easy, because only there was only one account, because as you all know, like, if you have one account, and you have a lot of transactions, and two people are using a debit card and bills are coming through, it was overwhelming, like it was just, it was not exciting. It just didn't work. So like when you separate that and you have just a few things going on, it was it just became easier for us to really stay within like that budget, right, that we could could allow for ourselves, one of the things that I've added here over the years would be like, the actual savings, right? So like that part became a fixed expense. I'm not talking about the 401k savings that you may be doing from your paycheck. But like if you're intentionally saving for goals, or emergency fund, or and to even paying the debts, that's like a fixed expense, it's sort of like that concept paying yourself first. And so it really kind of like remove that worry that okay, this isn't happening. So this variable expense account, you know, at the beginning, we use the debit card, and whatever money we had in that account, that's all we spent, right there was there was no more. I mean, it still works the same. Today, however, we now use a credit card. And so our credit card has a little bit more flexibility, right, I still go into this variable expense account, because they know I mean, we buy the same things, you know, it's pretty, pretty steady and consistent. Except the credit card has, you know, its own game points miles and stuff like that. So plus, you know, maybe someone's if there's a vacation or something, it's a little bit it's a little bit out of the variable expense number but it works really well. So this alone helps kind of like plug in the men's because mint really Yes, it tracks, you know, all the fixed expenses for us too. But it really like in my mind when I'm looking at that I kind of know like what our variable expenses are. And so when I look at the Mint, because mint also shows us like the balances in your checking accounts, right. So I kind of have to I you know, sort of eyeball it and I'm like, okay, I'm good with that. And at the same time I see what the credit card bill. So this was this was really still is really helpful to for me to like you know, not spend a ton of time on it and still get a good idea of how it works.

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