Making Managing Your Finances a Cinch

Cinch | Money management tool | money management tips | millennial money tips
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This post is in partnership with Cinch. All views and opinions are my own. Nothing in this post is to be considered financial advice. Know that I only post about sites and products that I think would be immensely helpful and that I have used myself. 

These days there’s an app for literally everything and because of that I have a gazillion apps on my phone -10 of which are just financial apps. I have apps for the different banks I use, apps for saving, apps for checking credit score, and an app for budgeting. All in all, I have a lot of apps just related to managing my money. And trying to keep track of everything across those apps requires a lot of brainpower. Which is why I was excited to hear about Cinch, a new, all-in-one money management tool. I was excited but skeptical. So I when I signed up, I looked at everything with a critical eye. 

Cinch an All-In-One Finance Tool That Help You Manage Your Money

Turns out Cinch really is your all-in-one finance tool. More than just helping you to monitor and manage your money in one place, it also gives you totally unbiased advice. See, Cinch isn’t sponsored by some company trying to sell you something. Nor do they have tons of ads to get you to buy things and earn them a commission. It’s just giving you the best advice based on your financial picture. They take the term fiduciary seriously. So let me dive in and explain a little more about Cinch and what I’ve found most helpful about the service myself.

Signing up for Cinch

Right now Cinch is in beta mode, so I’m sure there will be some changes and improvements as they get more users on the platform. However, to get started, I signed up as soon as I got my invite link.I headed over and got started and I was surprised to realize it is an all-in-one financial management platform. It pulls all the information from your credit report so it’s really looking at all of your accounts. Which means it’s not just credit cards or student loans or your checking or savings. It’s got everything.After pulling all that information, it then asks you to link your accounts so that everything listed in your credit report is linked within the tool. And it will call you on any accounts that aren’t linked to anything yet and ask if you wanted to go ahead and do that.

My experience linking accounts

Since I’m testing out this tool for this post I didn’t actually link everything up because I have a lot of accounts, it’s seriously insane. However, one of the things that’s nice is Cinch will let you just tell it what you have going on with your finances if you don’t want to link everything up.

So I was able to just tell it I had $x amount saved elsewhere. Once you go through the account set up it’s time to really let Cinch evaluate where you are in managing your money and where you want to go. So they’ll ask you some questions to get to know you.

Letting Cinch get to know you

For Cinch to give you the best possible advice, it needs to know more than just what’s in your credit report. They need to know more about your lifestyle. So they ask you questions, like do you share your finances with a significant other? Do you pay off your credit card each month? The more they know you the better advice they can give.Once you give Cinch all the information, it gets to crunching and calculating and figuring out the best advice for you. It doesn’t just say what you should be doing, it also gives you kudos for things you are already doing well. Let’s be honest, as adults we rarely get gold stars and it’s kind of nice to be recognized when we actually have our shit together.

The Gold Stars of Cinch

 Personally, Cinch was all, “hey you have a good credit score, good job!” which was nice. Then, “It doesn’t look like you’re exceeding how much you bring in each month, good job!”  Finally, “You pay off your credit cards each month, so that’s awesome!”I generally do have my finances pretty together which means Cinch didn’t have a ton of advice for me. However, one of the things it did suggest was to save more and find a good savings account rate.The truth is I have multiple savings accounts (and I didn’t connect them all) and I have other money elsewhere but it was nice to know that it was keeping track of it and staying on top of it for me.

What has me so excited about Cinch

When I spoke to one of the Cinch founders, I had a lot of questions. You know that I don’t recommend or talk about just any old products here so there were some things I really wanted to know before diving in and exploring the product myself. Specifically, I wanted know about how it looks at student loan debt. Particularly, the different payment plans that exist for federal loans. Even more specifically, income driven repayment where what you’re paying each month is less than the standard amount. I’ve found that most debt repayment apps or tools just assume you must be making $2,000 in payments each month of the loans which is just not true. So I was excited to learn that Cinch doesn’t do this. While still in it’s infancy as a product, they’ve designed the debt evaluation part to take into account income driven repayment plans so it really is able to provide you with the best advice.

Other stuff Cinch does

A few more things Cinch does today and will do soon includes letting you know if you are overpaying for something (like insurance). Or aren’t being paid enough (like interest on a savings account). This helps to ensure you are getting the most of your money and you’re not having to spend more than you should. So you may be thinking this sounds awesome, but there must be some catch.It’s probably not super surprising, but since they are acting as a fiduciary and they aren’t doing ads or being paid by or referring you to certain products it isn’t a free service. 

The Cost

After a 90-day trial it costs $4.99 a month. Fortunately, that 90-day trial actually gives you enough time to see if the $4.99 monthly subscription is worth it. I’m guessing after only using Cinch for a few weeks, that if you really do struggle with staying on top of all your finances, then the advice Cinch gives you and the money it saves you will make this price tag a bargain.

Wrapping it up with a bow on top

Overall I’m really excited to see Cinch grow and expand. I love the fact that it’s an all-in-one money management platform to give you solid advice that is not biased by some company paying them a referral fee. You’re paying them to give you the best advice and that’s how it’s designed to work.

For $4.99 a month and the advice and money it’ll save, I think it’s an excellent deal . I don’t say that easily because I know paying for anything when you’re in debt is a struggle. However, I am excited about it and look forward to seeing what other suggestions Cinch comes up with for me. I’m sure I do still have a lot to learn.

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