There are plenty of budgeting tools out there, like Mint, that help you keep track of every penny and analyze your spending in a number of different ways. But if you’re new to budgeting, or you just like to keep things simple, it’s nice to have a basic view of your habits. Penny’s easy-to-read interface can help with that.
It works like a texting app. The character, “Penny,” guides you through the entire process. First, you set up your accounts. Unfortunately, it’s currently limited to a handful of banks and credit card issuers, but the major ones (Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, to name a few) are covered. Once you link your account, the app will give you a simplified view of what your spending looks like.
It organizes everything into five basic categories: food, transportation, bills, income, and other purchases. You can always look at your spending in these categories, but rather than explore trends on your own, you’ll have a few options to choose from in the texting interface:
How’s [current month] going?
My account activity
Breakdown by category
Let’s say you choose breakdown by category. Penny will reply with a simplified diagram of your total spending in each category in the last thirty days. She’ll then show you each category, compared monthly.
It’s not a great tool for deep-diving into your budget. For example, with Mint, you can look at specific tags and subcategories of spending on your own. This app holds your hand through the process, but if you’re new to budgeting, that can be helpful.
Though we collect credentials to login to your bank accounts, we never save your credentials anywhere in our system—we use them to connect to your bank account, then forget them. Besides your personal information, we also track and store your usage of the app for internal analytics purposes. Finally, we store the transaction and balance information retrieved from your bank account. We only collect information when we think it would truly benefit your experience. We prefer to not know more about you unless we have to, since it makes our lives easier too! We protect the personal information you provide us by using industry-standard security practices such as encryption, firewalls, and access controls. We take security very seriously and have secured financial systems in past professional roles.
You can read their full policy here, and check the app out for yourself at the link below.