Clarity Money has the story right. Managing checking and credit accounts, bills and more is time consuming. Inconsistent incomes and lumpy bills turns financial management turns into a nightmare. And many people are struggling with it.
The Clarity Money App wants to be the technological advocate that streamlines your finances. Their platform offers big savings opportunities.
However, Clarity Money falls short on key promises. Here’s what you need to know about the app in our Clarity Money review.
See how it compares to the other top money and budgeting apps.
What is Clarity Money?
Clarity Money is an expense tracking and bill negotiating app. The app allows you to link your checking and credit accounts, so you can categorize all your transactions in a single app. They also allow you to manage all your accounts from a single account. Need to transfer money from one account to the other? You can do it in the app.
Transfer Money Easily In The App
Clarity Money organizes your transactions into graphs. The visuals help you gain insights into your spending habits. The presentations are similar to those you find in Personal Capital. They include daily spending trends and pie charts.
Where do I spend my money? Clarity Makes It Easy to See
In a unique twist on budgeting apps, they also help you save money. Clarity Money can negotiate to decrease some of your bills on your behalf. According to the company, they have the most success lowering your home Telecomm bills. If Clarity saves you money, they take ⅓ of it as a commission, and leave you with the savings.
Cancel or negotiate with the click of a button
Clarity Money also makes it easy to cancel bills through their app. If you want to cancel Netflix, cable subscriptions or Birch Box, you can do that through the app. Within a week, the team at Clarity Money will cancel your subscription. They don’t charge for that service.
Finally, Clarity Money offers an automated savings platform. Users can set up an automatic savings in an FDIC insured bank account. Clarity Money wants users to automate good behavior, and the automatic savings transfers make sure that happens.
What I love About Clarity Money
Clarity Money is a technical masterpiece. Clarity connects to bank accounts faster than any other app, and they don’t “lose accounts” like other apps. When “the computer” is thinking about your money, it’s doing amazing things. I love that Clarity Money makes it easy to transfer money between accounts (even at different banks). It’s amazing that Clarity identifies subscriptions to cancel and bills to lower. The automated savings feature will help users build their savings muscle with just a few taps of their finger.
Start Saving Today!
No other personal finance app comes close Clarity Money’s technical mastery. Not only that, they bring it to you for free-ish. The only charges you’ll see from Clarity Money are their commissions for negotiating bills on your behalf.
Why Clarity Money Falls Short
Clarity Money mastered thinking about money for you, but they don’t empower you to think about your money choices. These are a few specific shortcomings in the app.
No Budgeting Feature
Real financial empowerment comes when you have a forward looking view of your money. You need a budgeting method that matches your personal behavior. Clarity Money promotes automated savings, but they don’t force you to come up with realistic spending patterns.
No Clarity For Variable Incomes and Expenses
Some people have predictable income and expenses. They get checks every two weeks, and their bills come every month. Clarity Money will suit this type of person.
However, people with variable incomes or variable expenses will struggle with Clarity Money. The month I downloaded the app I paid state income taxes, a quarterly tax estimate, and a surgery bill. My spending for the month dwarfed my income. Clarity Money said that I overspent my budget by $4,900, but all that extra spending came from savings. So far, I haven’t seen a free app that solves this problem in an automated fashion.
Spending Categories Aren’t Customizable
Clarity Money doesn’t allow users to create and view customizable categories. My car maintenance costs (insurance, gas, etc.) fell into the “Shopping” and “Bills” category. My utilities, charitable giving, and childcare also wound up in Bills. Clarity Money does not allow you to create categories that matter to you as a person.
I want to look at Food, Fun, Childcare, Utilities, Home Repair, Telecomm, and Medical expenses. You might want to look at Travel, Insurance, and Debt Repayment. Each person thinks about their spending through a unique lens. Gaining clarity on spending means thinking about those purchases accurately. Unfortunately, Clarity Money doesn’t allow you to do that.
Clarity Money Review Thoughts
Is Clarity Money a good app for you? It depends what you want out of the app. If you want an app that negotiates your bills or allows you to transfer money between accounts, Clarity Money is amazing. If you want a great budgeting or expense tracking app, look elsewhere for now.
Clarity Money is still a new company, and they are mission oriented. We could see big changes in the near future.
Downloading Clarity Money won’t solve your money problems, but it could help you gain a better understanding of your finances. If you’re not already using a tracking app, Clarity Money is better than nothing. Because of the technical advantages, I recommend it over Personal Capital. However, Clarity Money isn’t a complete financial solution at this time.
Clarity Money Review
- Cost - 100
- Commission & Fees - 70
- Ease Of Use - 80
- Customer Service - 80
- Features And Options - 40
In our Clarity Money Review, we share how it works as a great technical tool, but it still lacks in budgeting and other key features.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.