HelloWallet also offers a different take on personal finance than many tools. Instead of focusing only on a month-to month budget, HelloWallet, like Rudder.com, looks into the future. For HelloWallet users this means creating a personalized spending plan and getting help going after specific goals like education or owning a home.
Describing the "special sauce" behind HelloWallet, CEO Matt Fellowes told WalletPop in a phone interview that, "For the first time, we're able to provide prospective financial guidance for people, alerting them to savings opportunities on the horizon before they pass by, and financial health threats before they actually become problems."
The savings plan section of HelloWallet is nothing short of amazing. Thanks to partnerships with Zillow and other data sources figuring out how much to save for your dream home or to send you child to school is transformed from a laborious process to a few clicks. If you're saving for a house and know the house that you want to buy you can simply tell HelloWallet the address and how soon you want to buy and you'll find out the current value, estimated future value and estimated down payment. From there you can follow the steps to set up a savings plan.
Saving for college is also as simple as can be. If you have a school in mind, you can enter the name and after telling HelloWallet when you or your child will attend school you will instantly see the estimated education costs and a breakdown of how much you the family is expected to pay. If you get off-track or situations change, HelloWallet will alert you to what steps you need to take to keep you on target to reach your goal.
One of the ways that HelloWallet tries to help you figure out what to do with your money in order to meet goals is the WalletGrower feature. This tool will analyze what you are currently making and with the answers to a few other questions; show you how much savings you will have at retirement age if you continue on your current path and how much you will have if you alter your plans. If you choose to alter your plans the WalletGrower will help you craft a personal financial plan to split up your paycheck. It even helps you figure out where to keep your savings based on the goal; a rainy day account in an easily accessible account and retirement savings in an IRA.
Another way that HelloWallet differentiates itself from the competition is that HelloWallet searches a larger number of financial institutions and products when the service tries to find a better bank or credit card for you. HelloWallet is able to include a larger number of institutions because it does not need to make money off of new account sign-ups like many competitors. Because HelloWallet isn't making money off of referrals it charges a $5 a month fee, but you do have 60 days to try out the full version of HelloWallet and find out for yourself if the personal finance tool is worth $5 a month.
You'll need to take HelloWallet for a spin yourself to see if it offers enough value to cover the monthly fee; but given all it can do HelloWallet is definitely worth a look -- especially if you need a savings plan.