Archives For Product Reviews

Do you have trouble determining how future purchases and life events will impact your money? Yeah, me too.

That’s why I use tools like Planwise to help navigate the tricky financial waters. You can even try Planwise on my site.

Planwise Video

Checkout the Planwise blog for more helpful money tips too. logoDo you need an easy way to pay off debt and track spending? There are so many options out there like Mint or ImpulseSave (read my review of ImpulseSave if you’re interested).

Payoff is a free high quality alternative to Mint that even offers social interaction along with prizes and badges for active participation and meeting your goals.

I’ve been using Payoff for a few months and I’d like to give some feedback and my awesome audience an alternative to the mighty

This is not a sponsored post, just a user who happens to have a financial blog. If money were offered though, I’d gladly accept it. 😉 *Read update below.

My Review of

Payoff is a great tool to take positive financial steps in the right direction. It starts with setting goals and dreams–if you don’t have a reason to do smart things with money, then you won’t get very far.

For all actions you take you earn badges and behind a few of those badges called Sur-Prizes (hidden prizes) I haven’t won any yet, but it keeps me going. Badges works for the Boy Scouts and four square, so it’s sure to keep you motivated too.

There is also the ability to share on social media, which also is an accountability mechanism.-but you want to keep your finances hidden, that is possible.

After you set your goals and dreams you’ll link your financial accounts to its secure site.

*no site in the world is 100% secure, change your passwords on a regular basis)

What I Like About

  • Possibility of Sur-Prizes. Hey, who doesn’t like free stuff?
  • They have a great blog with helpful articles that show up in the dashboard.
  • My weekly email of where my goal progress and snapshot of spending by company. They even match the cool logos of many of the places I shop, so I can tell at a glance where the money was spent.
  • Easy to view dashboard with accounts, suggestions for saving, spending snapshots, and goals tracker.
badges for payoff

Sample badges and possible Sur-Prizes behind them

Areas for Improvement for Payoff

I do have a few suggestions and areas for improvement, but for the most part I think it’s a good alternative to

  • One suggestion is that I want to be able to add multiple emails to the weekly email summary.I’d like my wife to be able to receive them too, so we’re on the same page. They need to add additional email fields to do this.
  • I also wasn’t happy that my profile isn’t complete until I pull my credit score. I have no reason to pull my credit score since I pull my credit report a few times a year.
  • Wish there was a badge for being debt free too. I don’t have debt and no plan for getting into any debt…how about a badge for that?
  • There is also a glitch on my savings goals. At times it says I have completed 0% of my goal, but that’s crazy since I’ve already received badges for making progress on my goal. *seems to be fixed now! 
  • Ability to link to investment accounts. If this is a priority for your dashboard, stick with Mint. I prefer to only look at my investment statements once a month so I don’t go crazy and pull all my money on bad days.
  • I would like to see budgeting tools within Payoff. Those who budget, win with money. This is an area where Mint excels and why many continue to use Mint over other tools. *update it’s a planned future component. 

Take a Tour of Payoff

Welcome to – Product Features from on Vimeo.

To sum it up, I’d recommend giving a spin to see if it helps you meet your financial goals. If you’re already a user, you might just find Payoff to be a solid alternative . If Mint is overwhelming, then Payoff is right for you! Sign up for free.

*Update: After this review, I had the pleasure of meeting the founders and team at their L.A. office. I was compensated with some yummy Japanese food–thanks guys! From meeting the team I discovered out:

  • They don’t see themselves as competitors with Mint, but rather entry level users–newer to budgeting.
  • There is some budgeting component in the future and that is totally exciting.
  • They are growing, but I promised not to tell any specifics.

Have you used What did you think? 

Piggy BankWe all impulse spend. My weakness is Snickers at the checkout stand. What if instead of buying that Snickers, I rewarded myself by saving the amount of my candybar towards a goal?

Now, there is an easy way to impulse save. I was given exclusive access + 20 invites to an invite only website ImpulseSave. No, I’m not getting money for this-it’s just a good creative financial tool that promotes saving.

I’ve played around with ImpulseSave this week and am pleased with it so far. If you want an invite, scroll to the bottom.

Video: What is ImpulseSave?

Stats and Facts:

Is ImpulseSave Safe?

  • ImpulseSave employs the same high-grade encryption used by financial institutions and government agencies.  All your financial information is encrypted in transit, and in storage.
  • They meet or exceed all industry standards to safeguard your data.
  • Your money is held in your new FDIC-insured savings account at Leader Bank.
  • The short answer: Yes. The long answer: They are built like Fort Knox.

ImpulseSave Features:

Specific Goals: instead of a nebulous “emergency fund”- now you can save towards your vacation, a wedding or your kids education separately in one savings account.

Save Anywhere: You can impulseSave via SMS text, via Instagram, on the ImpulseSave site and soon via their new I-Phone App 2.0.

Autosave: Weekly autosaves ensure that you’re ALWAYS making progress towards your goals, even if it’s only $5 a week. (To have a goal, you must invest $5 a week).

Success Driven: They send weekly updates on your goal progress and encourage you every time you make a save!

Social: Comment on a funny save from your friend, encourage those who are making good decisions – be inspired to save yourself!

How it Works

I loved the part where I got to hold my ID and Debit Card up to my webcam to confirm my identity. Genius I say!

What I Like About ImpulseSave

  • I love the creativity in this product and that it promotes a habit of saving.
  • Very user friendly. It is easy to setup, the options are easy to manipulate and find,
  • The graphics and layout of the site are really classy and well done.
  • They’ve got a cool blog with helpful advice.

Room For Improvement From ImpulseSave

I’d like the ability to have a goal, without being forced to auto save every week. I’m all for autosaving, but the name of the product is ImpulseSave, not AutoSave.

I hope they’ll improve on their low savings rate of .40% APY. Currently ING offers .80%, with several other banks offering higher savings rates. If you have a small goal–it won’t matter much, but if your goal will take 1+ year to achieve then the lower savings rate will become a factor.

Give ImpulseSave a Try

I believe ImpulseSave is a worthwhile product to inspire and motivate your savings. If you need accountability and want to save–Give ImpulseSave a Try. I am. Visit ImpulseSave for an invitation.

If you want to register for an invite to ImpulseSave visit here This link will work for only 24 hours and only 20 people will receive an invite, so join if you’re even 1/2 way interested.

Thanks for reading–let’s get saving!