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Monarch Money Review: A Budgeting App Done Right [2023]

Monarch Money Review: A Budgeting App Done Right [2023]

July 23, 2020

6

minutes

When it comes to saving money buying stuff that will last a while, is easy to repair, or has an amazing warranty, can really go a long way. Here we will collect product reviews so you know where I stand on some of the products I've owned.


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Monarch Money Review

Get an in-depth review of Monarch Money, the all-in-one personal finance platform. Our expert analysis breaks down the features, ease of use, and investment options offered by Monarch Money. Learn how the platform can help you budget, track expenses, and invest for your financial future. See why Monarch Money is quickly becoming the go-to choice for managing money online. Don't make a financial decision before reading our unbiased review of Monarch Money.


Monarch Money is a personal finance and budgeting app, launched publically in November 2020. As the app continues to grow and develop I'll add details of new features below. You can go to your App Store or Google Play Store and download the app yourself.


Top Picks for:

Best Budgeting Apps


How does Monarch Money Score:

Cost and Fees: 5 out of 10

Security: 8 out of 10

Ease of Use: 8 out of 10

Features and Tools: 7 out of 10

Overall: 7 out of 10

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What is Monarch Money?


Monarch Money Home Page
Monarch Money Home Page


Monarch Money is budgeting and expense-tracking software that helps individuals take control of their finances. This user-friendly and easy-to-use tool is designed for those who want to manage their money more effectively, making it a popular choice for personal finance management.


Access Monarch Money Anywhere: Monarch Money is a cloud-based software, allowing users to access it from any device with an internet connection. This feature enables users to track expenses and create budgets from anywhere, making it a convenient personal finance tool for those always on the go.


Free and Premium Versions: Monarch Money offers a 7-day free trial, as well as a premium subscription service for $14.99/month or $99.99 annually. The premium version provides additional features and benefits such as saving goals, recurring transactions, and more, without any financial advisors or ads, making it a hassle-free tool for personal financial goal-setting.


Experienced Founders: One of Monarch Money's founders helped launch Mint.com, bringing plenty of experience to the table when it comes to organizing personal finances. Val Agostino has incorporated feedback from Mint users to create a superior platform with Monarch Money.


Unique Approach: Monarch Money differentiates itself from other personal finance tools by offering a step-by-step process for each key aspect of building a financial plan. Users also receive data highlighting the long-term financial impact of their current spending behaviors, encouraging long-term thinking and effective personal finance management.


Recent Product Updates

New recurring expenses feature: This feature automatically detects recurring bills and subscriptions in your transactions and organizes them into one place. You can also manually add recurring expenses, and Monarch will send you notifications before they are due.


Improved merchant management: Monarch now allows you to merge and delete duplicate merchants, and it provides logos for all of your merchants. This makes it easier to keep track of your spending and identify areas where you can save money.


More accurate statement text cleanup: Monarch has improved its ability to clean up statement text, which makes it easier to categorize your transactions and track your spending accurately.


New timestamps on rules: Monarch now shows you the last time a rule was changed, which can help you to identify and clean up old rules that may no longer be needed.


Minor bug fixes and performance improvements: Monarch has also made a number of minor bug fixes and performance improvements in the last 3 months


Monarch Money Features


Monarch Money Features

Monarch Money Pros and Cons


Pros:

  • User-friendly interface: Easy to navigate and understand, even for those who are not financially savvy

  • Real-time expense tracking: Allows users to monitor their spending and make adjustments as needed

  • Variety of budgeting templates: Helps users quickly and easily set up a budget that works for them

  • Cloud-based software: Accessible from any device with an internet connection

  • Step-by-step process: Guides users through each key aspect of building a financial plan

  • 7-day free trial: Allows potential users to test the platform before committing to a subscription

Cons:

  • Lengthy set up time to take advantage of all features

  • Premium subscription cost: Some users may not be willing to pay for the additional features and benefits provided by the premium version


Monarch Money Alternatives

Mint

Quicken

YNAB - You need a budget

GnuCash

iBank

BudgetSimple

and a ton more



How to get started with Monarch Money

Setting up an account actually only took a few minutes because I used their account connection tool which, like all other tools on Monarch, had step-by-step instructions that were super easy to follow.


First, follow this link to open your account. This link will take you to their Welcome Page.


Monarch Money Welcome Page
Monarch Money Welcome Page

The next step in the process is providing your email. This is critical for ensuring you are who you say you are and for future communication from the Monarch team.



Monarch Money Submit Email Page
Monarch Money Submit Email Page

In an effort to ensure your security and privacy Monarch Money requires a verification code that they email to you. While some might think this additional step is unnecessary I believe that any additional security they can provide is welcome.



Monarch Money Verify Email Page
Monarch Money Verify Email Page

The next step is your basic password creation.



Monarch Money Create Password Page
Monarch Money Create Password Page

Then we start to get into the nitty gritty. You can choose to either setup your accounts manually or with their step by step connection guide. Here is a look at the manual setup page.


Monarch Money Manual Account Setup
Monarch Money Manual Account Setup

Monarch uses Plaid to link your bank accounts. Plaid is a third party data encryption tool. They use Advanced Encryption Standard and Transport Layer Security at or above industry standards to ensure your data stays safe.


Monarch Money Auto-link Accounts
Monarch Money Auto-link Accounts

Their landing/dashboard is visually appealing and provides all the most important information to your personal financial health. They try to keep it simple and not overwhelm you with data which I truly appreicate.


Monarch Money Dashboard
Monarch Money Dashboard

They also provide a crisp and clean account overview page.


Monarch Money Accounts Overview
Monarch Money Accounts Overview

They keep the user interface consistent and simplistic throughout making your financial data easy to understand and action upon. I love their transaction filters. This allows you to drill into certain types of spending habits to ensure you are on track.


Monarch Money Transaction Summary
Monarch Money Transaction Summary

The cash flow page, again, retains a familiar user interface. This consistency is important as an easy to use platform helps users interact with Monarch more frequently. It also reduces the learning curve which is a large hinderance for many software tools.


Monarch Money Cash Flow Page
Monarch Money Cash Flow Page

We all have the need to create a plan for our money. This is exactly what you are going to do in order to achieve your goals. Monarch is here to help you build your plan and achieve your goals. You can utilize their software to analyze your spending and create a plan based on your goals, or you can create your own plan. Either way, having a plan is one of the most important steps toward financial health and they have an outstanding tool to help you with that.


Monarch Money Creating a Plan
Monarch Money Creating a Plan

Here is their dashboard to track your plan.


Monarch Money Plan Dashboard
Monarch Money Plan Dashboard

Creating your goals has never been easier. Before you even start creating goals, Monarch will walk you through a tutorial of how their system takes you step by step to create the most impactful goals for your money.


Monarch Money Goal Building Guide
Monarch Money Goal Building Guide

Once you understand how to get your goals started Monarch will walk you step by step through the process. First, select the type of goal you want to set up.


Monarch Money Goal Selection
Monarch Money Goal Selection

Next you can name your goals.


Monarch Money Name your Goal
Monarch Money Name your Goal

Then iron out the details.


Monarch Money Goal Setting
Monarch Money Goal Setting

Last, track your goals over time with the same intuitive dashboard you know.


Monarch Money Goal Tracking
Monarch Money Goal Tracking

After you have walked through each and ever step in the setup process you can navigate back to the planning page and take a look at your financial forecast. While this tool is still in Beta mode it works well enough you give you a really great sense of how all your financial activity impacts you long term finances.


Monarch Money Forecasting Tool
Monarch Money Forecasting Tool


Who can benefit from using Monarch Money?

Monarch Money is a great tool for anyone wanting to get their personal finances organized, create financial goals, and identify individual steps to help them achieve their financial plans. If you feel that spreadsheets or just guessing isn't getting you into a financial position that helps you worry less, then you should check out Monarch. While there is a cost associated with the tool it is a small price to pay if you love it and get your financial house in order.


Summary

Monarch Money is the easiest to setup and utilize personal finance and budgeting software I have come across. So far, the product is super new to market so there isn't much buzz around it, but I truly believe this product will rapidly grow in the next 3-5 years because of the team behind the software.


If you are interested in learning more and/or trying Monarch Money out, click here, for a free 14 day trial. Remember they are offering 30% off for a limited time as well.


Related articles:

Powerful ways to impact net worth

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Making Money



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