Clarity Money Review

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

I wanted to share with you a new financial app that J. Money from Budgets are Sexy introduced to me back in December.  It’s called Clarity Money, and it’s one of the biggest threats to Personal Capital that I’ve seen to date.  

 

Here is a quick look when you first log on.

clarity money

Background

Clarity Money was founded by Adam Dell.  His goal was to level the playing field between customers and big financial services corporations.

 

“Clarity Money’s mission to give consumers a financial advocate as they navigate their financial lives is an incredibly exciting use of data science and artificial intelligence.  Plus, it provides a seamless and engaging user experience that is almost fun,” said Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, a Clarity Money investor.

 

Clarity Money touts itself as a personal finance mobile app that acts as your financial champion.  Anything that claims to be my financial champion has me both skeptical and interested at the same time.  

 

Why Clarity?

I have to admit, I came in very skeptical due to the fact that I LOVE Personal Capital.  My thought was there was no need for me to use another financial app.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

 

Using artificial intelligence and data science, Clarity Money gives consumers a better idea of financial standing, enabling them to make wiser financial decisions.  Features include improving one’s credit card/s, canceling or lowering bills, and creating bank accounts.  All of these features are accessible through the app with a push of a button.

 

 

Clarity’s Benefits

 

How great is Clarity really?  Well, in its beta-testing of 1,000 users, Clarity Money users saved an average of $300 per year by identifying and eliminating wasteful spending.  That means through a quick scan of your finances that it was able to save everyone $25 a month.  I know a lot of things that I could do with an extra $25 every month.

 

So now that you know the cost savings involved, let’s go into further detail about many of the features that the app provides.

 

Features

 

  • Bill negotiation: Using data science, Clarity Money identifies bills that you have that are negotiable.  With a simple push of the button, users can activate a negotiation feature and have their bills lowered for them.  I sure wish that I had this app a couple of months ago before I renegotiated by DirecTV bill.  I would have loved to see how the app could have reduced my bill.  When I called myself, the sales rep lowered my bill by $30, so I wonder how much lower the bill could have dropped through Clarity.

 

  • Cancel subscriptions: Too many people have subscriptions they don’t use – Hulu, Netflix, Newspapers, magazines, etc.  Clarity Money’s technology automatically identifies recurring payments and then lets you cancel any account within the app.  How nice would it be to end a subscription that you’ve been meaning to cancel through the app?  On top of that, this is a great reminder especially for those of us that signed up for a trial period and forgot to cancel afterwards.

clarity money

  • Create a savings account:  Everyone knows that we need to save more, but we rarely save enough.  Clarity Money takes the hassle out of creating a savings account with a feature that allows you to set aside as little as $5 a week.  I mean, who can forget with a great reminder like this?

clarity money

  • Personalized credit cards: Clarity Money uses a rules-based credit card engine to identify the right card for consumers.  The app reviews users’ transactions and calculates which credit card is well-suited for a customer’s spending habits, resulting in maximum savings.  Additionally, I hope to do some serious travel-hacking in the future, and I believe this app will help me optimize my ability to get the best deals through offering the best credit cards available.

 

Free Credit Score

Now here was my favorite feature– Clarity Money provides a free credit score report that you can access at any time.  I’m not talking about just your Credit Report, which you can get free each year, but your actual credit score.  As you can see below, I am a little off from the 850 perfect score.

clarity money

They also even let you know about your target credit utilization score and how you are fairing on it.

clarity money

Give Clarity A Chance!

So, have I convinced you to at least try Clarity?  Here’s what Niall Ferguson, a board member from Harvard, had to say: “I have high conviction that the transformation of financial services by technology will have a bigger aggregate impact on the world than the transformation of transportation.  Clarity Money painlessly educates everyone who uses it about managing their own finances. What better thing to automate than the teaching of financial literacy?”

 

They are also offering $15 if you refer up to 3 friends.  Not a bad reason to spread the word!

clarity money

Are you ready to support Clarity Money’s vision of an app-based defense of consumers’ rights in the financial world?  Share your thoughts below.

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.

46 Comments

  1. Interesting, it looks like a decent app to try put.

    I’m really curious about the bill negotiation and the “potential” reduction of wasteful spending. I’ll give it a try and let you know what I think.

    • It’s a great app. I beta tested it and thought it was interesting. I’ll probably play around with it and Personal Capital for awhile to see if one emerges over the other.

  2. Interesting! I work in the data science/statistics field; it’s really cool Clarity Money is using data to try to help their customers. Like you said, saving $300 a year would be HUGE for some people.

    Thanks for the share, will have to check it out! Have a good one MSM.

  3. You had me at saving an extra $300! This sounds great. I love how they’re using AI in the personal finance realm. And Ferguson’s line is great — “What better thing to automate than the teaching of financial literacy?” What an endorsement! This could very well be a game changer. I look forward to checking it out. Thanks for writing about this.

    Dave

  4. Wow, the first two features you list might be worth it alone. Automatic negotiation and subscription cancellation is awesome. I love it when services allow you to cancel easily on line, but most are smarter and make you call in and jump through a bunch of hoops. Hate doing that.

    Curious on your thoughts on this app along with Personal Capital. Is this something that could replace Personal Capital or just another tool to use alongside it? I mainly use PC for the investment and planning tools and don’t really use it to track spending a whole lot.
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Warren Buffett’s $1 Million BetMy Profile

    • I love Personal Capital just like I loved Mint before. I figure I’ll continue using both Personal Capital and Clarity Money until one of them jumps out as a preference. That’s what I did when I was using Mint and Personal Capital.

  5. It took me a long time to find software I liked. Personal Capital happens to be the one. Having additional features like credit score, bill negotiation, subscription cancel etc. rolled into a single app really makes Clarity Money stand out. I’d much rather have a single app to manage that have multiple.
    Brian recently posted…Interview Series: Mustard Seed MoneyMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing!!! I have to admit I was skeptical at first too but was pleasantly surprised by Clarity Money!!! You’ll have to let me know if you play around and like it.

  6. Marc here from the Clarity Money team.

    The idea behind Clarity Money is simple: If you empower users with the tools to gain transparency and take control of their finances, they’ll do so wholeheartedly. Americans know their finances need work, and we’re here to help.

    We have combined cutting edge technology with some of the world’s best financial experts and data scientists to do the hard work of helping you manage your finances with complete transparency. We analyze your accounts and spending patterns, and make specific recommendations and surface better deals that you can act upon — all within the app and all at the push of a button. We put the power back in your hands, giving you secure and insightful visibility into your finances.

    Please feel free to share your feedback with us at support@claritymoney.com

  7. This sounds really intriguing. I had opened a Personal Capital account a few years ago, but abandoned it after deciding that it didn’t really add anything beyond what I already had with Mint and YNAB. The idea of a similar app that also searches for wasteful spending and negotiates bills is definitely something that merits a try, though. Thanks for the heads up!
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…How to Buy HappinessMy Profile

  8. Ooooh, I love that it notifies you of what bills are negotiable. That is freakin’ nifty. I do like that it’s clean and easy to read. I’ve been trying out Personal Capital for a month to write up a review on it, and one of my beefs is that the main page is a little overwhelming with crazy charts and graphs. It’s nice to have AI pulling together insights for you without overwhelming you with the little details.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Birthday Weekend!My Profile

  9. Is Clarity Money strictly a cell-phone app? An app is nice but not a deal breaker for me. If it calculates my net worth and/or gives me a line-item transaction report, I prefer to have it on a laptop/desktop so I can download the data and do some analysis myself. The renegotiation aspect is intriguing.

    The credit score report is also mildly intriguing. If someone can automate/program renegotiating your cable or cell phone bill, I’ll put out a request. For a fee, I would pay to have my FICO score increased. For example, let’s say my score would be higher if I had recurring debt. I don’t want to go through the hassle of getting a loan. If they could match me with a lender and take on a short-term, low-interest, non-collateralized loan that would improve my FICO by X points, I would go for it. Let’s say, 1 year, 1%, $10,000 loan with the entire loan amount sitting in a an account that the lender could verify. The middleman/lender take their profit out of the 1%. Essentially, I would be paying $100 to improve my FICO by X points.

    This may not be feasible or verifiable. Infeasible because the costs may exceed what I’m willing to pay just to improve my FICO score. Non-verifiable because FICO score is a moving target so even if the loan improves my score by X points, other factors may decrease my score which make the net improvement < X.

    For several years, my FICO score was ~825 every month. Then it dropped to around 790. I can't figure out why. After a few months at 790, I requested higher credit card limits which reduced my credit utilization ration. After that my score jumped to 800 to 810. It has stayed there for several months. I don't know why it is persistently 15 or more points less than before. Credit report I bought from FICO say lack of recurring debt may be pulling my score down. I didn't have recurring debt when I was at 825 and I don't have recurring debt now. I don't sweat it much now because 800 is a common break point in loan rates so when my score was in the 790s, I was more concerned about breaking 800 in case I needed to get a loan for whatever reason.

    I think there is a niche market which overlaps with FIRE. Consumers with strong credit scores that are trying to improve their score my an incremental amount. Pay bills on time, don't carry a large credit card balance, reduce debt, etc. those are not pieces of advice I would pay for but set up a manufactured loan to improve my FICO score is something I would consider if the price was right.

    • Right now the app is free. You should definitely reach out to Marc Atiyeh and provide him that feedback. I’m sure he’ll be happy to share it with his team.

      But I definitely agree your idea is brilliant and think there is tremendous value.

  10. Great review, MSM! Clarity Money looks very interesting. They are being very proactive instead being a passive information processing and display house. I have not given Personal Capital a try but have only heard nice things about it.

    I have been very content with my boring Excel spreadsheets. I feel persuaded to go look into Clarity Money further.
    Michael recently posted…First Class Upgrade or Travel VoucherMy Profile

  11. This app looks awesome! I am always looking out for the next step in personal finance apps and Clarity seems to be on to something. I have a feeling we are going to see a lot more interactive apps that assist with spending evaluation and savings with the recent advancements of big data, AI and machine learning. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Great review! I’m really curious to see how the bill negotiation works and that will probably be the main reason for me downloading the app and trying it out. Let’s see if this works better than my mediocre negotiating skills, lol.
    SMM recently posted…What’s an Index FundMy Profile

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