Talking tech since 2003

I’m making a pretty big change to the way I handle my finances, and I’m not going to lie — I’m a bit uneasy. After using two checking accounts — one for bills and one for spending money — and an assortment of Capital One 360 savings accounts to manage things, I’m pooling all of my funds into what some call the future of banking: Simple.

simple-appIf you’re unfamiliar with Simple, it’s best described as a front end user interface for a traditional bank. Simple does not do any traditional banking itself; instead, it farms that work out to Bancorp. What Simple does is provide a more attractive and easier to use online banking system, including apps for both iOS and Android.

The idea for the switch is that Simple will actually help me save better and help keep me on track with my budget, with the added bonus of keeping all of my money in the same place. Will that happen? We’ll have to wait and see.

I often found that saving was easier when I transferred small amounts of money — say, $50 a week — out to savings, instead of taking a big chunk at the end of the month. That’s sort of the idea behind Simple’s Goals feature. You can set a goal, an amount to save and the date you’d like to save it by, and Simple moves small chunks into that goal on a daily basis. The movement is virtual; your money isn’t actually going anywhere and your total available balance stays the same. But your “Safe-to-Spend,” which deducts upcoming bill payments and goal contributions, will change.

“Safe-to-Spend” is the crown jewel feature of Simple, by the way, and the reason a lot of people have made the switch. I personally find the feature a bit confusing. If my Safe-to-Spend is $1,000, for instance, but I’m not getting any more money this month and I have $900 owed to goals, I don’t really have $1,000 to spend. But I’m sure this is something Simple has already identified and is trying to improve on, and hopefully we see some tweaks to it.

This isn’t a review or really a detailed first impression of Simple by any stretch. I’m still learning the ins and outs, and I’m sure there’ll be some hiccups as I move my complicated banking process into this one system. But I plan on occasionally coming back and documenting my experience with the service, and hopefully, these updates will help some others who are looking for new and, possibly, more efficient ways to manage their money.

Are you a Simple user? How’s your banking experience going? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.


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