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New and Exciting Tools To Help With Budgeting and Saving Money

Weekend at Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands as seen through Mesa Arch

It’s been a crazy week and I’m really glad it’s Friday. Our latest rental property project is all done and we already have a tenant. All that is holding us back is the final inspection. Somehow the city doesn’t seem to realize that another day of delay means less dollars in my pocket, but what can you do? Since I’m not making any extra rental money today, maybe I can save a bit with some new and exciting tools to help with budgeting and saving money.

Personal Capital Now Has Budgeting

track spending with Personal Capital


I have been using Personal Capital for over a year now, and I really like their interface that gives me the ability to check all my accounts at once. I used Mint in the past, and like it as well, but Personal Capital is much, much better for tracking investments because it gives a terrific breakdown of account balances, portfolio allocations, and fees being charged.

One big complaint about Personal Capital was that it didn’t offer a budgeting tool. Of course, you can do one on your own or use another website, but who wants to log in to a million different places?

Well, Personal Capital got the hint and are now offering a budgeting feature, but there is a catch.

Currently, the budgeting tool is only available for iPhone and Apple Watch. I’m pretty sure I’ll never have an Apple Watch, but I do have an iPhone and was able to try out the new feature. It’s very simple. You select spending, pick a monthly or longer goal amount, and Personal Capital tracks your progress to let you know how close you are to your monthly limit.


You can only select a total amount of spending, so for those who like to break your projected budget into categories, you might be a bit disappointed. Personal Capital says,

Overall spending levels are more important than the breakdown by category (it matters how much you spend more than what you spend it on)

Whether you agree or not, it’s still a great way to track spending. If you aren’t tracking your spending, you have no idea where your money is going. Personal Capital makes that very easy, whether you use Apple products or not. And it’s 100% FREE!

Betterment Offers Tax Loss Harvesting With No Minimum Balance

Why is tax loss harvesting important? Well, if you don’t enjoy paying taxes, it’s important that your investments are bought and sold to minimize tax burden. I can’t even figure out my own income tax returns, so there is probably no way I’d ever be able to figure out the tax intricacies of a brokerage account.

Betterment is a low cost online brokerage that can help with the fear that new or even old investors might face about choosing the right funds, rebalancing those funds, and paying too much in fees. If you aren’t well educated in investing or don’t have the time to study the markets, Betterment does all that for you with very reasonable fees. I wrote about my first year of using Betterment here.

Tax loss harvesting was a service Betterment used to offer only to investors with balances over $50,000, but they now offer this service to all accounts, regardless of the balance. Obviously, the more you invest, the more you should worry about taxes, but it’s a nice perk to offer, even for small accounts.

Betterment claims that tax loss harvesting can save an average of 0.77% in after tax returns, based on the size of the account and amount contributed monthly. Over the years, that certainly adds up!

What’s new and exciting with you this week?

*Hopefully everyone is already tracking spending and investing, but if you do the research and decide to sign up for Personal Capital or Betterment, I do get a small commission. 



About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Glad to hear you have a tenant, save for the city dragging their feet. We’ve had a crazy week as well – made worse by the heavens opening up and just getting downpours every day! I’m hoping that PC eventually brings on the budgeting piece across the board but even without that they’re a great tool to use.

  2. The only thing I don’t like about personal capitol is them calling me on the phone trying to get me to work with them on my investments and whatnot. It felt like a high pressure sales pitch that wasn’t invited, so it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Still, I need to find something out there that will help me organize my taxes better. I’ve yet to bite the bullet on products like Quicken but I might have to. I digress…hope you find a tenant soon!

  3. I have been a user of Personal Capital app for three months. I pretty like it so much compare with other budgeting and saving app. It’s because it makes the task easier to do and is interface friendly. What I mostly like about it is the 401(k) Fee Analyzer, that has a useful feature that tells you how much your retirement plan is costing you.

  4. I typically don’t use budgeting app or software as I know that I am frugal enough that I buy things that I need although I think I may be able to get some benefits out of Personal Capital app. Thanks for the great posting.


  5. Congratulations on wrapping up the rental reno and finding a tenant. I’d love to see pictures! You are killing it with the real estate investments.

  6. Personal Capital is one of the best apps i have used.It is user friendly and quick to use.At first i did not believe in using any apps for finances but then i got hold of this from my friend.It is always a boon to use such a great app.

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