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Recently, I was approached by an employee at Savology who wanted me to review their free financial plan software. According to the employee, this software would help me reach my financial goals, grade my financial wellness, and provide me personalized action items to take control of my money.
Did it deliver? Find out in this thorough review!
Savology was founded in 2019 by Spencer Barclay in Utah. Spencer created the company with a mission to improve everyday people’s finances by offering them a personalized financial plan – for free.
Spencer has had his fair share of success in the financial world and helped build several startup companies in the financial world. His previous focus has been on credit, estate, retirement planning, and investing.
Putting Savology To The Test
From my first visit to the Savology website, I was impressed with the simplistic look of the site. “Plan your financial future in just five minutes. For Free.” That’s quite a powerful statement. You can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end, it’s still a pig.
In other words, some outside appearances are meant to cover up things that are not so pretty.
It was apparent they spent money on the look of the site, but I wanted to know how it works, so I created my free account.
Signing Up For My Account
As a police officer, I’m skeptical of putting any personal information on the internet. I have heard of far too many horror stories of identity theft and other issues with unsecured websites. Due to this, I was concerned about what information Savology wanted me to provide for my free financial plan.
To my surprise, the only thing that was required to start was my first name. No last name, no address, no social security number – nothing! This was a massive bonus for me because I get tired of websites wanting to know everything about me.
As I proceeded through the process, Savology did ask me a bunch of personal information, but it didn’t require me to identify myself.
Required Savology Information
Here are the questions Saveology asked me:
- What Is Your Age
- What Is Your Gender
- What Is Your Zip Code
- Are You Married
- How Many Dependent Children Do You Have
- How Old Are Your Children
- What Is Your Expected Annual Income
- Select Any Current Retirement Accounts (long list to choose from)
- Which Of The Following Accounts Do You Have (checking, savings, etc.)
- Enter The Estimated Balances For Your Retirement Accounts
- How Often Do You Make And Stick To A Monthly Budget
- Do You Have Savings Set Aside Just For Emergencies?
- Which Of The Following Assets Do You Have (extensive list)
- Which Of These Debts Or Liabilities Do You Have (large list)
- Do You Have Any Active Credit Cards
- Which Of The Following Legal Documents Have You Created And Keep Updated (will, power of attorney, trust, etc.)
- How Do You Feel About Your Health
While this was an extensive list, I feel I was asked certain questions based on my previous answers. You may have more or fewer questions asked of you, depending on your responses.
For instance, my current credit card balances were zero and I was not asked anymore about credit cards. I imagine the program would want to know how much debt I was in.
If you have been reading the blog for any amount of time, you know I am all about finance, and I feel I have a pretty good handle on my money.
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My Free Financial Plan Results
When I clicked “submit,” I fully expected to receive an A+. Why? Because, I have an emergency fund, I have 6 months of living expenses saved up, and I even contribute 20% of my income to my retirement account. There’s no way I wasn’t going to be perfect.
They gave me a “B!” Are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. Here I was doing everything I thought was financially responsible, and I didn’t score a perfect score.
Shining The Light On All Of My Financial Failures
What I quickly realized was I was not as financially prepared as I thought I was. My wife and I previously created a will, but it wasn’t updated in quite some time. Also, we didn’t officially nominate successors in our will for our children if we prematurely passed away.
How incredibly irresponsible of me!
I have been busy focusing on retirement and budgeting our monthly income; I forgot about one of the most critical financial decisions I should make. We forgot to update our will to delegate the person(s) who would care for our children in the even of our premature death.
In addition to family planning, I want to make sure I have at least 100% of my current income in retirement and put I wanted to retire at age 50. Savology quickly showed me I was not on track to retire at age 50 with 100% of my savings. To retire with 100%, I either needed to contribute more towards retirement or move my retirement age back a few years.
Financial Plan Report Card Categories
Here are the financial categories I was judged on by the Savology app.
- Emergency Fund
- Net Worth
- Estate Planning
I did well in the top categories, but to reach my personal finance goals, I need to work more on my estate planning and retirement savings.
In each category, there is a drop-down menu that will give you the description of the category, what factors went into your grade, and actionable items to improve your score.
Actionable Ways To Meet My Financial Goals
As I previously stated, I wanted to retire at age 50 with 100% of my income to be replaced by retirement funds and my pension. While it showed I wasn’t on track to meet it, it showed me what I could do to reach my goal.
By adding on two additional years, I would be able to meet my replacement income goal. This result was pretty eye-opening!
In addition to the retirement section, Savology provided me information about nominating guardians for my children.
Savology – Is It Really Free?
We know nothing in life is free, so I knew the owner of Savology was making money somehow. When I looked further into the program, I realized how the company makes money.
In some of the suggested improvement areas, there are financial company recommendations you can sign up with to help you meet your goal. Bingo – this is where Savology makes it’s money, through referrals to companies. This is also referred to as affiliate marketing.
Savology And Affiliate Marketing
I do not have a problem with affiliate marketing and feel it is a perfectly acceptable practice. Since Savology provides me with a free financial plan, it’s up to me to conduct business with any of the recommended companies – or not.
Savology delivers the initial information for free, so I’m okay with recommended companies they make money from, especially if I’m not required to conduct business with them if I don’t want.
Savology – What I Liked
The program was able to show me areas of improvement in my current financial situation that I had overlooked. The comprehensive and thorough financial plan I was provided for free was definitely worth the five minutes it took me to complete the initial survey.
The dashboard and summary of my financial plan were simple to navigate. The program provided me easy to understand information that highlighted what I was doing well, and what I needed to work on
Savology – What I Didn’t Like
One of the turnoffs of the program were the limits that were placed on certain information.
By completing specific actions, Savology awards you star points that are used to unlock additional features and information. I was able to unlock one of the categories but quickly ran out of Savology Credits to unlock more.
To earn extra credits, you are required to share the program, and you accumulate 100-star points every time someone signs up from your referral link.
On a positive note, it doesn’t cost anything to unlock more features and information, but it was a bit frustrating to run into this initial roadblock.
While disappointing, I understand why this is required. Savology is a brand new program and wants to be able to provide these free plans to as many people as possible. This is only done by people sharing the app with their friends and family through social media. So while it is frustrating, I understand why it is required.
Future Planned Categories
As I was going through the program, I noticed there were sections and tools that are “coming soon.” Some of the areas currently under development include:
- Tax Analysis
- Student Loan Analysis
- Estate Planning
- Financial Goals And Values
- Change Planning Assumptions
- Life Expectancy Details
- Improve Income
- Life Insurance Calculations
- Net Worth Analysis
- Financial Literacy Quiz
- Actual Monthly Savings
- Prepare For Life Events
- Budget Tool
- Auto Insurance
If these additional categories come online sooner than later, this will be an extremely impressive program. I have no doubt that Savology and I will compete for the same audience in the near future. The only comfort I have is we both are focused on helping people improve their finances and build wealth.
Savology – My Overall Impression
To me personally, Savology was worth every second I spent on it because it reminded me I needed to update my will immediately. In addition, I also enjoyed knowing where I was doing well financially and having Savology highlight these aspects.
Savology showed me my current net worth and allowed me to make financial decisions based on my current situation
As much as I didn’t like to be shown I wasn’t perfect, it’s crucial to have a third party evaluate your finances from an outside perspective. Sometimes we have a biased view of our overall situation and don’t see areas that need improvement.
I will probably go over this plan every six months before setting financial goals.
For the price of FREE I absolutely recommend everyone give Savology a try. You have nothing to lose other than five minutes of your time, and you may just come away with financial areas to address – before it’s too late.
To get started with Savology, click the banner below – and yes, I will earn 100-star points if you sign up!