Here is a little secret.
Personal finance isn’t just about budgeting and managing your money.
I know. Your jaw just it the floor, didn’t it?
The truth is, personal finance is about a couple stages of our financial life, not just about getting us out of debt and saving money and it ends there.
Personal finance is about personal finances. All of them. That means that you should have the opportunity to break up your financial life into two main phases.
The first phase is the phase where you get out of debt, stop spending more than you make, set a budget and build up a basic emergency fund. There is lots of coverage about that, since there are a lot of people who are in the first phase of “grown-up” financial decisions, or need to be.
The second phase is the phase that many people miss out upon, or try to do without going through the first phase, which sets them back. This phase is the wealth-building phase, where people and families save and invest for retirement, college and other long-term goals.
You will find in your research about personal finance tools, that the majority of the apps, programs and websites that have to do with personal finance will favor the first phase of a financial life, and not as many focus on the second phase. Just look at my resources page for proof of this.
However, I want to review one of those rare services that actually cover both phases of personal finance, and has an emphasis on the second phase, and does so with a variety of free tools.
This service is called Personal Capital.
Personal Capital Defined
Personal Capital is a personal finance tool that actually has both phases of personal finance. One is a free system that helps you track your household finances, and the second being a paid investment advisory service. The free part covers budgeting, managing debts and checking your net worth and providing real-time updates of your various accounts.