Meet Cinch: Your in Pocket CFO

Let’s face it, managing your own money is tough and there are a ton of aspects to consider when making money moves (shout-out to Cardi *sticks out tongue*). However, you never have to do it alone. Remember when I said Mint was my favorite app? Well, Cinch might have changed my mind.

During FinCon, I was introduced to Cinch – your new, very personal, in pocket CFO. This amazing tool doesn’t want solely to store your information and present pretty pie graphs and bar charts. Cinch gives real-time, solid advice to help you achieve the financial freedom and peace of mind you’ve searched for. Cinch is a fiduciary, meaning they are totally unbiased and only act in YOUR best interest when offering advice for your finances. Yes, I’m serious, they only act in your best interest and will never try to steer you in the direction of taking on more debt or overpaying for insurance because they are getting paid by companies with those products.

The tool is comprehensive providing insight on:

  • Student Loan Debt
  • Spending Behavior
  • Credit Card Debt and Personal Loans
  • Fees (account, overdraft, and ATM)
  • Emergency Fund
  • Life and Car Insurance

But, they aren’t stopping there, in 2018 they plan to offer advice on Auto Financing, Health Insurance, Mortgages, life-based goals or events, expense allocations, cable/internet streaming, home/renters insurance, and more! Cinch isn’t just about giving you numbers, they want to help you take action and flourish.

How it Works

Cinch wants to help you gain financial freedom, but they can’t without your information. When signing up, you will go through a series of questions such as name, date of birth, if you share finances with anyone, if you rent or own your home, or if you have life insurance. Then you are directed to link your accounts – mainly your primary checking account where most (if not all) of your spending takes place as well as providing access for Cinch to do a soft pull of your credit report (which doesn’t impact your score).

After linking, Cinch now has a clear picture of your spending habits and you’re directed to your Playback. The Playback includes a comprehensive list of your spending habits, debt, income, emergency fund, savings, spending challenges and more. Once Cinch fully rolls out all its features, the Playback will provide you with the best overall view of your financial status.

Once your information is available and up to date, Cinch will continue to offer prioritized advice. My most favorite part of the Prioritized Advice section was the spending challenges. I tend to spend way too much money on food throughout the week (even after I buy groceries) and Cinch offered to help with a plan to cut it down – not completely to cut it out. Usually, when you receive advice, it’s “Hey, that cup of coffee you buy every day, stop it” instead of “Let’s find another way to attack this problem so you can have the best of both worlds.” For this challenge, Cinch is giving a specific amount of money to take out of my account for one week – just ONE – and if I can successfully complete the challenge it suggested doing it for another week. Baby steps, remember ? (plus who doesn’t like a little healthy competition). This was not only a plan that is easily acted on but, Cinch didn’t give me an unrealistic goal that I knew I probably couldn’t (or wouldn’t) achieve. Also, I had the choice of whether I wanted to act right now, wait to do it later, or not do it at all. As you can see, I chose later, but it stayed in my Playback where I could access and change that decision.

Spending challenges are only one thing, in this same section, I could see if there were any fees that I’ve had to pay lately, what the status of my debt was, savings, and suggestions on how I could simplify my wallet.

Overall, I love that Cinch prioritized for me; eliminating a lot of guesswork. I no longer worry about what to tackle first or how to tackle it on my own.

Why Cinch?

Like I said, Cinch offers well-rounded advice for the individual; the service is easy to use and understand. Cinch shows you exactly how much you have in each account, how much debt you’ve incurred, how much you are spending and saving, and offers insurance advice. (Side Note: I don’t know about you, but I barely know anything about insurance, much less life insurance, only that it’s important.) Cinch will not only help you understand what these mean but, will present you with ways to reach your ideal financial freedom.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of apps that promise to help you manage your finances but, I’ve yet to come across FinTech as comprehensive as Cinch. As of right now, I’d say that Cinch is perfect for a starter; someone looking for more help in managing their finances. Once Cinch rolls out its other capabilities, I see it passing some of the other FinTech apps available. As far as other additions, I’d love to see some help or advice when it comes to investing or even saving to invest but for now, the app is could certainly help you reach your smaller financial goals.