Monarch Money App [An Honest Review]

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There are lots of great financial planning apps out there. Monarch Money is one of these apps, offering financial services for both your mobile and desktop devices.

This app was first launched in 2020, making it relatively new to the personal finance scene.

In the review below, we’ll give you all the information you need to know about Monarch Money. We’ll go over the app’s key features and how you can make the most of them.

We’ll also let you in on some of the drawbacks when using the app. All this information will help you decide if Monarch Money is right for you.

Let’s get into it.

What is Monarch Money?

Monarch Money was co-founded by John Sutherland, Ozzie Osman, and Val Agostino. It’s a relative newcomer and one of the leading alternatives to mainstream apps like YNAB (You Need a Budget) and Mint. In fact, Val Agostino was one of the original product managers for Mint.

Monarch Money doesn’t specifically excel as a financial app in any one specific area, but rather, it does all things great as a whole, all-in-one app.

They’ve got an extremely customizable dashboard that’s flexible and user-friendly, and their tools are great for people who want to have a better overview of all their financial information.

Monarch Money covers budgeting, investing, net worth, real estate assets, and financial goals.

And whenever you need it, they’ve got access to financial advice that can help you along the way.

Monarch Money Key Features

Let’s look at Monarch Money’s features in a bit more detail.

Budget Creation & Tracking

Monarch Money syncs your transactions and sorts transactions into categories such as housing, groceries, or credit card.

While their automatic categorization is overall quite helpful, you may still need to manually sort certain expenses in your budget. You can create custom categories that fit your own personal lifestyle and financial habits.

All this information can be used to help you create and manage your budget.

If you’re trying to put away money toward a savings goal, Monarch Money can do this for you.

Investment Tracking

Monarch Money’s dashboard allows you to have an overview of all your financial investments. Their investment tracking keeps track of relevant 401(k) plans, taxable brokerage accounts, stocks, and other accounts.

Their investment tracking features also include personalized financial advice from qualified financial planners. This advice can help you determine your next steps. They’ll be able to help you reduce debt and save for major expenses.

Financial Goal Tracking

One of Monarch Money’s greatest features is their goals-based planning function.

No matter what your financial goals are, their tools can help you create and track them. Their tools are particularly helpful for people who need assistance breaking up their larger goals into more manageable steps.

Users can also direct  “free cash” towards certain goals.

Every time you put money toward a specific goal, the app gives you a visual reward to remind you that saving money can be fun. It turns every step toward your goal into a mini celebration.

Customizable Dashboards

Monarch Money’s customizable dashboards are great for people who have tried other financial tracking services and still found them to be lacking in some way or another.

Since you get to create your own customized dashboard, you’re able to track the things that matter most to you.

To do this, all it takes is a simple drag and drop of relevant widgets onto your dashboard. You can move them around to put them in an order that makes sense to you.

Net Worth Tracking

Monarch Money has a net worth tracking feature that allows you to track your debts and assets. You can see your overall net worth. It’s a neat feature that gives you a great overview of your financial health.

They not only are able to track your debt and savings accounts, but they can include other valuables such as collectibles or art.

You can even connect your house’s property value through their integration with Zillow. This uses your house’s estimated value to contribute to the assessment of your net worth. How neat is that?

Who Should Use Monarch Money?

Monarch Money is great for people who want a fully featured financial planning app. While some apps focus entirely on budgeting or exclusively on financial tracking, Monarch Money does it all.

It’s a particularly powerful app for people who want a little extra help reaching their financial goals. It gives you some visual motivation and serves as a constant reminder of how far you’ve come.

Their features are great for breaking down big goals into manageable pieces. And if you’re ever stuck, their financial planners are available to help you figure out your next steps.

I’d say that the users that stand to benefit the most from Monarch Money would be those that consider themselves to be visual learners. They’ve got graphs that allow you to see your financial progress over time. These graphs can be customized to your liking on the dashboard, allowing you to see the information you want with only a couple of clicks.

How Do You Use Monarch Money?

It’s easy to get started with Monarch Money. Simply follow the steps below:

  1. Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. If you prefer to look at information from your desktop computer, they also have a web browser version available.
  2. Sign up for an account. When doing so, make sure to take advantage of their 7-day free trial. You won’t need to attach your credit card information to enjoy the trial.
  3. Once you’re logged into your Monarch Money account, you can start putting together your dashboard. Attach all of your financial accounts to sync on Monarch Money’s app.
  4. After your trial ends, you’ll be offered a choice between their different subscription plans. You can choose either monthly or annual billing. You can save a little bit by choosing annual billing.

The app securely syncs information between your financial accounts to help provide you with the best possible overview of your financial situation. You can create budgets and track short- and long-term savings goals, all from your customized dashboard.

The dashboard also contains several widgets, which you can arrange to your liking.

Pros and Cons of Monarch Money: The Pros

Pros

Comprehensive syncing options. Monarch Money allows you to sync information with over 11,200 financial institutions. While other financial tracking apps only use one data aggregator for synced information, Monarch Money uses several to increase their coverage. This allows you to see all your financial information in one place.

Support for cryptocurrencies. Tracking that includes cryptocurrencies is not something that all financial service apps can do. While they’re only currently offering support for Coinbase, they have plans to allow synced information from other exchanges and wallets in the near future.

Ad-free experience. Monarch Money is simply one of the best ad-free, all-in-one financial management apps. They are able to do so by offering a premium subscription service.

Mobile and web dashboards are designed to work independently. That means you can have a different dashboard view on your phone than on your desktop, allowing you to tailor the experience to your needs when accessing information from different devices.

Pros and Cons of Monarch Money: The Cons

Cons

Although Monarch Money has a lot of features, there are a few drawbacks to their services.

No credit score monitoring. While this feature isn’t included in all financial tracking apps, it’s offered in enough of them that the exclusion is a point against Monarch Money.

Crypto monitoring still needs improvement. While they offer syncing to your Coinbase exchange, that is the extent of their cryptocurrency monitoring. Although you can manually enter the information into the app, this can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Syncing isn’t perfect with certain institutions. Although Monarch Money’s syncing is more expensive than most of the competition, there can be some trouble connecting to institutions like Wells Fargo, American Express, and Capital One.

The app itself isn’t free. While they do offer a free trial, you’ll have to enroll in a subscription to continue using their financial services. This can be a barrier for people who are still struggling to break free from the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.

Is Monarch Money a Good Budget App?

Monarch Money is a great budgeting app. Although they are aiming to be an all-in-one app, they still excel particularly in their budgeting features. They’ve got great expense tracking, and are compatible with a huge plethora of financial institutions to give you the best overview of your budgeting situation at any time.

Is Monarch Money Free To Use?

Unfortunately, Monarch Money is not free.

How Much Does Monarch Money Cost?

After your 7-day free trial, Monarch Money costs $9.99 per month. If you enroll in their annual plan, you pay $89.99 per year. That’s about $7.50 per month, so you’re saving around $1.50 per month by paying annually.

While this cost can be a barrier to some people, it allows Monarch Money to offer a completely ad-free service. If you’re annoyed by the advertising on other financial apps, the ad-free experience of Monarch Money may be just what you need.

Is Monarch Money Secure?

Yes, Monarch Money is considered secure as it uses the same level of security that any FDIC-insured bank would use. The company is unable to give itself access in any way, shape, or form to your money, and it can’t just move your funds around. It’s completely read-only access. This is standard across any legitimate financial app.

Is Monarch Money Legit?

Although Monarch Money is a relatively new financial planning app, they are completely legit, and are already making themselves known against the competition.

The fact that one of the co-founders of the company is a man who previously worked as a product manager for the company Mint says a lot about the company as a whole. To have that kind of work experience on the team shows that they know exactly what they’re building and they know the talent necessary to achieve their goal.

Monarch Money Reviews (By Real Users)

The Monarch Money app currently has over 1,100 user reviews on Apple App Store with an average rating of 4.8/5 stars.

It also has over 250 user reviews on Google Play with an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. Not bad at all.

Here are some real user reviews of the Monarch Money app:

“I use this now instead of Mint because Mint is clunky. This app is quicker, easier to navigate, and the best feature (monthly budgets) in my opinion is structured in the right way. You are able to see how much there is left to spend, and it works. Also, I can finally use a budgeting app with my spouse that she isn’t confused by.”

“Other apps are invasive and also force you to budget in a way that feels extremely manual. Monarch allows you to look at your month as a whole while also having the freedom to correctly categorize, split, and even hide transactions from your monthly spending reports. This is awesome for splitting restaurant or grocery tabs. The app is intuitive and easy to understand. I opened it up and the onboarding experience was so simple and delightful that I spent a couple hours getting everything set up.”

“Don’t sign up for a yearly subscription until you’ve used it for a couple of months. Signed up to find during trial, initial sync was good. Sync quickly broke, and since then, they had me use an alternative method to sync, and it’s worked pretty well. Currently on month to month for now but I find the app to be better than Mint. Happy to keep paying for it as is.”

“Solid performance as an app. Finance-wise, I’ve tried several different apps over the past 2 years (Mint, YNAB, Simplifi, Tiller). There isn’t a one-size fit. It depends on your situation and budgeting style. But as far as functionality, customization, account connection stability, customer service support, Monarch has been stellar. If you have a particular approach such as zero-based budgeting, Monarch allows you to customize your setup.”

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an ad-free and flexible financial planning service, Monarch Money may be the perfect app for you. But while it has many impressive features, there are still a few drawbacks.

Let’s summarize the good and the bad of Monarch Money:

  • It’s completely ad-free
  • They can connect with over 11,200 financial institutions
  • Mobile and web dashboards are designed independently and ridiculously customizable
  • If you budget a certain way, chances are you can incorporate it, unlike on other apps
  • Their spending tracking and categorization is one of the best out there
  • The app still needs to work on their cryptocurrency tracking
  • Credit score information is conspicuously absent
  • It’s not free to use

Keep in mind that Monarch Money is still growing. They are regularly adding new features to benefit their customers.

Have you tried the Monarch Money app yet? If so, what did you think? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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