Well, I know it’s not a secret that I was what was considered one of the “long-term unemployed” until recently. From the first week of July last year to… well, pretty much the first week of July this year I was jobless. Fortunately I received a fairly significant redundancy payout but my one mistake was that I did not budget for anything…
Well, frankly, I thought I would be working much sooner than what was actually the sad reality.
I should have done a budget. I was spending money like I was still employed and that was probably the worst thing I could have ever done.
Anyway, long story short, I’ve got a new job now but where I used to have the sort of pay packet that pretty much meant I could spend what I liked almost mindlessly and still have all my bases covered, I’m dealing with a wage that is now a little over a third of what I was used to getting. Of course I’m not complaining – these days a job is a job and I adore this job that I’ve got but I’ve now got to budget much, much more carefully to be able to buy the occasional bottle of nail polish without feeling ultra guilty.
That’s where myprosperity comes in. I was offered the chance to review this new money management site and given that I am in dire need of a budget overhaul, I put my hand up, thanks very much!
myprosperity is being toted as a way to keep track of your funds and assets all in one convenient location and it’s all free – BONUS!
At a glance, it lets you see where your money is going as the site automatically categorising your spendings for you.
It also helps you set savings goals, plan your budget better and keep control of your finances all in one fell swoop.
Hey, anything that’s easy and helps you manage your money is a good thing, right?
So onto my personal feelings about the site…
The good stuff first!
Using the site is DEAD EASY. It’s quick and intuitive. Everything is a step-by-step process and chucking in your data is quick.
You can even get basic free evaluations on your property and car if you decide to put this information in. I did and I was tickled to see that my house is worth considerably more than we paid for it (yay!) and it also comes up with what it previously sold for (to us) and somehow managed to find all the pictures that must have been loaded up to some real estate site when the house was on the market.
The site picks up your information within minutes and everything is readily displayed in different tabs. Graphs fill out as you watch and you can easily navigate around the site to see how your funds are spread out with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Now… the bad stuff.
Privacy and security are an issue.
Ok, I’ll be honest, I really don’t like giving usernames and passwords to anyone for anything and that’s what you have to do with myprosperity to be able to use the site effectively. Bank accounts, superannuation accounts, savings, etc. To me that feels like a huge security risk and I think I would have preferred a more manual system where I could input those figures myself rather than giving a great unknown the password to my financial banking, but for the purpose of this review, I chucked in my details to see what would happen.
As much as I was uncomfortable with sharing those details, it was pretty cool to see where all my money was being filtered out to. Anything linked to the accounts that you put in the details for will show up automatically too in other parts of the site.
It’s categorising the information incorrectly.
It’s fairly obvious when using the site that anything that the myprosperity system does not recognise will not be linked to correctly. Case in point, all of my direct debits were being listed incorrectly. Due to the banking reference including the word “direct”, the mysprosperity system read this as debits from Budget Direct – a company I have absolutely NOTHING to do with. All these debits are therefore listed in the insurance tab. I am not sure what the go was there but there seemed to be no way to correct this and there’s no help button and apparently no way to re-categorise the payments. That is a major fault on myprosperity’s part as far as I am concerned.
I could not seem to update the system to show just my income – which makes this a little bit pointless. The system does a very good job of reading your accounts but it assumes too much. Not all the money flowing into my account is income.
And back to security…
Lastly, I could not see anywhere to remove any of the details I had put in – so I guess I’ll be updating my bank account passwords now.
All in all, I think myprosperity is an ok service. It’s free, so you have to remember that free equals limitations and this should be in no way used as a replacement for proper financial planning if you’re someone like me who really needs to get into the nitty-gritty of managing money, but for an “at a glance” service – and if you are comfortable with providing passwords for your financials – it’s pretty good.
Nuffnang Product Talk
NB: I give honest reviews.