Looking for a personal finance app that is heavy on insights and automates as much of your money management as possible? Find out more in our MoneyPatrol Review.
You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.
We all want to manage our money better. But while getting stuck in the details and managing every dollar spent might work for some, for many (like myself), it would cause a huge headache. In this MoneyPatrol review, I lay out the pros and cons of a new app that automates as much of your money management as possible, leaving you to focus on developing better habits (instead of wondering where you spent $1.99 and on what).
What is MoneyPatrol?
MoneyPatrol is a personal finance app that monitors all of your financial accounts securely and assists you in tracking your spending and managing your personal finances overall. The app tries to set itself apart by offering “advanced Money Tracking, Monitoring, Alerting and Budgeting” tools.
Once you sign up, MoneyPatrol will share alerts, insights, and notifications so you can make better financial decisions.
The way it works is fairly straightforward:
- Register. Sign up with MoneyPatrol through a simple signup form (more on this below) and receive a 15-day free trial.
- Add your financial institutions. Easily connect your bank accounts, credit cards, mortgage loans, and other financial institutions to MoneyPatrol so it can begin monitoring.
- Start receiving alerts and insights. Once you’ve connected everything and MoneyPatrol has a chance to do its thing, you’ll start to get alerts and insights via text and email, as well as have access to a customized dashboard.
From there, you can begin to make more sound financial decisions and manage your money more efficiently.
Broad Coverage of Financial Institutions
One of the things that frustrate me the most about these types of apps is that they don’t support a full list of financial institutions. MoneyPatrol offers support for more than 15,000 different financial institutions in both the U.S. and Canada. They also offer support for a wide range of account types.
Advanced Dashboard With Data Drill Down Facility
MoneyPatrol creates a customized advanced dashboard once you sign up and connect your accounts, which allows you to see data at any level you need–from a high level all the way down to super-detailed.
Get Latest Transactions Along With One Year Data History
Because your accounts are linked directly to MoneyPatrol, you’ll get real-time updates from all of your accounts, meaning you will see all transactions centralized in one location. You can also go back a full year to retrieve any transaction data you need, which is helpful at tax time.
Get Informed About Money Out-Flow and Money In-Flow
With insights and alerts, you can customize MoneyPatrol to tell you about money coming in and money going out. What I like about this feature is a) the ability to get reminded of when my paycheck comes, and b) the ability to see when large transactions occur–especially on accounts I don’t use.
Know Your Credit Usage, Rates, Balances, and Payments
Part of the insights MoneyPatrol provides is your credit usage and other pertinent information about your credit cards. This is extremely helpful when you’re looking to pay down debt as it gives you a quick overview of where you can transfer balances, where you can try to reduce rates, and if your utilization is too high.
Track Your Available Money and Investment Holdings
With a custom dashboard, you’re able to see how much free cash you have available to spend, as well as where your money is invested (assuming you’ve linked your investment accounts). I like this feature because it tells me not only how much I have to spend but also how much I have to invest–and where I need to focus my next investment.
See Your Spend Trends and Patterns Over Time
In addition to seeing your day-to-day transactions, you’re able to review your spending trends and patterns over time. This will allow you to see where you spend the most (in what categories, how often, etc.) and make more informed spending decisions in the future.
Know Your Top Merchants and Categories by Spend
Building off the point above, you are able to see where you spend the most by merchant and category. For example, if you spend a lot at Target, MoneyPatrol will be able to provide you that level of detail.
Get Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Summaries
You’re able to see summaries of your spending and saving for each week, month, and year. Not only is this helpful for tax purposes, but it gives you a real-time summary of everything that is happening in your accounts. It’s almost like having your own personal accountant.
Create Budgets to Manage Your Expenses
Once you understand your spending patterns and key insights, you can put together a budget that fits your needs. This allows you to set clear, actionable goals to spend less and save more.
Receive Detailed Text and Email Alerts and Insights
As mentioned before, MoneyPatrol is big on alerts and insights. You can get these via text message or email, so you know exactly what is going on in your account. You can also customize these.
Pricing for MoneyPatrol
So this part is really frustrating. On their Pricing page, it doesn’t list the cost of the service anywhere. In fact, it just says that it’s free for 15 days. I wasn’t able to find the pricing until I signed up for an account and went into my account settings. There, I found the following comment under Billing:
“You haven’t subscribed for any membership, *$7 per month subscription, billed annually $84 after 15-days free trial. You can cancel your subscription anytime.”
So the cost of the service is $84 for a year, which they advertise as $7 per month–but you can’t sign up for a monthly option.
I can’t help but feel slightly deceived by this and think that MoneyPatrol needs to do a better job at being transparent with their pricing, as well as allowing for a money-back guarantee if people aren’t happy (though I guess that’s what the 15-day free trial is for).
Signing Up with MoneyPatrol
Signing up for MoneyPatrol was easy. A little too easy. Simply click “Sign Up” in the upper right corner of the homepage.
From there, you simply fill out your email address, and phone number. They’ll send a text confirmation code to your phone to validate, as well as an email to validate your account. The whole process took me 3 minutes.
MoneyPatrol focuses heavily on security. To start, they securely transmit data from your financial institutions using 256-bit military-grade data encryption. They also participate in security scanning to help ensure security for sensitive data transfer.
In addition, MoneyPatrol uses measures like multi-factor authentication to help protect access to your account and they don’t store your bank and brokerage credentials on their servers, either (meaning that NOBODY can access your accounts or move money from one account to another but YOU).
Finally, MoneyPatrol will never ask nor require you to share any sensitive info such as your Social Security Number, or even your name and address. The data you provide is private and MoneyPatrol does not and will not share your data with any third-party.
Overall, their security features are top-notch, and I Iove that they don’t ask for ANY information aside from your email and phone number.
Mobile Support for MoneyPatrol
While the app isn’t available yet, it’s currently in development and will be available for both iOS and Android. This will allow you to access your financial information anywhere, anytime, and on the go. You will be able to do basically everything you can do on the desktop version on the app.
MoneyPatrol Customer Service
Unfortunately, the only way to contact MoneyPatrol is through email–which is a contact form at the bottom of their website.
MoneyPatrol Pros and Cons
Heavy focus on insights and alerts — This is one of my favorite features since most of us don’t have time to manage our money down to the penny every single day. MoneyPatrol sends you the insights and alerts that you NEED to know. This way you can focus your attention on what’s most important.
Clean, customized dashboard — The dashboard is customized to what you need, and it’s easy to read and focus on what is most prevalent with your finances. It’s a really nice “one-stop-shop” for a high-level overview (knowing you can go more detailed later).
Affordable pricing — $84 a year isn’t terrible for a robust budgeting tool, especially if the features align with what you need from a financial management app.
Tight security — MoneyPatrol puts a central focus on security and making sure all of your data is encrypted and secure. I also like how they don’t ask for your name or mailing address (or any other personal information for that matter).
The mobile app isn’t ready — It’s a huge disappointment that they’ve released their service without a mobile app being ready. I would guess many of us access our banking information from our phones at this point, so not being able to do that is a big downside.
Pricing isn’t transparent — I had a really hard time finding their pricing. I had to sign up for an account and go into my account settings. I think MoneyPatrol should be much more transparent and upfront with their pricing.
Alternatives to MoneyPatrol
YNAB (You Need A Budget) is probably the best comparison I can make. I use YNAB. YNAB forces you to be highly in touch with your money–meaning you DO need to monitor and track every dollar coming in and out. You can link accounts, but you definitely need to be way more in touch with your money, since there aren’t auto alerts and trends.
Personal Capital adds more automation to your finances (like Mint and MoneyPatrol) and it also helps track and manage your investments (like MoneyPatrol). The visual dashboard is incredible and it has a ton of features. I see Personal Capital as more of a holistic money management tool, versus just a budgeting tool like YNAB. Be sure to read our complete review of Personal Capital for more information.
Who Is MoneyPatrol For?
MoneyPatrol is for someone who wants a hands-off approach with their money and is willing to pay for it. Also, if you don’t mind not being able to use an app to manage your money (at least for now), you will appreciate MoneyPatrol.
You’ll love the alerts and insights MoneyPatrol provides you, as it really lets you take a step back and focus on making better money decisions, while the app does the hard work for you.
MoneyPatrol is new to the game with money management and budgeting, and they seem to have a lot to offer. I love the idea of being hands-off with my money and being served up alerts and insights via text.
Despite the concerns I have, I am willing to accept it because they’re a newer company. The price point is still affordable but I would fully expect to see an app in the next couple of months.