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Banking

Honeyfi App Review: Money-Tracking Tool for Couples

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Money can be a significant source of stress in a marriage. In a 2017 MagnifyMoney survey, 21% of respondents cited money as the cause of their divorce. According to that survey, 70% of respondents didn’t stick to a budget while married.

Creating a budget together and actively working to live within it may help reduce some of the financial tension that can build up in a marriage. There’s no shortage of apps that can help couples learn how to create and stick to a budget.

Honeyfi is one such app that has a unique set of features and benefits. We’ll break down the Honeyfi app, including how much it costs and who should use it.

What is Honeyfi?

This app targets the savings and budgeting needs of couples. It’s intended to help couples save for specific goals, such as a vacation or a new home.

The app integrates the social media features of other financial apps like Venmo by allowing users to add comments to transactions or tag transactions to specific people. The app aims to make budgeting simple by allowing users to track spending in an easy-to-use format.

How does Honeyfi work?

Before you can begin using this app, you’ll need to download it from the Apple Store or Google Play. You can click either link or click on the “Get the app” button at the top of the website, in which case you’ll get a text to your phone to download the app.

Once you’ve downloaded it, you’ll need to set up an account. After providing information on you and your partner, including your names and email addresses, the app will ask you to link your bank accounts. The app can link to more than 10,000 U.S. financial institutions.

Via Honeyfi app

Honeyfi uses Plaid, a financial technology company, to securely establish a link to your bank accounts.

Via Honeyfi app

To link your external accounts, you’ll have to provide the login information you use for your bank. For example, if you want to link your Chase account, you’ll see the following screen:

Via Honeyfi app

The app doesn’t store usernames or passwords on Honeyfi servers, according to a customer service representative for Honeyfi.

Once your information is verified, the app will download your banking transactions and set up your account. Honeyfi reviews your transactions and suggests a household budget. You can scroll through the app to see the different budget categories suggested, which you can edit at any point.

Via Honeyfi app

The Honeyfi Goals program helps users save for specific goals in an account that’s FDIC-insured up to the maximum $250,000. Savings transfers can be automated, and funds can be withdrawn anytime without a fee. You earn interest, too, which we’ll break down later.

The app’s functionality is based on the data it downloads from your banking transactions. Using this information, the app allows you to:

  • Track banking transactions
  • Sync your credit cards, loans and investments (besides your bank accounts)
  • Create custom budget categories
  • Split transactions and assign them to multiple categories
  • View transactions across multiple accounts
  • Comment and react to specific transactions with your partner

You should know that you can limit the transactions you share with your partner. This can be done at the account or individual level. You can also unlink your bank account.

How much does Honeyfi cost?

The app, which initially was free, charges a $5.99 monthly subscription fee. You also can choose to pay $59.99 annually after a 30-day free trial period.

A company representative said it started charging for the app to keep the business sustainable without having to bombard users with ads. This partially answers the question of how the company earns money from the app, but not entirely.

The company does suggest certain products within the app, such as life insurance, if it determines that users may need them, according to a company representative. So while the company’s main source of revenue might not be from ads, you should expect to periodically see suggestions for certain companies or products.

The company also makes money by keeping some of the interest that you might otherwise earn through its Goals program. When you set a savings goal, the company invests that money for you with a partner bank, according to a company representative. Although it rewards you with a 1% Savings Bonus annually, it reserves the right to any interest that is earned on those deposits. In other words, if the company invests your money in an account earning 2% annually, it may pay you the 1% bonus and keep the additional 1%.

The company pledges to never sell the personally identifiable information of its customers, according to a representative.

Who should use Honeyfi?

This app is designed to work with couples. The idea is to allow couples to share transactions in a single location while being able to comment and react to these transactions in an entertaining way.

Although you don’t have to be a married couple to use the app, it’s designed for people that have a complete level of financial trust. If you sign up with your significant other and you aren’t married, you have to be comfortable sharing all the details of your financial life with one another.

Although the concepts of budgeting, saving and investing are applicable to single people as well, this app is tailor-made for couples. In fact, during the sign-up process, the app requires you to enter the name of your partner. If you want to test out the app but you don’t have a significant other, the company suggests filling in a name and using another personal email address.

Is Honeyfi safe to use?

The customer encrypts all personal information that customers provide, and it doesn’t store any banking credentials, according to a company representative. However, the app does rely on Plaid to encrypt and protect the banking credentials that customers provide.

Plaid uses the following security measures, among others:

  • Role-based access controls at each level of infrastructure
  • Multifactor authentication
  • Internal and external network penetration testing
  • Third-party code reviews
  • Communications transfer over encrypted tunnels

These layers of protection all work to keep your sensitive financial information safe.

What are the pros and cons of Honeyfi?

Pros

  • User-friendly interface
  • Ability to track all financial transactions in a single location
  • Social media aspect helps keep users engaged
  • Flexible budgeting controls
  • Ability to automate savings

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • Can earn more money in an online savings account than in the Goals program
  • Must sign up as a couple
  • Budgets are based on past cash flows; may not be effective for those with variable income
  • Occasional ads for third-party services or products

How does Honeyfi stack up to the competition?

Honeyfi is not the only option when it comes to finance apps for couples. Honeydue, Zeta and Twine apps share similarities with Honeyfi but go about the process slightly differently.

Honeydue tracks cash flows much like Honeyfi, and it includes the ability to comment on your partner’s transactions. Both apps also create household budgets for users and allow you to choose which information you share. Honeydue, which has a sleek interface, shows your calendar of bills that are due and creates reminders.

Zeta supports more than 10,000 U.S. financial institutions. It tracks cash flows similar to Honeyfi and Honeydue. Zeta offers communications options on financial transactions and the ability to split certain bills. It also offers a goals page.

Twine is a couples app developed by John Hancock Personal Financial Services that emphasizes the savings and investment aspect of a couple’s budget. You can use Twine to set savings and investment goals, and track your progress mutually. Along the way, you’ll receive recommendations and tips regarding your savings goals. Twine charges a monthly fee of 25 cents for every $500 that you invest.

While Twine is a bit different than the other couples budgeting apps, Honeyfi, Honeydue and Zeta all share similar basic features. However, at the present time, Honeyfi and Twine are the only apps that charge a monthly fee, so you’ll have to factor that into your evaluation of the apps.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Banking

Things You Didn’t Know About the $10 Dollar Bill

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury (source: iStock)

With the musical “Hamilton” conquering Broadway (and the rest of the world), Alexander Hamilton is back in vogue. Did you realize that besides inspiring the musical, Hamilton’s portrait graces the $10 dollar bill? OK, fine. Everybody knows that, but what else about this iconic piece of U.S. currency might you be missing?

There are over 2 billion $10 bills currently in circulation, each of which typically lasts four and a half years before they’re replaced. Today, money coming out of circulation is recycled, although this didn’t use to be the case. Up until 2010, two-thirds of the old money being taken out of circulation would end up in landfills.

Who makes the $10 bill?

It’s no accident that Alexander Hamilton’s portrait appears on the $10 dollar bill today. After all, he served as the first secretary of the treasury from 1789 to 1795, and played a leading role in building the First Bank of the United States, which acted as a proto-central bank for the young nation. The bank distributed the first U.S. banknotes at this time — although the country would have to wait until 1861 for its first federally-issued $10 dollar bill.

Today, the Federal Reserve is responsible for controlling monetary policy in the U.S., which it does by setting interest rates. The Fed was established back in 1913, and one common misconception is that the Fed prints money. This is not the case: the Department of the Treasury is actually responsible for printing the currency, including the $10 dollar bill.

The 1913 Federal Reserve Act called on the Fed to preserve the economic stability of the country. On a day-to-day level, the Fed sets the level of short-term interest rates, as well as, the cost and availability of credit. Meanwhile, the Treasury prints and controls currency in circulation, and collects taxes via the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Early history of the $10 dollar bill

The $10 bill was originally nicknamed a “sawbuck” because of the X featured on early versions of the bill, which looked like sawhorses. Before the Federal Reserve was created, it went through many iterations.

The first $10 note issued by the federal government was printed in 1861, and featured a portrait of former President Abraham Lincoln. His face remained on the bill up until 1863, when Benjamin Franklin took over what is known as the First Charter $10 bill. Congressman Daniel Webster was the face of the $10 bill from 1869 to 1880. This bill is also sometimes referred to as the “jackass note” because the eagle shown on the front of the bill, when turned upside down, looked like the head of a donkey.

1903 $10 dollar national currency, issued by the First National Bank of the City Of New York (source: iStock)

From 1863 to 1929, the government let individual banks issue their own notes, referred to as “national bank notes.” Apart from federally issued notes, there were multiple national bank versions of the $10 bill. Some of these versions include the ten dollar silver certificate featuring former Vice President Thomas Hendricks, the $10 bison note featuring Lewis and Clark, as well as the Red Seal 1902 bank note, which carried Gen. William McKinley on the face of the bill.

1901 $10 dollar bison note, featuring Lewis and Clark (source: iStock)

Ironically, Andrew Jackson, who was a fierce critic of central banking in the U.S. and paper notes in general, was the face of the $10 note from 1914 to 1929. These bills were quite large, measuring in at 7.375” x 3.125” inches. The back of the original Jackson $10 bill did not include a portrait of the Treasury building, as later versions did. Instead, it featured a plow and horses, as well as, smokestacks in the distance to symbolize agriculture and commerce.

Variations on the Hamilton $10 dollar bill

Alexander Hamilton’s face did not show up the $10 dollar bill until 1929. The size of the bill was reduced to 6.12” x 2.14” after 1929. This bill remained largely the same by design up until 1990, when a few slight modifications were made. The Treasury’s seal on the right front side of the bill was layered under the word “ten” on the newer bills. The word “ten” was also layered on top of the two numerical 10s on the bottom of the bill.

The 1990 bank notes also included a thread on the left front side of the bill that, when held up to light, spelled out “USA” and “TEN”. Changed as a security measure, this thread would glow orange when illuminated by an ultraviolet light. Additionally, the 1990 series notes had the words “The United States of America” in very small type around the outer edge border of Alexander Hamilton’s oval portrait

Changes to the $10 bill with the 2000 redesign

In 2000, a revised version of the $10 bill was unveiled to combat counterfeiting, which had seen a spike since the rise of digital printers. One of the main design changes was a revised portrait of Hamilton. The portrait was also moved slightly to the left side of the bill. The threading of “USA” and “TEN” included on the 1990 series was moved to the right side of the bill. As an added security measure, the 2000 note also included a faint portrait of Hamilton in the blank space to the right of the main portrait. This faint portrait that can only be seen when held up to the light and is along the same plane as the Secretary of the Treasury’s signature.

2006 series $10 dollar bill (source: iStock)

The $10 bill that is in circulation today is from the 2006 series. The most distinct change is the bill’s subtle background colors of orange, yellow and red. The portrait of Hamilton no longer has a border around it, and the watermark portrait of him was moved to the upper right-hand side of the bill underneath the new red “We The People” text that was added. In this series of bills the Fed added some patriotic symbols of freedom throughout. There are two depictions of the Statue of Liberty’s torch on the bill, one big and one small. The lower right “10” on the front of the bill now shifts from copper to green when titled.

The future of the $10 bill

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced in 2015 that a fresh face would be featured on a new $10 bill to be introduced in 2020. Secretary Lew suggested that the new $10 note should feature a woman who was a “champion of our inclusive democracy.” While the decision to launch a new $10 bill was based on security needs due to counterfeiting, the 2020 date also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The Treasury asked the public to submit candidates for the new $10 dollar bill portrait, and received over a million responses.

In April 2016, the Treasury reversed course and said that instead of a new $10 bill, a new $20 dollar note would be introduced in 2020 featuring a portrait of Harriet Tubman. This decision was triggered by strong public support, as well as legislation introduced by New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. It was also announced that Alexander Hamilton would remain on the front of the $10 bill, and a tribute to the heroes of the women’s suffrage movement would be included on the back of the bill instead of a portrait of the Treasury building.

In May 2019, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delayed the launch of the Harriet Tubman $20 dollar bill to 2028, citing anti-counterfeiting features as the primary reason for the delay. The choice of Harriet Tubman had earlier been criticized by President Trump, who, in 2016, said during a live town hall event that he’d rather keep Andrew Jackson on the $20.

Despite the delay of the new $20 bill, new $10 and $50 notes are still expected to be released in 2020. The final design has yet to be released to the public. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing did not respond when asked to comment on the new $10 bill design.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Jackson Wise
Jackson Wise |

Jackson Wise is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jackson here

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Banking

How to Send a Remittance

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

America has long been a land of opportunity, where people could come from other parts of the world to build a better life. Many of these newcomers work hard to provide money and support for their families back home, boosting both countries’ economies in the process. When you send money this way, it’s known as a remittance.

Global remittances reached an all-time high of $689 billion in 2018, according to the Migration and Development Brief from The World Bank and KNOMAD. The majority of that total — $529 billion — was sent to low- and middle-income countries. In 2017, the U.S. sent the most money at around $68 billion. In 2018, India was the largest receiver of remittances at $78.6 billion.

We’ll tell you a bit more about remittances and the different ways you can send one.

What is a remittance?

A remittance is when you send money to a person or a company as payment, including to someone in another country. Remittances usually take the form of electronic transfers, checks or money orders. Most often, remittances are sent by a worker in one country to their family in their home country. When work cannot be found at home, it’s a way to share wages to support those left behind — often in low-income, disadvantaged countries.

Dilip Ratha, lead economist at The World Bank and an author of the brief cited above, sees remittances as much more than just sending money.

“Remittances are a proven way of sharing prosperity between different places,” he said. “They are a highly visible and tangible benefit of international migration for remittance-receiving countries.”

How remittances affect source and receiving countries

For receiving countries, Ratha points to remittances playing an important role in reducing child labor in disadvantaged households across several developing countries. Remittances have also been linked to higher expenditures on education, school enrollment and years of completed schooling.

Not only that, but a 2017 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report demonstrates that immigration is not a fiscal drain for the remittance source countries. “There is a common belief in many countries that immigrants are net beneficiaries of social services, and thus have a negative fiscal impact,” the report states. In fact, the OECD found the opposite to be true. Immigration and remittances have provided a net positive fiscal effect for these countries.

“For remittance source countries, the remittances are derived from the labor, innovation and entrepreneurship income of migrant households,” Ratha said. “In almost every country, the self-employment ratio of immigrants is higher than that of natives with similar education levels.”

Immigrants are also more likely to be represented among inventors and innovators, helping boost the economy. Plus, the immigration of young workers can help ease countries’ strained pension systems.

What are my options for sending remittances?

You have a variety of options for sending remittances, including online services and money transfer services with retail locations that take cash.

Let’s take a quick look at what these services might cost. For example’s sake, let’s say you’re sending $100 from your U.S. bank account to someone in the Philippines, who will receive it in Philippine pesos.

ServiceCost for Online Bank Transfer Cost for Cash Pickup
TransferWise$3.67n/a
Xoom$1.99$4.99
Remitly
  • Economy: $0

  • Express: $3.99


  • Economy: $0

  • Express: $3.99


Western Union$0$3.99
MoneyGram$0$4.99
Ria$0$0

How to send remittances online

Technology has given us several different platforms to send money. Plus, it allows you to send money much faster than sending some cash in an envelope across the globe.

TransferWise

TransferWise allows you to send money to your recipient’s bank account in almost 50 countries around the world. Each transfer can be completed within seconds or a few days, depending on your payment type, the country you’re sending to and the country from which you’re sending. You can send a maximum of $50,000 per day with TransferWise.

TransferWise is pretty transparent about what it charges. It notes when it raises prices (last done in June 2019) and breaks down where your money goes. Like other services, TransferWise also offers a pricing calculator to indicate what your transfer will cost from the start. Plus, TransferWise guarantees getting you the best exchange rate it can. You’ll need to create a TransferWise account to use the service.

Xoom

Xoom, a service from PayPal, operates entirely online. Still, along with international bank transfers, it also allows for cash pickup and even cash delivery. Xoom services are available in over 70 countries.

Xoom’s transfer fee will depend on your payment method, how much money you send, where you send the money and which currency you select for disbursement. You can pay with your bank account, credit or debit card or your PayPal account.

Remitly

Remitly is a mobile-focused service that offers several options for sending and receiving money. If you’re sending money, you can choose between Express, which uses your debit or credit card to send money in minutes for a fee, and Economy, which sends money within three business days from your bank account at its lowest rate.

If you’re receiving money through Remitly, you can get money sent directly and immediately to your bank or mobile money account, instantly pick up cash at thousands of locations or have money delivered to your home within one to two days.

Remitly connects U.S. users to more than 40 countries.

How to send remittances with cash or money orders

If you’d rather send cold, hard paper, that’s still an option, too. Plus, there are remittance services that make it way faster and much safer now than sending an envelope through the mail.

We looked at what these services cost when sending money from your bank account. Using the same example — sending $100 from the U.S. to the Philippines — here’s a closer look at their fees when you send cash in person.

ServiceCost for Account DepositCost for Cash Pickup
Western Unionn/a$4
MoneyGram$6$9.99
Ria$5$4

Western Union

Western Union has been a big name in the remittance space for decades. While you can transfer money between bank accounts online (and on the Western Union app), you can also visit over 550,000 Western Union agent locations in more than 200 countries to pay for your transfer in cash — and to pick up a payment.

MoneyGram

MoneyGram has over 350,000 locations worldwide, reaching over 200 countries. You’re able to send and receive money both online and in person. Look for MoneyGram money order signs at many supermarkets, financial institutions and check cashers. You can also use its fee estimation tool to determine the exact cost of your remittance transfer.

Ria

Ria provides access to over 369,000 locations in 149 countries. At its locations and online, you can send money through your bank account, debit or credit card and with cash. Your recipients can then receive payments in their bank accounts, as a cash pickup or delivered to their home.

How (not) to send remittances through banks or credit unions

You may want to steer clear of using your bank or credit union to send a remittance. On average, banks are the costliest channel for sending remittances. In the first quarter of 2019, banks charged an average of 10.9%, according to The World Bank and KNOMAD.

Using your bank may seem convenient, especially since you don’t have to create an entirely new account with a different service. But not all banks even offer this service, so check whether your bank allows you to make international transfers directly from your account, perhaps with a service such as Zelle. Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers typically don’t come with fees, but you might lose some money with the bank’s high exchange rate.

Another bank option is to send a wire transfer. However, these tend to have really high fees and exchange rates.

Which is the best way to send a remittance?

The best service will largely depend on your resources and preferences. If you’re looking for the cheapest options, sending an online bank account transfer might be your best bet.

“Improved technology is likely to have had a positive impact on formal remittance flows,” Ratha said.

They’re able to lower costs and offer better exchange rates. He adds that the online remittance industry could benefit further from “harmonized regulation and adoption of innovative technologies,” which could lower remittance costs.

Of course, online transfer services have their drawbacks. TransferWise and Xoom aren’t great options if you’re dealing with cash since they don’t accept cash payments. Xoom can be good if you’re sending electronically, but your recipient needs to pick up the cash. The same is true for services including Western Union and MoneyGram.

Using Western Union, MoneyGram and other services like them are handy if you don’t have a bank account. They allow you to make your payment in cash easily at a participating location. Plus, these services have a much wider network than TransferWise and Xoom.

With such a wide selection of remittance services, you’re bound to find one — or two — that you favor over the others. Figure out what it is that you need from a service, whether that’s cash delivery or instant payment. That way, you can better weigh your options and find the right remittance service for you.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lauren Perez
Lauren Perez |

Lauren Perez is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lauren here