Advertiser Disclosure

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

Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

U.S. Bank vs. Chase: Which is Better?

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.

Choosing the right bank for you means balancing different wants and needs. Folks who are intent on earning the highest interest rates possible might want to look toward online banks or credit unions, which tend to offer higher rates. On the other hand, big national banks like U.S. Bank and Chase offer more extensive services and a face-to-face banking experience.

When it comes to U.S. Bank vs. Chase, there’s no one right answer. However, by examining the most important factors — reputation, location, rates, account options and fees — we can help you decide whether U.S. Bank or Chase Bank will help you make the most of your money.

U.S. Bank vs. Chase: A brief overview

U.S. Bank and Chase are both large national banks with longstanding reputations; according to the Federal Reserve, Chase is the largest bank in the country, and U.S. Bank is the fifth largest.

In terms of accessibility, Chase has nearly twice as many branch locations as U.S. Bank and almost four times as many ATM locations. Both banks have middle-of-the-line customer reviews: U.S. Bank is ranked two-and-a-half stars out of five on DepositAccounts, another LendingTree subsidiary, while Chase has three stars out of five.

Finally, when it comes to comparing U.S. Bank vs. Chase rates and fees, the two banks are similar, though U.S. Bank tends to charge slightly lower fees.

U.S. Bank vs. Chase: How they compare on rates

Neither U.S. Bank nor Chase presents a clear advantage when it comes to rates. They have the same rates on their basic savings account, and their CD rates fluctuate, with the better deal depending on which CD product you’re after.

When compared to rates offered by online banks, both U.S. Bank and Chase fall far behind in this category.

 U.S. BankChaseNational Average***
Checking*NoneNone0.198% APY
Savings**0.01% APY0.01% APY0.281% APY
1-year CD0.10% APY0.02% APY on balances of $0.01 to $99,999.99

0.05% APY on balances of $100,000 or higher
1.324% APY
5-year CD0.75% APY1.40% APY on balances of $0.01 to $9,999.99

1.50% APY on balances of $10,000 to $99,999.99

1.55% APY on balances of $100,000 or higher
2.078% APY
*U.S. Bank Easy Checking Account and Chase Total Checking Account
**U.S. Bank Standard Savings Account and Chase Savings Account
***National bank averages are accurate as of the publish date of this article

U.S. Bank vs. Chase: What account options are available?

You’ll find most of the same account options at both U.S. Bank and Chase. Both banks offer non-interest bearing checking accounts and basic savings accounts, as well as a range of other checking and savings options, including premium accounts that earn higher rates and student accounts. U.S. Bank offers five different checking account options to choose from, while Chase has three choices.

You’ll also find a range of CD options at both banks, starting at 1-month CDs and including several CD specials with higher rates. However, U.S. Bank only offers up to 60-month CDs while Chase offers up to 120-month CDs. As of the date of publishing, Chase does have a $1,000 minimum opening deposit requirement on CDs, whereas U.S. Bank only requires $500.

The one major difference in product offerings is money market accounts, which are an option at U.S. Bank but not at Chase.

 U.S. BankChase

Checking account

Savings account

Certificates of deposit

Money market account

U.S. Bank vs. Chase: How they stack up on fees

The most important factor to consider when choosing a checking or savings account, according to Ken Tumin, founder of LendingTree-owed company DepositAccounts.com, is fees, and how easy it is to avoid them. He advised considering not only your present situation, but the future as well. “Sometimes you can afford a fee waiver with a direct deposit, but what if you lose your job?” he said.

Both U.S. Bank and Chase charge monthly service fees on their standard checking and savings accounts that can be waived. While U.S. Bank’s fees are slightly lower than Chase’s, you might have an easier time getting the monthly fees waived on Chase’s accounts (more on that below).

Another fee that Tumin recommends paying attention to is ATM fees. While both banks charge the same fee for out-of-network ATMs within the U.S., Chase charges more for ATM usage outside of the U.S. However, Tumin explains that it’s important to consider how big your bank’s ATM network is, because in-network ATMs are free. Chase has a much larger ATM network than U.S. Bank.

 U.S. BankChase
Standard checking account$6.95 monthly fee, waivable$12 monthly fee, waivable
Standard savings account$4 monthly fee, waivable$5 monthly fee, waivable
ATM fee$0 at U.S. Bank ATMs, $2.50 at non-U.S. Bank ATMs$0 at Chase Bank ATMs

$2.50 for inquiries, transfers, and withdrawals at non-Chase Bank ATMs within the U.S.

$5 for withdrawals and $2.50 for transfers and inquiries outside of the U.S.
Overdraft fee*$36 for each item of $5.01 or more

$0 for items of $5.00 or less
$34 for each item, not charged if item is $5 or less or if your balance at the end of the business day is overdrawn by $5 or less
*Rates apply to U.S. Bank Easy Checking and Chase Total Checking

Requirements for waiving basic checking account fees at both banks

To get the basic checking account fees waived at either bank, you must have either a certain amount of money direct deposited into your account each month or maintain a minimum balance. U.S. Bank also waives checking account monthly fees if you’re 65 years of age or older. The table below explains the exact requirements.

U.S. Bank checking account fee waiverChase checking account fee waiver
  • Receive monthly direct deposits totaling at least $1,000, OR

  • Keep an average daily balance of at least $1,500, OR

  • Be at least 65 years of age


  • Receive monthly direct deposits totaling at least $500, OR

  • Keep an average daily balance of at least $1,500, OR

  • Keep an average daily balance of at least $5,000 across your checking and other linked Chase accounts, such as deposit or investment accounts


Requirements for waiving basic savings account fees at both banks

It’s also possible to have the monthly service fees on each bank’s basic savings account waived by maintaining a minimum balance. Account holders under age 18 have their monthly fees waived automatically at both banks. Each bank also offers a third option for getting your fee waived.

U.S. Bank savings account fee waiverChase savings account fee waiver
  • Keep a $300 minimum daily balance, OR

  • Keep a $1,000 minimum monthly balance, OR

  • Be under 18 years of age


  • Keep a $300 minimum daily balance, OR

  • Set up at least $25 in monthly autosave or repeating automatic transfers into your savings account from your Chase checking account, OR

  • Have a linked Chase College Checking, Chase Better Banking Checking, Chase Premier Checking, Chase Premier Plus Checking, Chase Sapphire Checking, or Chase Private Client Checking account, OR

  • Be under 18 years of age


When to choose U.S. Bank

  • You’re not sure if you can consistently meet direct deposit or daily balance requirements.
  • You use international ATMs.
  • You’re 65 years of age or older.
  • You want to open a CD with less than $1,000.
  • You want a money market account.

If you’re not sure that you can meet any monthly direct deposit or daily balance requirements consistently — for example, if you have an unstable income or move money around frequently — you’ll probably end up paying monthly maintenance fees at least occasionally, regardless of which bank you choose. In this case, it’s best to go with U.S. Bank, as its monthly fees are slightly lower. This includes ATM fees for international travelers because, while both banks charge the same fee domestically, Chase will charge a higher ATM fee while you’re abroad.

Older customers might also want to go with U.S. Bank because fees are waived if you’re 65 or older.

When to choose Chase

  • You can consistently meet requirements to waive the monthly fee.
  • You want a bigger ATM network.
  • You travel often and need to access branch locations.
  • You already have investment or deposit accounts with Chase.
  • You’re looking for a 120-month CD.

If you think you can consistently meet requirements to waive monthly account fees, Chase would be a better option; its requirements are generally a bit easier to meet on both checking and savings accounts. If you already have deposit or investment accounts with Chase, your balance across all accounts can help you get monthly fees waived as well.

While Chase does charge more for international ATM usage, it also has far more branch locations and free in-network ATMs, so that’s worth considering. Frequent travelers who prefer having access to branch locations might want to consider this as well, as Chase’s footprint is almost twice the size of U.S. Bank’s, and the bank has a larger international presence.

U.S. Bank vs. Chase: Which is better?

Chase’s advantage is its large national and international footprint and, according to customer reviews, its slightly better customer service. However, U.S. Bank is still one of the country’s biggest banks, and it offers slightly lower fees on basic accounts.

Neither U.S. Bank or Chase come out on top in all categories. Assess your personal situation and determine which bank account will result in lower fees and higher rates. As with many financial decisions, the answer depends on your needs.

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.

Elizabeth Aldrich
Elizabeth Aldrich |

Elizabeth Aldrich is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Elizabeth here

Advertiser Disclosure

Banking

How to Start Saving Money

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.

Faced with an unexpected expense, like a car repair or leaky roof, many Americans might not have enough money in the bank to cover the bill. Just over half of U.S. households currently have a savings account, and 29% of households have less than $1,000 saved, according to a MagnifyMoney survey.

Whether putting money away for a rainy day or retirement, good savings habits can prepare you for emergencies and life changes. There are countless ways to build up your savings, from finding ways to cut back on spending to looking for areas where you might be overpaying. The time and discipline you invest implementing them will pay off — quite literally.

How can I start saving money?

If you’re just starting out on the path of building your savings, small changes can add up over time. A review of your budget should uncover items that can deliver larger, immediate gains. Here are more than two dozen money-saving strategies you can adopt for the short-term and the long-term.

Tips for saving money today

1. Set an intention
According to Sergio G. Garcia, associate planner for Quest Capital Management in Dallas, Texas, “saving money is tied to behavior and psychology, so it is important to find a personal focus to drive the savings behavior that works best for you.” Write down the reasons you want to save money, such as buying a house or retiring early, and put it in a place you’ll see every day.

2. Save your spare change
Collect your spare change at the end of the day and put it into a jar — you’ll be surprised at how quickly it can add up. If you use a debit card, some banks, like Bank of America, offer round-up savings plans, automatically moving the change into your savings account. For example, if you spend $19.50, the program will round-up your purchase to $20 and move $0.50 into your savings account.

3. Get a micro-saving app
Similar to saving spare change, you can also link your bank account to a money-saving app that does the savings for you. For example, Acorns automatically rounds up your purchase and moves the change into an investment account.

4. Cut the excess
To save money, you need to know where you’re currently spending it, suggested Matthew Gaffey, senior wealth manager for Corbett Road Investment Management in McLean, Va.: “List and monitor all of your expenses to get a full picture of how much you’re spending and where.” Money management habits will typically shed some light on a few areas that you could reduce or cut, such as unused magazine subscriptions or gym memberships.

5. Adopt a waiting period
The ease of online shopping can be brutal to your budget. Instead of falling for the impulse to make a purchase on the spot, implement a wait policy, such as 24 or 48 hours. You might realize you can live without that item you’re craving.

6. Don’t fall for a “great deal”
It’s hard to resist the lure of a good bargain. But saving 50%, 75% or even 90% isn’t a good deal if you don’t really need it. Instead of focusing on the discount, consider the amount you’re spending and how much you’ll really use the item.

7. Use a cash-back credit card
Some credit cards offer as much as 5% cash back in certain categories, which can add up. For example, the Chase Freedom® card offers bonus categories each quarter that give 5% cash back on up to $1,500 qualified spending, with unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. If you spend the full $1,500 each quarter in the bonus categories — which can include gas stations or grocery stores — you could earn $300 cash back a year. If you were going to make these purchases anyway, this is a good way to save money.

8. Find rebates
Before making an online purchase, check cash-back sites like Mr. Rebates or Ibotta and see if the store offers a rebate if you click through the site. You could earn a set cash-back amount or a percentage on a purchase.

Ways to start saving money every month

1. Automate monthly savings
Sign up for automatic savings withdrawals. “Direct deposit from a paycheck is great because then it happens automatically and you don’t even have to think about it,” said Amy Shepard, financial planning analyst at Sensible Money in Phoenix. In addition, she advised, “set reminders to increase your savings periodically, such as every six months or every time you get a raise.”

2. Create specific savings goals
Save for big things, like a vacation or kitchen renovation, by using a bank that allows you to set up separate savings accounts for different goals, said Bethany Griffith, senior financial advisor and partner at Abacus Planning Group in Columbia, S.C. “It can be a great way to jump start savings,” Griffith said. “The visual check-in each time you look at your accounts is a powerful driver for changing behavior.”

3. Do a 52-week money challenge
With the 52-week money challenge, you save more every week, and see clearly how savings can add up over the course of a year. Create a weekly savings challenge by saving $1 on the first week, $2 on the second week and continue until you’re saving $52 on the final week of the challenge. In a year you’ll have saved $1,378, not including interest.

4. Create a weekly meal plan
The average American household spends more than $3,400 a year on meals away from home. You’ll be less likely to eat out or order in if you’ve planned your meals for the week. Having a meal plan also helps you create a grocery list to avoid impulse purchases or food that goes uneaten.

5. Review your monthly bills
It’s irritating when your cable or cell phone bill goes up, but that extra $5 or $10 a month can add up to $60 or $120 over the course of a year. Pay attention to your monthly bills. If you see an increase, call and ask why. If you’ve been a customer for a long time, companies will often lower the rate instead of risk losing you.

6. Pay down debt
Americans pay $113 billion in credit card interest each year. If you’re among those that carry a balance, you can get an immediate return on your money by paying it down and eliminating it.

7. Adjust the thermostat
Save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by adjusting your thermostat seven to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day. This can be while you’re at work or while you’re sleeping — or both, for even more savings. A programmable thermostat can do the work for you, easily paying for itself.

8. Use a price-drop refund app
Several retailers will give you money back if an item you bought goes on sale, but tracking that can be a chore. Use an app like Earny to do the tracking for you automatically. The app also takes care of the claim — Earny claims it saves the average user $75 each year.

Start saving money over the long term

1. Annualize your spending
A latte or vending machine habit might seem harmless, but when you multiply that daily expenditure by five days a week and 50 weeks a year (assuming you take a two-week vacation), it can add up to a substantial sum — one that might not seem worth it when you annualize your spending. Try this with your regular discretionary spending and see what you could do without.

2. Review your insurance
Make a habit to review your property and auto insurance each year. Jeffrey N. Tomaneng, director of financial planning for Sapers & Wallack in Newton, Mass., recently had an agent audit his policies and made changes to save $2,100 a year in premiums — “within a few days we were off to some much needed household savings,” he said.

3. Sell your stuff
The average American has 42 items in their home they no longer use worth an estimated $723. Sell them! Hold an annual garage sale, or list your items on eBay, Mercari or Facebook Marketplace. Someone else can use and enjoy them and you can pocket the money.

4. Shop around for higher interest rates
Your bank savings account may be conveniently attached to your checking, but if the interest rate is negligible you could be leaving money on the table. Look for higher interest-rate savings accounts that can help you build your balance.

5. Review your withholdings
Each year, review your benefits and withholdings and ensure you’re taking advantage of the benefits your company offers, such as flexible spending accounts or matching retirement. If you get a refund each year after tax season, consider adjusting your exemption amounts and stop giving the government an interest-free loan on your own money.

6. Look for discounts
If you’re a member of a professional or alumni association, you may get discounts on business services, insurance or travel. Make a point to review your benefits each year, and use them to find the best deals.

7. Review your credit card benefits
Before you buy that extended warranty or insurance on your rental car, check and see if the credit card you’re using offers it for free as a benefit of being a cardholder. You can save hundreds of dollars by knowing what you’re already offered.

8. Check your credit report
Each year you should order a copy of your credit report to make sure it’s accurate; you may find a discrepancy that could hurt your chances of getting better interest rates on a loan. You’re entitled to a free report each year from each of the reporting agencies, which you can obtain from AnnualCreditReport.com.

Bottom line

Developing any new habit requires behavior changes — changes that can be uncomfortable at first. But getting into the habit of saving money is worth it. Building a nest egg can provide peace of mind. Once you start seeing your balances grow, the numbers will give you the motivation you need to keep going and keep saving.

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.

Stephanie Vozza
Stephanie Vozza |

Stephanie Vozza is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Stephanie here