Living life just a little bit differently
Have you heard of Planwise yet? They’re an up and coming San Francisco based technology company that has created a pretty slick web app to help consumers plan out their finances. The basic idea is that you give the app your financial stats – income, expenses, debts and so on – and then add “Plans” on top off your baseline. Plans could be things like taking out a new loan or getting a new job. The app then shows you how your finances are changed by the new Plan.
We’ve had Planwise on our site for a few months now but haven’t used it for any in-depth analysis yet. Since I’m starting a new job, I thought it’d be fun and informative to put Planwise through its paces and see how my finances add up. Note: The sizing of the widget is also a bit off, so turn your heads sideways, count to ten and squint – ie. we’re working on it. If it bothers you, you can also try the version on their website.
First, you add in your basic financial information – your monthly salary, your expenses and your current debt payments. It’s pretty easy to navigate the system – literally point and click. When you enter your salary, Planwise creates a little graph that shows how much money you have month after month based on that salary. As you add expenses using the drop down menu to the left, that total amount goes down accordingly. If you want to remove an item, just click the little garbage can beside the entry.
Next, I’m going to add my new job. From the home screen, you can navigate to “Plans” and choose an event. There’s no new job event, so I’m going to use the “Get a Pay Raise” event. After I enter in my new monthly salary, the graph automatically changes to illustrate my cash flow with the change.
Other events include losing a job, getting a loan or making a major purchase. Each event has custom fields that you can enter to make the calculations more realistic. For example, if you enter a new loan, it accounts for the interest rate and term of the loan. Neat!
On first glance, using Planwise to illustrate my budget is a good way to visualize my money. As you add more expenses, you can literally see your money disappearing. It’s not as flexible as using the old pen and paper, of course, but I think that many people would find the graphical representation useful. Planwise can be a really useful tool to plan for big expenses in the future, like saving for a car or house. The variables they are able to incorporate are quite impressive and represent a really accurate picture of what your finances will look like in the future. You just need to do the work to feed it the right information. For me, it’s a good way to realistically visualize my finances in the future, without hand-wavey approximations.
As Planwise evolves, I expect we will see more features and capabilities. Last week, they announced a major update which includes Alerts.
Have you tried Planwise? What are your thoughts?
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I have never heard of it. Very interesting- thanks for sharing!
You are quite welcome
Awesome write up!!! =D
I’ve heard of Planwise and it’s great to see that their system has these capabilities! I personally haven’t jumped into any web-based or app-based management system as I (1) am not a huge tech buff and (2) don’t own a smartphone or tablet. I’m just old-fashioned and enjoy my excel-based budget.
What exactly do you mean by not being a huge tech buff? You’re just not a fan of technology?
Planwise is currently all just web based, so you don’t need a smart phone/tablet to use it . We are in the process of making iOS and Android apps though.
Would be awesome if you checked it out to see how it stacked against your excel budget. =D
Ryan, you guys should include pricing on the website. It was difficult finding this information. Just an FYI (sorry my affiliate marketing landpage optimizing brain talking)
It says it’s free in there, but I guess it doesn’t show right away that it is free.
you are talking about the website right? And mention free to use or free to partner? or both?
Yeah on the website I guess it wasn’t clear if you had to pay for it or if it’s free. That’s something I’d want to know right away.
I guess “Launch Planwise” didn’t strike me as “Make a Plan – It’s Free”
I’ve never heard of Planwise, thanks for introducing me to it!
Thanks! Hope it can be useful to you!
Someone uses Ubuntu Are you a java developer?
How could you tell? lol. I do develop in java, mostly.
Your first screenshot is not cropped. I can see your desktop and your Ubuntu OS, as well as a whole lot of java stuff that I don’t quite understand.
Thanks Veronica, not sure what happened there. I fixed it.
Thanks for introducing me to this program. I’ve been looking at something like this. I was going try mint, but I was afraid of adding my account details.
Glad you found it useful! I agree, it’s nice that you can just enter dollar amounts in rather than hooking up all your accounts.
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