What To Know Before Signing Up To Monarch Money – How They Stack Up To The Competitors


Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

December 7, 2023December 7, 2023

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When considering signing up for a financial management tool like Monarch Money, it’s essential to understand what it offers and how it compares to other options in the market. Monarch Money serves as a comprehensive platform, consolidating all your financial details, from various banks and brokerages to assets and liabilities, into one accessible location. This integration simplifies the process of tracking your complete financial picture, whether it’s budgeting, monitoring spending, or planning for the future.

In my Monarch Money review I’ll dive into the specifics of how this tool operates and examines its strengths and weaknesses compared to its competitors. It’s crucial to recognize that while Monarch Money is a convenient solution for managing complex financial landscapes, it’s not the only option available. Understanding its functionality and comparing it with other similar tools can help you make an informed decision about whether it aligns with your money goals.

This review aims to provide clarity on what to know before signing up to Monarch Money, highlighting its unique features and how they could benefit your financial management strategies.
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What to Know Before Signing up to Monarch Money

There is a lot to know before signing up to Monarch Money, as choosing the right budgeting tool could make the difference in your financial future. We will look into all of the benefits, drawbacks, pricing, as well as notable competitors. But first, let’s start with a bit of background information.

What is Monarch Money?

Monarch Money, founded by Val Agostino, is a Silicon Valley startup that emerged as a new contender in the personal finance management arena. Since its inception in 2018, the platform, developed by its co-founders and a team of skilled software engineers, was meticulously crafted behind the scenes before making its public debut at the end of 2020.

The platform stands out for its comprehensive approach to financial management. It integrates seamlessly with thousands of banks and financial institutions, allowing users to easily track account balances, transactions, and investments. Monarch Money’s design caters to a broad audience, including individuals, couples, families, and investors, offering them a holistic view of their financial status.

More than just monitoring finances, Monarch Money is equipped with tools that assist in setting and achieving short and long-term financial goals, encompassing everything from budgeting for immediate needs to planning for retirement and long-term wealth-building. The platform emphasizes clarity in financial management, ensuring user-friendly experiences backed by high-level data protection. This approach makes it an invaluable resource for those who seek to balance immediate financial objectives with long-term financial planning.

Monarch Money Benefits

Here are the main benefits you can expect from signing up to Monarch Money:

  • Complete Financial Overview: Consolidates various financial tools such as savings accounts, credit cards, and investments into one platform, offering a comprehensive snapshot of your finances. It also facilitates joint financial management for couples by allowing household members to access shared financial data.
  • Ad-Free Experience: Ensures a distraction-free environment with no pop-ups or sidebars, making the financial management process more focused and efficient.
  • No Upsell Policy: Distinguishes itself by not recommending or selling financial products, avoiding the common fintech practice of upselling, thus providing a more transparent user experience.
  • Collaboration Tools for Couples: Designed with couples in mind, Monarch Money allows multiple users from the same household to manage their finances together, with options to customize which accounts and transactions are shared.
  • Extensive Account Syncing: Capable of syncing with over 11,200 financial entities, including banks and brokerages, and integrates real estate values via Zillow Zestimate, offering a broad view of financial assets.
  • Transaction and Cash Flow Monitoring: Provides tools to track and categorize transactions, create custom categories, and set up tags for household members, aiding in effective budgeting and spending analysis.
  • Goals-Based Planning: Features a focus on setting and achieving financial goals, breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks, and includes visual rewards for reaching milestones.
  • Investment Tracking: Recently added feature that allows users to analyze their investment portfolio across various brokers and accounts, though with some limitations in allocation tracking and income tracking from investments.
  • Customizable Dashboards for Web and Mobile: Offers independent customization for web and mobile dashboards, giving users flexibility to build an optimal viewing experience tailored to different devices and situations.

Monarch Money Drawbacks

Now that I have established what Monarch Money brings to the table, let’s address some potential pitfalls you should know before signing up:

  • Cost Considerations: The platform isn’t free, which may deter those who prefer not to pay for financial tools. Despite this, the value derived from its ad-free experience, solid financial advice, and data privacy could justify the cost for many users. Monarch offers a 7-day free trial, allowing potential users to evaluate its features before committing to a paid plan.
  • Limited Cryptocurrency Options: Monarch Money currently only integrates with Coinbase for cryptocurrency management. This limitation means users with diverse crypto portfolios might need to use additional tools to manage their cryptocurrency investments fully.
  • No Credit Score Monitoring: Despite its comprehensive approach, Monarch Money does not offer credit score monitoring. This omission might be surprising for a platform that aims to provide an all-in-one financial overview. Although many credit cards and platforms offer this service, its absence is a notable gap in Monarch’s offerings.
  • Lack of Bill Payment Support: Monarch Money operates with read-only data, which means it doesn’t support bill payments. This limitation could necessitate the use of additional tools or platforms for users who want an integrated solution for managing bill payments alongside other financial activities.

Monarch Money Pricing

Monarch Money provides two distinct pricing plans to cater to different user needs. The first is the Basic Plan, which is free of charge. This plan offers fundamental features like limited bank connections, the ability to set financial goals, and basic budgeting tools. It serves as a starting point for those who want to explore the platform’s capabilities without any financial commitment.

For users seeking a more comprehensive experience with full access to all of Monarch Money’s features, the Premium Plan is available. This plan is priced at $9.99 per month, but a discounted rate of $7.50 per month is offered for those who choose to pay annually, amounting to $89.99 per year. The Premium Plan includes unlimited bank connections and the use of every feature the platform has to offer.

For those considering the Premium Plan, Monarch Money offers a two-week free trial.

Monarch Money Alternatives

If anything you have read so far has made you decide not to sign up to Monarch Money, don’t worry, there are plenty of quality alternatives to consider. I will start my dive into the Monarch Money alternatives with Copilot. Copilot uses AI-driven insights to help users refine personalized spending patterns. This Monarch Money vs Copilot article will explain how.

If you are reading this article, it probably means you need a budget, and that is exactly what the next competitor, YNAB, stands for. If you are into zero-based budgeting or curious to learn more about it, YNAB could be your answer. This Monarch Money vs YNAB article will get into the details of zero-based budgeting and show how they stack up to Monarch Money.

Another competitor that I must mention is Rocket Money. Rocket Money is also a great choice for users that prefer zero-based budgeting. Their negotiation feature to find and eliminate unwanted subscriptions is one of their most powerful differentiators. Here is the Monarch Money vs Rocket Money comparison if you are interested in diving deeper.

Monarch Money is a relatively new entrant into the personal finance arena compared to the next budgeting app we will discuss, Mint. Mint has been praised for its track record of providing detailed insights into spending habits. If credit monitoring is one of your main objectives, Mint is worth a look. My Monarch Money vs Mint review will give you all the information you need to decide which platform is best.

The last alternative I think you should be aware of before signing up to Monarch Money is a stalwart in the industry, Quicken. If your financial situation requires in-depth, detailed, financial tracking, Quicken has been a trusted choice since their launch in 1983. To have a look at the pros and cons of Quicken, this Monarch Money vs Quicken will cover all the basics.

Final Thoughts

When exploring your options for financial management tools, it’s crucial to consider what to know before signing up to Monarch Money. This platform offers a blend of basic and premium features, catering to a range of financial management needs.

It stands out for its comprehensive financial overview, customizable dashboard, and ad-free user experience. To dive deeper into its features and determine if it meets your financial management requirements, Click Here.
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Jeremy Biberdorf
Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He's a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.

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