In the future, you’ll be able to walk around a shopping mall, pick out a dress you like and your phone will tell you whether you can find it cheaper somewhere else or if you can even afford it all.
Today, we have HelloWallet, an iPhone app companion for the online financial guidance startup’s much loved web application. The Web application pulls information from your credit cards, bank accounts, 401ks, and even student loans. You can even put in your other assets like car or house. I review a lot of apps here, and let me just say that this one is pretty awesome. If you are one of those people who likes to keep track of your finances, balance your checkbook, and budget your spending, you’re going to love this.
First, load up the app and login (you’ll need an existing account) to see your cash flow. Check your Budget to see how much you’ve got left per category: Auto loans, coffee shop, electric, gas & tolls, groceries, etc. Check your spending overview to see what you’ve spent and earned. Then click “Help Me Spend Now!”
Once the app determines your location, it pulls up a list of nearby venues and asks you “Where do you want to spend money?” Click on a venue like a bar or restaurant and it will tell you how much you have left to spend in that category. It will also tell you your spending history for that venue, which is brilliant. It’s easy to choose a new category for each venue if HelloWallet doesn’t get it right on the first try.
HelloWallet launched in beta in March 2010 “to democratize access to financial guidance for all Americans.” To this point, the company gives one free pass to a low income family for every 5 paying subscribers. On the outside, it’s a subscription based service like consumer reports but its long term vision is to level the playing field for the 80% of Americans who’ve never before had a conversation with a financial planner.
“By applying technology and data mining, it’s possible to develop an online resource that can provide a very powerful financial planning capability,” says Matt Fellowes, the founder and CEO of Hello Wallet.
The “social mission focused enterprise” was first unveiled at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2009 and its initial funding came from the Rockefeller Foundation. We wrote about it last year at this time in our list of D.C. startups you need to know about.
HelloWallet currently distributes the app through employers who give it to their employees as a benefit for free. The company recently rolled out with an employee base where the average employee was able to find $300 to save within their budget within the first 4 weeks of using the app. I may just have to become one of those people who starts monitoring my budget!
Watch this video for more information about HelloWallet:
This is definitely one to check out as you enter the holiday shopping season. An Android version of the application is currently in development and slated to be available early next year. Check out the iPhone app below and learn more about pricing here.