Learning how to save money and plan your financial future shouldn’t require an expensive financial advisor to help get you started. This mentality is what convinced LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel to drop out of Harvard Business School and start a financial services company dedicated to offering affordable advice and budget management strategies to everyday consumers.
LearnVest’s approach is simple: teach people how to budget and save money without charging them hundreds of dollars for that advice. LearnVest works with budgets for any income, and since the company was founded in 2009, hundreds of thousands of free and premium subscribers have benefited from LearnVest. LearnVest™ Official SiteGet a Personalized Financial Plan.Create Your Free Account Today!
Since you can start using their services for free (no risk involved), here are a few things to consider before signing up for LearnVest:
LearnVest’s Free App
As a free LearnVest member, you’ll get access to an online dashboard that you can also view from the free LearnVest app on your smartphone. The dashboard includes information such as linked bank and credit card accounts, loans, other debts, and a handy chart that tracks your spending levels.
These basic tools can work wonders in getting your financial records organized into one place and set up a personalized financial plan that could help you pay off debts more quickly and build your savings/investments by eliminating wasteful spending and finding new areas for you to reduce your ongoing expenses.
LearnVest Premium – Worth It?
LearnVest’s paid premium service initially costs $299 (one-time fee to get started), then $19 per month thereafter for ongoing support and access to budgeting tools. With it, you get access to a fully customized Action Plan that breaks down all of your financial records (current income, net worth, miscellaneous assets, etc.).
It calculates a weekly flex spending number (which tells you how much you can spend each week without hampering your budget), locates areas in your budget where you can reduce your expenses, and formulates goals with detailed, actionable steps you can take to achieve those goals.
LearnVest Informative Resources
Rather than doing everything for you, LearnVest strives to teach their members how to be self-sufficient with money. LearnVest offers dozens of informational resources, including online articles and workshops, an online progress board to help you track your financial records and goals, and regular reminders from your financial planner to stay on top of your finances.
Even if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, LearnVest can help you discover new ways to save money. The articles and webinars are produced by personal finance experts who have been helping other customers with their money for several years, so don’t mistakenly assume that LearnVest is only for people who already know a lot about financial management.
These informative resources are designed to help beginner-level budgeters improve their financial situations, which makes LearnVest a great alternative to relegating your financial planning to a spouse, family member, or other financial planners who might not teach you these valuable skills.
LearnVest Financial Planners
One of the best features of the LearnVest premium subscription is the 24/7 access to a certified financial planner via email. These folks are dedicated to helping people save money, allocate their investments for optimal returns, and tackle tricky financial decisions.
LearnVest’s financial planners are trained to assist customers with a variety of backgrounds in financial management, from beginners who have never developed a budget before to savvy budgeters who need help with more complicated topics like investing and long-term financial planning.
Don’t be deterred by the $299 price tag for LearnVest’s initial set-up. You can oftentimes find promo codes online that can save you between $75-100 off the initial fee, and compared to the average cost of professional financial services ($1,900 per year, according to the College of Financial Planning 2011 Survey Trends), LearnVest is much more affordable. You also have the option of breaking up the initial fee into two payments of $149 (paid across 2 months) or three payments of $99 (paid across 3 months), if you’d prefer to pay incrementally.
LearnVest concedes its services are not for everyone. If you’re looking for someone to manage your money, or self-employed and seeking business tax advice, or in collections and behind on credit card payments (or even on the verge of bankruptcy), then LearnVest might not be the service for you. However, if you simply want more efficient and detailed ways to keep track of your finances, along with a professional financial planner who can help you maximize your savings and investment potential, then LearnVest would be a great place to start!