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Tuesday, July 7th, 2015


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HelloWallet Is Here to Help

There are many money management tools and various budgeting software systems available online. To introduce a new one often feels like throwing pennies in a fountain—you can wish for one that will truly help you get your finances in order but you usually just end up with a bunch of loose change.

HelloWallet may change that. From the beginning it seems different: it’s endorsed by President Bill Clinton and it  isn’t affiliated with any banks or financial institutions and doesn’t accept advertising or referral fees. Those two things alone make it worth taking a look.

When the housing market collapsed many people realized that they didn’t know what they were doing or that they had received bad advice. Upon this realization, most people agreed that it was a good idea to get financial help. However, these financial mistakes led to a tightening of purse strings, making the majority of people who really needed the help unable to afford the price tag of a professional financial advisor.

Enter HelloWallet. It’s a self-service site that helps people identify their financial goals, including saving for something specific or reducing debt.

It’s great for individuals, even better for HR departments. It’s a low-cost way to help human resource departments guide their employees through the murky financial waters (even murkier with lost retirement savings, frozen salaries and more).

According to Business Week, “HelloWallet has signed business-to-employer deals with the city of Los Angeles, urban developer Community Builders, and the Rockefeller Foundation.”

The city of San Francisco has also signed a deal with HelloWallet. In the San Francisco Chronicle, Matt Fellowes, the founder of HelloWallet, pointed out that Americans are losing billions of dollars because of simple financial mistakes. He wants to put an end to that.

How does it work? HelloWallet uses powerful analytics and rich market data to provide financial guidance. It can help you save for a specific goal, such as a college education, retirement, buying a house, or it can help you get out of debt. HelloWallet can calculate how much you can save on debt payments by increasing your monthly payments, paying off earlier, or both.

You can link your bank accounts to the HelloWallet system. The Wallet Grower tool looks at your goals—both savings and debt reduction—to help you maximize your long-term wealth. You can enter your assets, expenses, household profile to create a personal plan. The system will also optimize your monthly spending and alert you to opportunities, such as paying off your credit card faster.

For only $4 it sounds worth trying, and by buying a subscription you can help someone less fortunate. HelloWallet is donating one of every five subscriptions to the working poor. However, it is a for-profit business: it costs $4 a month for an annual contract. Citizens of LA and SF will receive a discount. Low-income residents will be able to use it for free.

For more information: www.hellowallet.com

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