Saving money should not require living in frugality!
What Is MoneyPlan?
MoneyPlan is a budgeting tool that provides proactive guidance to stick to a budget, to smartly manage credit and debit, and to save money. MoneyPlan tells you How to use your debit and credit, not how you have used it.
All the existing money management apps on the market tell you what you have spent and how you have spent it afterwards. They provide you with a picture of your money habits and spending.
But MoneyPlan acts proactively by telling you:
- how much to spend on each card (debit card, credit card, store card),
- stop you from spending if it would affect your savings objectives or credit repayment,
- make you stick to your budget and save you money …and
MoneyPlan takes away all the worries and stress related to money management so that you can focus on what is important…living life.
Who is MoneyPlan for?
Are you living paycheck by paycheck? Are your recurrent expenses between 50% and 70% of your total monthly income? Will you be in a bad situation should an unexpected expense come in your way such as a car repair, a medical expense, a trip, a special event? Do you have difficulties creating a budget and sticking to it? Are you afraid of having a credit card even though you know it can be of help if it is well managed? Do you use your credit card to make end-meat or pay for unplanned expenses? Do you want to stick to a budget but also accommodate your wants and have some fun? Do you want to put some money aside (at least 20% of your income) each month without living in frugality? Do you want credit cards to work for you without falling in a debt spiral? Do you want to make managing money a fun activity? If you respond “yes” to part or all these questions then MoneyPlan is for you.
Who is MoneyPlan not for?
- If your monthly expenses fall under 50% of your total monthly income, then MoneyPlan might not serve you. In this case you are managing your money very well and we encourage you to keep up the good work.
- If you are not ready to accept the terms and conditions of MoneyPlan, then this app will not work for you.
- First, maintain a source of income…in other words, keep a job. If you don’t have an income, then there is no money to spend or to save.
- Maintain a bank checking account and a saving account.
- Maintain a good Credit Score. That is a must to be approved for a low APR credit card
- You need a debit card. This card from your main checking accounting will be used to make any transaction in relation to your set budget. The ideal debit card would be accepted everywhere (Visa, MasterCard, etc.…), and the bank should offer free bill pay.
- Make sure you set all your bills on auto-pay using your DEBIT CARD only or set them on BILL PAY using your main checking account linked to your debit card. This is very important for MoneyPlan to work. Automation also removes some of the stress and time pressure of paying your bills
Prerequisites MoneyPlan$ ideal credit card
Low APR The lowest possible. Between and 19%. Go for a fix rate if possible, otherwise take a variable APR No Annual Fee No Foreign Transaction Fee $0 No Purchases Fee $0 Minimum Interest Charge $1 or less Minimum Payment Amount $25 or less Minimum Payment Percentage 1% of the principal Cash Rewards If you can get a low APR along with cash reward then Great, otherwise ignore the rewards part. Grace Period At least 20 days Billing Cycle At least 25 days
If you have several general credit cards, choose the one that has the characteristics above. We will call this one your main credit card.
Your unexpected expenses or wants such as dining out, extra groceries, morning lattes, car repair, equipment, home maintenance, entertainment, travel, medical care, prescription drugs and over the counter drugs, etc.… will be paid through your credit card which is used as a complement to your budget. Don’t worry MoneyPlan$ will set your limits.
Any other credit card you have left will be entered as STORE CARD. This is to help you take advantage of gainful balance transfer offers or special/promotional financing plans. You can enter as many store cards as you have or at least ONE.
Credit Card, why?
Credit card are a controversial mean of payment. Some people make purchases using credit cards and some try to avoid them. Personal finance experts dissuade us relying on credit cards with good reason. Many of us misuse credits cards and end up in debt. But, contrary to the popular belief, if you can use a credit card responsibly, you’re much better off paying with credit than with debit. A credit card is nothing but a tool. Whether its effects are helpful or harmful depends on the skills and knowledge of the user, a person with the power to choose how to use the tool (credit card);
Using your credit card smartly can enable you to cover some needs before receiving your paycheck or be helpful in a tough month or to face an emergency. Those unexpected events in life that you can’t plan for. It’s not a matter of if these events will happen. It’s simply a matter of when. If your car breaks, you may need to be towed, to pay for repairs and for a rental car with your credit card. If you have a medical emergency, or a funeral, credit cards can also be useful.
When you make a debit card purchase, your money is gone instantly. When you make a credit card purchase, your money remains in your checking account until a couple of weeks later when you pay your credit card bill. Hanging on to your money for this extra time can be helpful.
Credit cards have risks but not with MoneyPlan$. The risks of having credit are:
Borrowing more than you can afford to repay; MoneyPlan$ has a spending limit feature and utilization ratio feature to prevent you from borrowing more than you can afford or go over your credit limit.
If you don’t make your payments on time, you’ll damage your credit record and pay late fees; MoneyPlan$ will always display the required due date so that you can make on-time payment.
Having to pay high interest: the minimum two payment feature and the recommended minimum payment of MoneyPlan$ help accelerate your credit card balance pay off thus minimize the interest applied. Plus, MoneyPlan$ does not allow cash advance.
Carrying a balance: sometimes carrying a balance makes sense if:
You have a financial plan like with MoneyPlan$.
You have a system in place to be smart with credit like MoneyPlan$.
You are using a low-interest credit card with no annual fees to pay for unexpected expenses as per MoneyPlan$ recommendations
You are not making any cash advance using your credit card as per MoneyPlan$ recommendations
If you don’t already have a credit card, shop for one with a low APR and no annual fee. Rewards credit cards sound good in theory, but they encourage you to spend more than you would otherwise. Rewards can also carry a higher interest rate.
6. Have your main general credit card agreement or statement ready. There is some financial information you will need from it such as:
Purchases Annual Percentage Rate (APR) The interest applied to the amount you owe on your credit card Daily Percentage Rate The above APR divided by 365 days Minimum Interest Charge The lowest interest your credit card company can charge you Credit Limit The limit on your credit card. Not the available credit Billing Cycle Days during which you are billed First Statement Date When the credit card statement is sent out to you Minimum Payment Amount The lowest payment you are approved to make towards what you owe Minimum Payment Percentage The lowest payment you are approved to make towards what your principal Grace Period Number of days you should repay what you owe before interest hit
- You need at least one store card. These cards will be used to make occasional transactions such as buying an equipment (tv, computer, music sound system, new phones, etc…) when an interesting promotion is offered (special financing, promotional financing, discount deals, balance transfer, etc.…). The starting balance on these cards MUST be zero whenever you start a new plan The card should have the characteristics below.
MoneyPlan$ ideal store card
Low APR The lowest possible. Less than 30%. Go for a fix rate if possible, otherwise take a variable APR No Annual Fee $0 No Foreign Transaction Fee $0 No Purchases Fee $0 Minimum Interest Charge $1 or less Minimum Payment Amount $25 or less Minimum Payment Percentage 1% of the principal Cash Rewards If you can get a low APR along with cash reward then Great, otherwise ignore the rewards part. Grace Period At least 20 days Billing Cycle At least 25 days
- Accept the Terms and Conditions of MoneyPlan$.
- Know your MoneyPlan$ profile or Expense to Income Ratio for a better budgeting:
Less than or equal to 70%: Proceed to budget with your current expenses. But also consider reprioritizing your budget to increase your savings margin or your emergency fund.
Between 70% and 80%: Reprioritize your budget by looking for areas where you can cut back and bring down your expense to income ratio to 70% maximum.
Above 80% with debt: Reprioritize your budget by looking for areas where you can cut back, then take the money you’ve freed up and apply it to paying down your debt.
Above 80% without debt: Reprioritize your budget by looking for areas where you can cut back and bring down your expense income ratio to 70% maximum.
Go to settings and populate all the required information as follows:
- Income: enter all the regular incomes you receive and their frequency. If you are paid biweekly just enter the income you receive biweekly. Same thing if you are paid weekly or monthly. But if you receive more than one paycheck from different employers, then enter each income for each employer. These paychecks will then be consolidated in two biweekly paychecks. A weekly paycheck will be multiplied by 2 to obtain a biweekly picture of your income while a monthly paycheck will be divided in two to represent a biweekly income. Of course, a biweekly income will remain as it is.
- Budget (for the month):
Your budget is only comprised of your NEEDS or planned expenses: utilities (water/sewer/trash, electricity, housing, insurances (life, car, health, etc.), gasoline for your car, groceries, cash needs, loans and old credit card debts…you will still have the possibility to add any miscellaneous planned expense not included in this list.
Make sure your needs don’t go over 70% of your monthly income to comply with the MoneyPlan$ budget strategy of 50-70/10/20: recurring expenses for monthly needs between 50% and 70% of your monthly income, 10% for unexpected expenses, and 20% towards savings.
Your monthly budget posts should be as follows:
Housing: rent includes renter insurance AND mortgage includes home owner association fees
Utilities: water (+sewage, trash, admin. fees), electricity, home phone, natural gas
Communication: Internet, Cable TV, Netflix, Mobile Plan, Spotify, etc.…
Insurance: health, AD&D, Hospital, Life, AAA, etc.…
Miscellaneous: needs that vary from person to person such as pet care, child care, subscriptions, gym, membership fees, professional dues, etc.…
Transportation: fuel gas for your car and parking fees OR public transportation (Bus, Tramway, Passenger Train, etc.), Uber, Ferry, etc.
Grocery: food mainly but also any other items purchased at a grocery store or a corner store (Paper products, non-food purchases, etc.)
Financial Security: a special section in your budget dedicated to your financial security and comprises: an emergency fund intended to be used when the Maximum Safe Limit on your main credit card does not permit a transaction; a fund for utility bills variance (if your utility bill is more than what you planned, the unexpected portion of your bill will be covered by the utility variance fund. You can skip the utility variance fund if you enroll in BUDGET BILLING with your utility provider), a fund for cash needs. The Financial Security section is mandatory whatever your budget looks like. All these funds MUST remain in your main bank checking account.
Credit cards debt: total monthly payment/installment to pay off current debts on your credit cards before starting a new “Plan”. We advise that you transfer the total due under a profitable balance transfer offer so that it can be repaid without or with less interest for quite sometimes. These cards MUST NOT be used as main credit card or store card in your current active “Plan”.
Other Debt: total monthly payment installments on all your loan combined (car loan, student loan, special loan, etc.).
- Budget posts scheduling
To match your budget to your incoming paychecks, MoneyPlan$ considers you have two paychecks in the month. Paycheck 1 & 2 (all your paychecks will be consolidated into these two paychecks). The recurring expenses of the budget are going to be equally split between paycheck 1 and paycheck 2. It is advisable to consider doing so even if you are paid weekly (sum two weekly paychecks as one) or once a month (divide your monthly net income into two equal parts). Spread the expenses so that you have two check-ins almost equal. Not one too bigger than the other. The check-In is the portion of money you have left after you’ve paid for your planned expenses.For example, you know that rent is due at the end of the current month, so rent will automatically be deducted from paycheck 2; Utilities can be deducted from paycheck 1, etc.… In the Budget settings use 1 (for paycheck 1) or 2 (for paycheck 2) to refer to the paycheck to which you want the expenses to be deducted from.In our example, $1500 income is split in two $750 biweekly paychecks, the spending is spread so that the biweekly check-ins are equal. They don’t have to be but it is advisable that the difference between the two is not too large so that you have equal savings power on the 15th and the 30th of the month as follows:
Periods Income Spending Check-in Paycheck 1 $750 $525 $225 Paycheck 2 $750 $525 $225
- 50-70/10/20 rule: Let’s assume a Net Monthly Income of $1500
Set up your recurring budget for your needs so that it is equal or less than 70% of your net income ($1050). Your budget MUST include an Emergency fund, Utility variance, and Cash Advance. You’ll have to make some adjustments to your budget posts to accommodate the 70% or less of the net income. For example, you can cut Netflix and cable. Replace your mobile plan with a prepaid one or a lot cheaper option, cut on other expenses. Enroll in billing budget for your utilities. Etc.…
Now that you have a monthly recurring budget of 70% or less of your income, what to do with the 30% remaining of your income ($450). This portion of your income is called the Check-In.
The Check-In is distributed as follows: 5% of your net monthly income ($75) is needed to finance promotional credit offers. This amount represents the maximum monthly installment you can afford each month to pay off your promotional credit balance within the allocated timeframe. For example, to take advantage of a promotional financing on a TV priced $800 at Walmart, you can afford to repay the amount in 12 months of fixed installments without interest which represent $67 a month. You want the amount you pay every month for the promotional credit to be equal or less than the $75 above so that your budget is not altered. The other 5% will be used to accelerate the payment towards your revolving credit balance.
The remaining 20% of your net monthly income represent your monthly saving objective. It’s called the Check-out. The check-out goes to your savings account.
Summary of the check-in distribution:
Category $ Amount Income Ratio Revolving Credit Payment Acceleration $75 5% Promotional Credit Payment Installment $75 5% Saving Objective $300 20% Total $450 30%
- How to keep up with the 50-70/10/20: The information below is just indicative and not compulsory. It was retrieved from the internet search and was not fully verified but did make sense. We encourage you to talk to a personal finance specialist or do your own research on the internet on how to save money by reducing your living cost.
First, you will need to make some efforts to adjust your budget by reducing your expenses and increasing your savings. Know the difference between what you need and what you want. What you want will be taken care of in MoneyPlan$.
Essentials: Basic needs that allow you to live your daily life
Nice-to-Haves: Things you like that make life enjoyable
Secondary Needs: Non-essential items that make life easier but are not extravagant expenses
Un-necessaries: The “where does the money go?” spending and impulse buying
For now, get rid of the nice-to-have, secondary, and un-necessary. Keep only the essential. From there, apply some rules to reduce the money you put towards your needs. Below are some tips:
Rent: how much rent can you afford? As a rule of thumb, your rent shouldn’t be more than 40 percent of your net income (your income after taxes). So, you might consider moving out for a cheaper apartment if you’re renting.
Mortgage: If you own a house then, you will need to lower your mortgage costs either by refinancing, appealing property taxes (If your house has lost value since it was last assessed, you could qualify for a lower annual bill), or getting rid of your private mortgage insurance (if you have at least 20 percent equity in your house, you’re not required to have this coverage)
Utilities: To Lower your utility bills: use a programmable thermostat, unplug electronics when they’re not in use, launder everything in cold water, and to save even more on energy costs, let your laundry air-dry.
Transportation: to lower your transportation costs, always drive sensibly. Gas mileage decreases when the speedometer tops 60 miles per hour.; fill up with the right octane grade unless otherwise indicated; patronize the cheapest gas station; carpool; stop the late-night rides home from Uber.
Cable: to lower your cable and internet bills, stop paying for TV channels that you don’t watch
Mobile Plan: to lower your cell-phone bill, match your texting plan with your family’s needs; know your data usage, then downgrade your plan accordingly.
Credit cards: if you carry a balance on more than one card, adopt the following strategies:
Take advantage of a low balance transfer rate to move debt off high-interest cards.
If not possible, then prioritize your credit cards as follows to pay off your debts:
Reprioritize your budget and plan to accelerate the balance payoff on one credit card at a time by paying more than the minimum required. Choose either the card with the higher interest rate first or the one with the lowest balance first.
pay at least the minimum required on the remaining cardsOther Debts: we will advocate that you reprioritize your budget and focus on accelerating the payment (pay a little more than the minimum required payment in the limits of your budget) on the smallest debt first while maintaining the minimum required payment on the other debts. When the target debt is paid off, move to the next smallest one.
- Bank accounts: enter your bank accounts login info and your transactions feeds will be securely downloaded to MoneyPlan$ as READ-ONLY. Enter your main checking account, then your main credit card account, and all the store cards account you have. Your main checking account will exclusively be used for managing your expenses included in your budget. We recommend that you open a second Checking account for extra spending that you don’t want to be mixed with your current budget such as a large amount of money you transfer to a third party or a long-time planned expense that should not be accounted in your current MoneyPlan Budget. We recommend that you shop for a fee-free Checking account with no minimum balance requirement.
- My Plan: my plan is a period you set in months to stick to a budget so that MoneyPlan$ can manage your main credit card usage by setting credit usage guards, safe limits, recommended minimum payments, and assign a score against your money management behavior. In My plan, you can decide:
- The length of your plan in months (Marathon). You have the possibility to set your plan length between 3 and 18 months. A month represents two installments which means you will make credit repayments on the 15th of the month and on the last day of the month. So, if you set your plan to last 3 months, you will have 3 x 2 = 6 installments.
- Increase /decrease the portion of your main credit card limit you want to use
- Increase /decrease the portion of your main credit card available credit you want to use
- Choose to repay your credit faster or increase the portion of your income you save after repaying credit
Each plan comes with some conditions:
- Each new plan requires a zero balance on the main credit card
- Once you choose a plan, you will need to stick to it to the end.
- Any budget you set will last for the duration of the chosen plan but you can still reprioritize your budget posts as you go provided you stick to 50-70/10/20 budget rule.
- You can reset your plan and restart a new plan anytime BUT then, you will have to clear all balance on your main credit card before you start a new plan
NOTE: the MoneyPlan$ calculations have been set to always end up with a zero balance on your main credit card.
- Credit card info:
this information will come from your credit card statement or agreement.
The golden rules
- Choose a budget plan length in the settings
- The balance on your main credit card MUST be zero at the beginning of each plan
- Any owed balance on your credit card or store card at the beginning of each plan MUST go to your BUDGET (credit/debt payment posts).
- Stick to the 50-70/10/20 budget rule
- Maintain a bank checking account and savings account. Preferably at the same bank.
- Remember to pay all your bills (per your budget) through your checking account (auto-pay using your debit card or bill pay using your checking account).
- Remember to stick to your budget planning: if a bill is planned to be paid out of your paycheck 1 then set auto-pay or bill-pay for that expense to be processed between the 15th and the last day of the current month (when the paycheck 1 is in). For a bill planned to be paid out of your paycheck 2, set auto-pay or bill pay to be processed between the last day of the current month and the 15th of the following month (when the paycheck 2 is in).
- Use your debit card to pay for groceries, gasoline, and make cash withdrawal
- Never use your credit card or store card to withdraw cash. Use your cash advance budget (debit card)
- Use your credit card for unexpected expenses, wants, non-essential, and fun expenses (travel, entertainment, morning lattes, extra groceries, medical bills, prescriptions, dining out, etc.), everything NOT included in your budget.
- Make at least two payments on your main credit card balance per month (one payment on the 15th, another on the 30th)
- Make at least one payment on your store card before the statement due date
- Always make on-time payments
- Always pay at least the MoneyPlan$ minimum recommended amount
- Keep your Financial Security Funds (emergency fund, Utility variance fund, and cash advance fund) in your main checking account. DO NOT TRANSFER THEM TO YOUR SAVINGS ACCOUNT.
- Never go over your Maximum Safe Limit when using your credit card to make a transaction
- Only use your emergency fund when your Maximum Safe Limit does not permit you to pay for a transaction
- Always notify MoneyPlan$ when using your emergency fund by hitting the Emergency Fund button and entering the amount that you need to use
- Always notify MoneyPlan$ when you want to write a check from your main debit account by hitting the “Write a Check” button and entering all the required information
- Always notify MoneyPlan$ when you chose a promotional financing option in the store card transactions by selecting the plan also in the app.
- Make sure you update your income when it changes and
- Remember to edit your budget items and make strategic decisions to boost your savings power
MoneyPlan$ App Useful features
The “My Plan” feature comes very handy to set a plan (how many months will your plan last?), to set your credit card spending limit, your saving power, and to optimize your credit repayment.
You can decide how you want MoneyPlan$ to work for you. You can choose to maximize the repayment or to increase your buying power on your credit card, or to simply limit your spending and increase your savings.
To increase how much you can reasonably spent using your credit card, set your credit card purchasing power between 20% (Increase the portion of your credit card limit you want to use) and 60% (Decrease the portion of your credit card limit you want to use)
To decide whether you want to save more or pay your credit faster, set your credit options between 10% (Accelerate your credit card payment) and 60% (Increase your savings rate). This setting is optimized at 30%.
To control your Minimum Safe Limit, set your credit utilization ratio between 10% (Reduce the portion of your available credit that you use) and 30% (Increase the portion of your available credit that you use). It is recommended by the lenders not to owe more than 30% of your available credit…for a good credit score rating.
The “Money Score” feature measures how well you do with your recurring budget and how you use credit; we measure:
your budget variance; we check to see if you keep the 50-70/10/20
your promotional credit plan compliance; are you sticking to the 5% income ratio
your revolving credit usage; we monitor these regulators:
No Cash Advance
At least two payments per month
Money Score Rating Guide
|Items||Expectation||Acceptable Score||Good Score||Bad Score|
|The 70% rule||Keep your recurring expenses under 70% of your income||Between 65% – <70%
</70> (- 2.5 points)
|Between 50% – 64%
(- 0 point)
|>=70% and up to 80%
(- 5 points)
|The 5% rule||Keep your promotional credit monthly payment under 5% of your monthly income||4.5%(- 2.5 points)||Less than 4.5%
(- 0 point)
|5% and more
(- 5 points)
|No Cash Advance rule||Don’t withdraw cash with your credit card. Use the cash advance of your recurring budget.||N/A||No withdrawal at all (-0 point)||
(-5 points) and you lose you bonus points
|On time payment rule||Make credit card payment on time||N/A||No late payment
`1 late payment
(-5 points) and you lose you bonus points. If you make two late payments during a single Marathon, you lose all your points. This also affects your credit score in a big way.
|Two payments rule||At least two payments per month (Comply to minimum payment of MoneyPlan)||N/A||2 payments
|<=1 payment (- 5 points)|
|Max.SL||Comply with the Max.SL||N/A||100% compliance
|At least 1 non-compliance
(- 5 points)
|Min.SL||Consider your Min.SL||N/A||100% compliance
You earn 5 points
|Not trying at all earns 0 bonus points|
Money Score Card
|Saving||The 70% rule||5|
|Saving||The 5% rule||5|
|Saving||No Cash Advance rule||5|
|Credit Score||On time payment rule||5|
|Saving||Two payments rule||5|
|Credit Score||Bonus (Min.SL)||+5|
So, MoneyPlan$ users start with an automatic score of 30 points. And during the journey, the goal will be to maintain the 30 points target and get the 5 bonus points:
|Bad||Under 20 points||Review budget, money habits and discipline.|
|Satisfactory||points (including on time payment rule 5 points)||Responsible money manager.|
|Good||30 points||Exemplary money manager.|
|Very Good||30 points + 5 bonus points||Smart money manager.|
How to use the app:
Use MoneyPlan$ as a guide BEFORE any transaction or any credit repayment for the duration of the plan.
For items planned in your budget such as cash withdrawal, gasoline, groceries and miscellaneous, MUST use your debit card.
For items not anticipated in your budget, any unexpected expense MUST be completed using your credit card.
For one-time purchases, such as buying a tv, electronics, a computer, a new smartphone, furniture, sound system, a bicycle, bulk groceries, new tires, etc., it is recommended to look for discounted deals, promotional financing, or special financing offered from time to time by brands like Walmart, Target, BestBuy, Dell, Amazon, PayPal, Firestone, Bridgestone, etc. These purchases MUST be completed using your store credit card.
To avoid overdraft in user’s main checking account a protection layer has been engineered in 3 scenarios:
- If your checking account balance is equal to zero then all “Financial Security” and “Debit Card Transactions” items will show zero.
- If the balance in the checking account is greater than or equal to the total balance for all “Financial Security” and “Debit Card Transactions” items, then the available balance for these items will be shown.
If the balance in the checking account is greater than zero but less than the total balance for all “Financial Security” and “Debit Card Transactions” items, then the available balance for these items will follow a reprioritization scheme: in order of priority, grocery fund will be deducted first, then gasoline, miscellaneous, emergency fund, cash needs, and utilities variance funds until the initial balance of the checking account is equaled
Transaction Credit Card
Before using your credit card, go to transactions – credit card and see what your Minimum Safe Limit (Min.SL) and Maximum Safe Limit (Max.SL) are. MoneyPlan calculations are concocted to allow you to use your credit card wisely without compromising your saving objectives or your budget.
For example, if your Min.SL shows $300 while your Max.SL shows $1200, and your available credit is $2000, this means that it is safer to make a transaction less than or equal to $300 but you can also safely make a transaction worth $1200 or less without compromising your savings objectives or repayment capacity. The credit card available credit indicates how much you really have left to spend on your credit card but is not recommended by MoneyPlan.
If the Maximum Safe Limit of your credit card shows an amount that cannot permit you to satisfy a transaction, use your EMERGENCY FUND. Click on the Emergency Fund button and enter the amount you want to use so that it is recorded.
Anyway, follow the traffic lights as guidance to know what limit is recommended: Red means “Don’t use”, Yellow means “Can be used if needs be”, Green means “Safe to use”.
Before you use your debit card, go to transactions – debit card and see how much you can afford for groceries, gasoline, cash withdrawal, and miscellaneous
So, let’s say, you walk to a gas station or a store. Before you start filling your gas tank or shopping for groceries, you open MoneyPlan and go to transactions – Debit cards and see what you have left to spend for gasoline or grocery because these are included in your budget.
For example, if in front of “Transportation/Fuel” it shows $50 available, then using your debit card make a purchase less than or equal to that amount.
Also, before you emit a check, write in MoneyPlan at Transactions – Debit Card & Check. Enter amount, description and check number and select the bank account source (Checking or Savings). The check will be posted to Outlook – Main Bank Accounts. You can delete the check anytime and your account balance will be reset to the most current one. You will only be able to edit the check number, description and date emitted. You will not be able to edit the amount. To edit the amount, you will need to delete, check and write a new one.
You can enter as many checks as you want in the limit of your bank account balance.
Later, when your check is posted to your account (savings or checking) remember to come back into the app and delete the check that was posted to avoid duplicate transactions (one from the app and one from your bank institution).
The check feature is just to help account for an expense through a check for an accurate account balance picture. Checks, once emitted, may take a long time (weeks or months) before they post to your account. Not accounting for this expense early may give a false balance projection on your account and false MoneyPlan calculations. Once the check has been posted, go back to the app and delete the check.
The amount shown here is reset at the beginning of each month. So, if you had left $5 in “Transportation” at the end of the month, this amount would not be added to the new budget starting at the beginning of the new month. But don’t worry, this money just adds up to your check-out (the money you will eventually transfer to your savings account)
Transaction Store Card
Before you use your store card, go to transactions – store card and select the store card you want to use to make the promotional transaction. Then enter the promotion offered: maximum amount and maximum duration. Example: you are looking at buying a TV that costs $1200 through a promotional offer:
Here is an example of a Special Promotional Financing Offer from Walmart:
No Interest if Paid in Full Within 6 Months on in-store purchases of $150 to $298.99
No Interest if Paid in Full Within 12 Months on in-store purchases of $299 or more. This one is the promotion you are looking for.
When you make a qualifying purchase under one of these promotions, no interest will be assessed on the purchase if you pay the promotional balance in full within the applicable promotional period: (1) the promotional purchase amount, and (2) any related optional credit insurance/debt cancellation charges. If you do not, interest will be assessed on the promotional balance from the date of the purchase. Minimum monthly payments are required.
Now enter the promotion offer into the app: amount = $1200, duration= 12 months
A color coding of green will display if you can afford the promotion offer based on your plan or a color coding of red will appear if the promotion offer is outside your plan limits. In this case, different promotional credit options will be displayed for that card. MoneyPlan will display the best option based on
- credit utilization ratio rule of thumb
- your budget and savings objectives
- spending power
For each store card selected under the transaction – store card, MoneyPlan will guide you to choose the best promotional financing offer based on your current budget, savings objectives, credit utilization ratio, and spending power. MoneyPlan will also calculate the minimum recommended monthly payment.
Confirm the option you have decided to go with by entering its amount (don’t forget to include any fees and taxes that apply) and duration in the space selecting a promotion and hit select. Always chose the amount and length equal or less than the recommended option.
Credit Repayment requirements
MUST make at least two payments per months on Credit Card
MUST pay at least the MINIMUM PAYMENT RECOMMENDED on Credit Card
MUST make at least one payment on Store Card
MUST pay at least the MINIMUM PAYMENT RECOMMENDED on Store Card
MUST make on-time payment before or on the due date for both type of cards
Payment made on CREDIT card
Before you make a payment on your credit card, go to Payment – Credit Card and see the minimum recommended payment that you can make. You must pay at least this amount
Make the first payment on the 15th of each month and the second payment on the 30th of each month. One of these two payments will fall within the grace period after your credit statement has been issued. This will cover your payment due date. If not then make an extra payment (the credit card minimum mandatory payment) to cover your due date.
Payment made on STORE card
Before you make a payment on your store card, go to Payment – Store Card and see the minimum recommended payment that you can make. You must pay at least this amount
Make a payment before the store card statement due date.
Remember to set your bills on automatic payment through your main bank Bill pay option using your main checking account or set autopay option through your provider using your debit car linked to your main checking account
To see the payment status of a bill, go to Payment – Bills and see if a bill has been paid or not. Your provider or your bank will also send a notification when a bill is due or has been processed if you chose autopay or bill pay.
Go to My Plan to see how many months you have chosen to run your budget and savings objectives. If your marathon shows 12 months then your plan will last 24 installments.
Each Installment represents the two mandatory payments that you make towards your credit card balance. So, a month in the marathon will represent 2 installments. One payment on the 15th, one payment on the 30th. Each passed installment will be deducted from your total installments. For example, on the 30th of the month, two installments will be deducted from 24 which will give us 22 remaining installments.
You will see when your current plan ends. You can also reset your plan at any time in which case you will need to start with a new plan.
Using the My Plan features in the Settings, you can adjust the way you want MoneyPlan works for you. You can choose to increase your spending power, or maximize your saving power or accelerate your credit card balance repayment.
This is the place where you can see all your financial results. MoneyPlan does not provide you with fancy charts with little meaning but it provides you with concrete figures and results that show how you did or how you are currently doing with your plan. Inside the outlook section you will find:
Consolidated Paychecks: displays the two bi-weekly consolidated paychecks along with the spending for each of these two weeks and their respective check-ins (remaining portion of your biweekly income after the planned expenses have been deducted) for the current plan.
Budget: displays how much you effectively spent on each budget post for the current month along with their respective expense/income ratio. It will also provide the overall expense income ratio with a rating of “Good” if you are keeping your budget at 70% or below of your monthly income or “Adjust” if you go above.
Check-in Margin Distribution: displays the current month portion of your income being put towards repaying your revolving credit, your promotional credit, and your savings objective.
Revolving Credit Repayment Power: displays the amount of money that has been effectively used to boost your revolving credit repayment.
Budget Variances: shows the variance between what you planned to spend and what you spent
Credit Card Outlook
Here are displayed the results of your revolving credit usage. It provides for each installment in the plan how much you still owe on your credit card, what the check-in was, and how much you saved on your income after repaying a portion of the balance on your main credit card. It also provides you with the cumulative savings, the end balance, and the total interest you paid on your credit card for the duration of the plan. MoneyPlan is engineered to clear your main credit card balance by the end of your plan. So, the balance on your main credit card will always be zero at the end of your plan if you follow the recommendations on the app.
Store Cards Outlook
Here are displayed for each store card you used, the original amount due, the total amount you paid, and the balance you still owe.
Money Score Outlook
Here is displayed your money score which tells the story of how well you are complying with MoneyPlan rules.
Financial Security Outlook
Here is displayed what you put in the post for your financial security (Emergency Fund, Utility Variance Fund, Cash Advance Fund), how much you used, and how much is left in. Remember, the funds in this category will add up from month to month. So, if you budgeted $50 for an emergency fund per month, this means $50 from your income will be added to the emergency fund and so on till the end of your current plan. The added amount will be shown in the “In” column and the amount used will be shown in the “Out” column.
Main Bank Account Outlook
Here is displayed what you have in your main checking and savings account