Simplifi by Quicken review: Budgeting and tracking driven by a sleek interface

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Simplifi by Quicken is, as its name suggests, a simplified approach to personal finance. This cloud-based service makes it easy to track your money and budget from anywhere.

Now owned by Aquiline Capital Partners, Simplifi comes from the same stewards as longtime mainstay Quicken. While Quicken is a full-scale personal finance package with desktop apps and online/mobile support, Simplifi goes back to basics, and it does so with a visually appealing new interface and a logical workflow for tracking accounts, set savings goals and create budgets. . Read the rest of our Simplifi review to see why it’s one of the best budget apps around.

Simplifi by Quicken review: Cost

Simplifi costs $5.99 per month and $3.99 per month billed annually ($47.99). The company offers a 30-day free trial, but you must sign up with a credit or debit card or PayPal account.

Simplifi by Quicken Review: Features

Simplifi by Quicken is designed to provide a visual snapshot of your financial health. The service manages account tracking in banks, investments, credit cards and payment services, and combines this with spending and savings plans, billing alerts and trend analysis of your spending, income, savings, etc. Unlike its well-known personal finance sibling, Quicken, Simplifi started life as a web service, and its graphical appearance reflects that history.

Simplifi’s features compare well to Quicken’s Deluxe tier (the upgrade to Quicken Starter Edition which costs $51.99 per year). Quicken sets itself apart by offering desktop software for Mac and PC in addition to its online and web applications; and Quicken has stronger support for tax planning and investments. Simplifi does not support banks outside of the United States; it supports cryptocurrency investments with connections to Coinbase, Robinhood and other wallets as well as manual data entry. Going forward, Simplifi says it will track cryptocurrency transactions down to several decimal places.

(Image credit: Quicken)

The Simplifi service has strong budgeting features, although you won’t see the word budget anywhere in the interface. You can create a budget for a month, create watchlists to track how much you spend, and choose to skip one-time transactions from a monthly spending plan (which Quicken can’t do). It can help achieve savings goals and make suggestions for your budget based on your spending, but it doesn’t create multiple budgets or carry-forward budgets, or year-over-year budgeting – anything Quicken, more traditionally structured, can handle.

Simplifi by Quicken review: Help available

When you first log in to the service, Simplifi offers a guided tour that walks you through the sections. Additional tips appear when you first enter a section, like when we checked out the spending plan.

The right navigation bar has a support icon; click on the question mark and a chat and help pop-up will appear on the right side of the screen. We could search for more information on a topic or engage in a conversation with the bot and then a live agent. The service has live chat support from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific, seven days a week. You can request phone support from the Help Center.

Simplifi by Quicken review: Ease of use

After choosing between a monthly or annual plan, you will set up a login account with your email address and provide payment information. Then you’ll add your mobile number and password, and that’s it – you’re there. Add your mobile number again to have the Android or iOS app link texted to you. And reconnect.

A welcome screen initiates a basic onboarding process. The first verifies your name and zip code (pre-populated based on your billing information). Then you will connect accounts. As Quicken supports over 14,000 financial institutions; you can also manually add and track an asset or account.

(Image credit: Quicken)

We had a problem getting an account recognized; Simplifi struggled with two-factor authentication in conjunction with this banking institution. Eventually, Simplifi made an adjustment to its end that fixed the issue. I then added accounts from other institutions with no problem. A drop-down menu allows you to choose the accounts to add if you have several accounts in an institution.

(Image credit: Quicken)

Once we added accounts, Simplifi dropped us into the main dashboard (you can’t snoop around the service without adding at least one account). The default view is an eye-catching dashboard of maps showing snapshots of data pulled from different sections of the service. On first use, the service took us through a quick tour of the interface.

(Image credit: Quicken)

We liked how we could customize Simplifi’s interface to suit our needs and preferences. For example, we could rearrange the maps on the dashboard, modify tags, and set rules and filters to add layers of flexibility beyond Simplifi’s own machine learning intelligence. We also appreciated that Simplifi gave us guidance within the service, which competitors like YNAB lack.

As with the interface, Simplifi’s budgeting capabilities have a degree of flexibility. The term “budget” does not appear anywhere in the interface; instead, Simplifi has a natural language and workflow that effectively translates into creating a budget by completing the previous steps. Instead of setting a “budget” for a category like in Mint, you set a watchlist to track how much you spend on a particular category.

(Image credit: Quicken)

The service’s help options feature helpful budgeting tips entries to help you understand how to use Simplifi’s tools to your advantage. Simplifi is unusual in that it not only works on multiple budgeting approaches, but also describes how it can be used in four budgeting styles: zero-based, envelope, pay yourself first, and 50/30/20.

Your budget is gathered in Simplifi’s spending plan. Simplifi analyzes your recurring transactions based on your accounts to identify your available funds based on what’s left of your income after your paid and expected bills and your savings. You can manually add income and expense events, add tags and categorization if needed. This approach makes budgeting more intuitive and flexible than on other services.

(Image credit: Quicken)

For the most part, we found Simplifi’s tools to monitor spending and report on your financial health in a logical and easy-to-navigate way. We found the Watchlist approach an appealing method to keep tabs on spending, based on category, recipient, or tag. In turn, this feature made it easier to track our coffee expenses, take-out dinners, and groceries. Savings Goal Setting for Savings provides simple and easy visuals that help you reach your goal on the due date.

The biggest interface hurdle we encountered was when we were manually adding unrepresented revenue into our accounts. The manual add form is actually the same across all categories, but oddly the revenue category falls under a drop down list, while “uncategorized” just leaves invoices or subscriptions as checkboxes below, outside of this drop-down list. Once we selected “Personal Income” from the category dropdown, the context of the available “type” of added funds changed.

Simplified Review by Quicken: Mobile

Like the web service, the Simplifi mobile app for iOS and Android is highly customizable. By default, the bank card is at the top, so you can see your funds at a glance, but you can rearrange the remaining cards as you wish. A hamburger menu at the top left reveals each section, making navigating between items simple and a few clicks away.

The layout is beautiful and clean, with easy-to-read text, helpful graphics, and logical organization. The functionality follows what you get on a web browser, just in a more condensed form designed for a phone’s vertical screen.

Simplifi Review by Quicken: Verdict

With its sleek design and flexible approach, Simplifi by Quicken makes tracking your money attractive and provides reports that help you stay on top of your finances. We especially liked the logical flow of how budgeting could work, how we could monitor how much we were spending on specific categories, and how we could set savings goals. The service costs $5.99 per month, making it a dollar more than Mint Premium on iOS and $4 more than the ad-free Mint service. .

Simplifi and Mint are more similar than dissimilar in that they look at a wide swath of your financial situation, and budgets are one element of one that uses the account monitoring you’ve already entered. While YNAB is the best app that only focuses on budgeting, YNAB also only allows zero-based budgeting and nothing more. If you are looking for more elastic options to monitor your spending as well as robust net worth and account monitoring features, Simplifi is the best option.

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