On Easy Money, we often talk about how to save money in the “how-to-buy-things-for less sense. But I also want to talk about how to save money in the “how-to-make-sure-you-have-enough-to pursue-your-dreams-and-eventually-retire sense! To that end, what if you could spend 10 to 20 minutes inputting a few key financial facts about yourself into a website and when you were done you’d know exactly where you stand and what you need to do? You can! With a new website and app called Fearless Finance. I LOVE that name and love my next guest, Lori Atwood, founder of Fearless FInance. Welcome to Easy Money, Lori! ……Listeners, you should know that I have long-admired Lori’s work in financial literacy and money management AND our daughters are also friends.
How did you get the idea to create Fearless Finance?
After working in the finance industry for over two decades, I discovered a need in the marketplace for a user-friendly financial tool that provides a whole financial wellness approach and that’s when Fearless Finance was born.
You’re not exactly the typical software developer. You don’t live in silicon valley. You’re not in your 20s or 30s. How did you have the courage to take this leap?
There are lots of personal finance apps out there. What makes Fearless Finance different?
Its like a doctor’s checkup for your finances and you only need to do it once a year.
No time suck
No linking accounts unless you want to.
Walk us through the app. First, what information do people have to provide in order to use it?
your most recent paystub
2. balances on your savings accounts like retirement (IRAs, Rollover IRAs, Roths, 401ks), savings
and checking accounts, brokerage accounts (CDs, mutual funds, etc.)
3. balances on your debt accounts like car loans, student loans, mortgages, credit card balances
4. your current home value if you own your home (an online real estate estimator is fine)
5. an idea of what you spend each month on things like utilities, food, entertainment. You can
estimate or take a look at your recent spending
If you are self-employed or a freelancer/gig worker, have last year’s tax return handy.
And what information do they come away with, once they’re done?
Rainy day savings
Credit card debt
Fearless Finance users get a report that tells them a whole bunch of things. What are they and why are they important?
Total Take Home Income
Recurring Expenses – Yellow and Green
Full Discretionary – Blue Points
Remaining (Income minus expenses and blue points)
Monthly Saving for Annual Expenses
Monthly Amount Left in Checking – “Cushion”
Employable Monthly Cash Flow (before any retirement savings adjustments, if needed)
What I love about the website and app is that after 10 or 20 minutes, users know exactly how much money they have to save each month to pay for their essentials, called yellow and green points. And how much they have left over for what you call “blue points.”
Blue points are for what I like to call “booze and shoes.” Your discretionary expenses. The wants not needs.
“What’s holding people back from getting their financial health in order?”
Too many people are afraid of confronting their actual spending habits and expenses, and think that getting professional advice is not accessible to them. That its only for people with huge portfolios, so they avoid taking action. Shame, fear, expensive, aversion that they will be limited and feeling overwhelmed by it. We’ve created a platform and app that takes into account real life expenses, it offers easy to implement recommendations, and ultimately gives the user control of their own financial wellness.
Here’s a question I ask every business that comes on the show. How do YOU and Fearless Finance make money?
$6.99: Web Platform and Mobile Expense Tracking App (MONTHLY)
$59.99: Web Platform and Mobile Expense Tracking App (ANNUAL)
$32.99: One-time Fearless Finance Summary Report
You can find Lori’s beautifully clear, simple, yet powerful software at FearlessFinance.com and on iTunes and Google Play. Website: FearlessFinance.com
iTunes App: apple.co/2JNDQx4
Google Play App: bit.ly/2H3FQnb