One of the things that I’ve always done to manage my finances is now being built as a tool for all Wells Fargo customers, and you have a chance to try it out and influence its final design. The Cash Flow Monitor is now accessible to our customers through our innovation labs website. It imports all of the information available from your Wells Fargo accounts to help you see when you will have some extra money to move into your savings account for that guitar that you’ve been eyeing, your next road-trip, or maybe a start-up fund to help you move into your first apartment. It also helps you see when you will be low on cash with enough warning to actually do something about it.
The Cash Flow Monitor works like this: it lays out, in calendar form, all of the upcoming bill payments that you have in your Online Bill Pay, money transfers that you’ve already scheduled, and pulls all of your direct deposit history to estimate when your next paycheck will come in and how much it will be. You can add in other expenses that you are aware of, like extra money coming in or checks that you have written that have not yet cleared your account. Your daily balances will show up in black if all is good, low balance days are highlighted in orange, and any days that you’re running a negative balance will show up in a bright warning red. (You can set the ‘low balance’ warning level yourself to whatever dollar amount makes you pay attention).
Right now, this tool is still in development, and our friends in the lab would love to hear what you think of it. If this sounds interesting, please log in, experiment with the tool, and give us your feedback. After trying this myself, I can say that it beats the heck out of my home-made spreadsheet planning, and is even easier to set up than Mint.com.
How do you currently manage your finances? Would you like to see a tool like this in addition to the other money management tools we already offer?