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There are a variety of factors that dictate our financial health, and while we can’t necessarily control all of them, there are a few that can have long-lasting and positive results. Accessibility to financial data and tools is among one of those factors, and thanks to some of the new financial management services and apps hitting the market, that data has allowed consumers access to their current financial situation.
One of the newer resources to become available to the public is Status Money, also known as Status. Founded in 2016 by two data scientists, the service aims to increase financial transparency by giving people to access information not only about their own finances, but also that of their peers nationwide.
The data, which is anonymous, allows users to compare themselves to others based on variables like age, income, investments, debt, credit score, location, and even net worth.
How Status Money Works
Status Money is a free financial service, and anyone can sign up. To do so, users must enter typical information (name, email, password, etc.) as well as information necessary to track and manage finances, including a Social Security number and information about assets (automobiles, homes, etc.) to evaluate net worth. Additionally, before the process is completed, new users will be asked to link their bank accounts to their Status accounts, which will help provide the most accurate and up-to-date information.
After logging in, a variety of intuitive dashboard options will help users view both high-level and granular financial information about themselves. Their profile will also be compared to others across the nation or within their selected groups.
Due to the sensitive information that users share, Status Money is quick to address the issue of security and contends that their site and practices are quite safe. Currently, information is kept secure through the use of 256-bit encryption, which is considered one of the most secure methods of encryption available.
It’s also important to mention that Status Money always keeps user information anonymous, and they do not sell information to third parties. Status Money monetizes the site through targeted ads.
Status Money Benefits
Similar to other financial management apps, like Mint and Personal Capital, Status allows users to enter and link financial information. From there, users can track everything from their credit card rates to their spending habits, allowing them to get a robust picture of their financial health.
However, what separates Status from some of its competitors is the ability to use that information to not only track and plan their own finances, but to do so with valuable insights about the finances of others in a peer group, or those who have a similar credit score, income, geographical location, etc.
In some ways, this can help users understand patterns that could place them in the financial danger zone. For example, allowing them to identify spending patterns that are higher than those of their peers. Insights like this can help put your personal spending into perspective, something not available when you’re only tracking your own finances.
Further, and perhaps one of its major selling points, Status Money can identify actionable items. It can highlight exorbitant interest rates on credit cards and excessive fees on bank accounts, both of which many of us accept under the assumption that it’s normal for our financial profile, and show where this spending can be reduced. This specific benefit can help users save a significant amount of money over time.
Status Money Downsides
Though the company is young, user feedback has been positive. Several top financial sites and blogs give Status Money a solid review, and it’s hard to find harsh reviews that would suggest there are major downsides to the service.
It is worth noting that as a free service, Status Money does not make money from subscriptions. Instead, they make money through ad opportunities, which users should keep in mind when considering advertised credit card and banking opportunities in the app.
Additionally, while some financial management services offer in-app bill pay, Status Money does not, so those looking for a one-stop financial shop may not find Status as useful as Mint.
Further, for those who enjoy being in the know or perhaps have a competitive nature, gaining insight into the financial life of their peers can be extremely useful; however, those with less than favorable finances may find the knowledge to be less motivating and more depressing.
Status Money can offer users the ability to not only track their own finances, but to analyze and take action based on how their financial profile weighs in with their peers. Signing up is easy and there are many perceived benefits. If you’re looking for a way to gain control of your finances through a more comprehensive financial picture, then Status Money might be for you.
Author: Jeff Gitlen, CEPF®