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Has your spending increased under quarantine?
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It's a serious problem. The longer I stay indoors (6 months now), the more I order things I absolutely don't need.  I might be responsible for Jeff Bezos' ~$200 billion net worth (sorry). 

The one tool I've been desperate for in the past few years is a good wallet app. An app where I can connect with national banks, link debit cards/ credit cards/ savings accounts/ cash, and even do some budgeting for me. It's been a long journey, but I think I've found the perfect app.

P.S. The Tech-Letter only grows if you help. And it really only just takes < 5 seconds to share this. So use any of the social media buttons below to do so, or share this link for them to read this edition!

Application Label
Copilot ↗️
Copilot app

Before I even dive into this app, I'll have you know that I was using my iPhone's notes app for a really long time. I'd type-in how much money I have in each bank account, and a list of all my expenses. But between you and me, having to manually edit that every so often gets really tiring.

I've tried free and paid versions of several wallet apps. Mint, Wally, Nugget; you name it, but all have had flaws. Since I live in the US but am not from here, I have bank accounts back home that most apps wouldn't let me link to. In other cases, I have cash that I can't register on apps... so where do I write down how much cash I spend on a certain transaction? And for someone like me (who has never budgeted before), certain apps make it feel like an extremely overwhelming task.

If you read any of the paragraphs above and went "Wow, relatable content", then you're going to love this tech-letter.

    Linking banks on Copilot

    For starters, Copilot lets me add a large number of accounts and track the status of each. Let me tell you what this means.

    Currently on my Copilot app, I have automatically connected to 2 credit cards, 2 checking accounts, and 1 savings account. For most American banks, these are done online, which is to say that through this app, I can connect to my banks and after that, everything is automated. I don't have to manually track these accounts ever again. If I have expenses or income on any of these accounts, Copilot sends me a notification and I get to categorise it however I'd like.

    P.S. If you have other accounts like Stash, Robinhood, or even PayPal, you can track these automatically as well. 

    I can also connect offline accounts: these are non-American banks that aren't listed on the app. These would include bank accounts I have back home, cash, or any other type of finance I'd want to track. These don't update automatically-- you would have to manually update them since you're manually entering them. But other apps don't even let you do this.

    The best part about Copilot is the fact that I get to link all my online and offline accounts in one place. There's less digital-running around for me to do.

    Recurring expenses on Copilot

    We move onto the next perk: recurring expenses. I'm not sure what your monthly finances look like, but a good chunk of my monthly income goes in expenses I have due every month. These include utilities, rent, digital subscriptions, installments, and so on. In the image above, you'll note an example of these. 

    What I like about Copilot's recurring-expense tracking, is that sometimes I might forget about a bill I have due and this app will remind me. It will subtract it from my monthly budget so I know exactly how much money I have left for non-recurring expenses. You can customise the "recurring" part too, i.e. choose if a recurring expense is daily, monthly, yearly, or in the future.

    Also, since Copilot automatically connects to all your accounts, you can set it up so that it can associate a certain expense with a certain recurring charge. For example, I pay Duke Energy (electricity company) monthly. When setting up my recurring expenses, Copilot goes through my transactions and asks me which transactions match "Duke Energy". If the name of the statement is the same, it matches automatically. If the name of the statement is something weird like "DE Electr. 214", I can always create a "rule" where if next time "DE Electr. 214" appears, Copilot knows it's Duke Energy.

    Viewing upcoming expenses and budgets on copilot

    This app has single-handedly helped me dive into the budgeting world (which I should have already been familiar with, but mind your own business). 

    When setting up Copilot, you're taken through a thorough budgeting process where you can enter as much, or as little, information as you'd like. How much money do you think you spend on groceries every month? Restaurants? Utilities? Rent? You can set monetary amounts for each one. Copilot shows you a graph of what your spending tends to look like over a month, and compares it to your current spending. If you're under, good for you! If not, it shows you how much over your normal spending you are, and how much you'd need to save if you want to meet your monthly goal.

    Viewing transactions on copilot

    And there you have it! Add as many online or offline accounts you have and have Copilot link your expenses to your transactions automatically, or set them manually.

    Go through all your transactions and categorise/label them however you deem appropriate, and filter through labels to see how much you spend in a month in each category. Easily search through your transactions too! 

    Track all your expenses, monthly bills, income, and dive into the budgeting world by assigning monetary values to budgets so you stay on track (e.g. $200 a month on groceries). And if you ever have any problem with the app, there's a live chat feature where customer service is ready to assist at any given time.

    Copilot is a free-to-download app with a 2-week free trial. After that, it only costs you $2.99 a month, to be more financially responsible to yourself. 

    But lucky for you, clicking the images on this tech-letter or using the code AXTRNE gets you 1 whole month for free. Let me know what you think!

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