FTC Disclosure: I was given a free trial of this product in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine and were not influenced by the free trial.
I was recently given the opportunity to check out Bicycle Financial, which is an online financial planning tool. Bicycle Financial knew that I’ve been working on paying down my credit card debt and they wanted to show me some ways that their service could help me out.
When you are going through the set-up on Bicycle, there are several different plans that you can use. They are designed to be for different stages of life (student, new baby, planning on kids going to college, saving for retirement). The plan that was suggested to me was the Single Life plan, which is designed to help build the foundation of financial independence.
The set up was super easy and user-friendly. You just type in your income, any debt you might have and what type it is, and some financial goals you have.
My main financial goals are to pay off my debt and to start a savings account (technically I have a savings account, it just doesn’t have any money in it yet). Bicycle sets up a plan and says how much you should put toward each goal each month. And these amounts are customizable. For example, the credit card debt goal was listed as something I should put $10/week toward. However, the minimum payment on my card is higher than that. So I was able to change it to the minimum payment.
The only problem I saw with Bicycle is that it is designed for someone with relatively stable income. My income varies so much from week to week so I found myself changing my income on the site every week. And since it is based on an annual income, I had to take what I made that week and multiply it by 52 to get an idea of what my yearly income would be if every week was like the previous one. But if I had used this when I was in telesales, even though my income changed each week due to commissions, I still had a decent idea of what it would average out to. So I could have made up an annual income that seemed reasonable.
Besides this little set back, I did really enjoy Bicycle. Other online financial planning tools are more like online calculators for what you need to do. On Bicycle, there was also advice and tips on different topics that I found super useful. I also like that this one didn’t connect to my bank accounts. There are other online financial sites that link and connect to your bank accounts so they can report how much money you have in there. Those always seemed to make me nervous and even though I know that there are lots of safeguards in place, I always was scared that someone could access my bank account and take what little money I had in there.
I highly encourage all of you to check out Bicycle. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Youtube. You can even enter a contest. It is usually $15/month to use the service, but I noticed that right now online they are offering $10/month to new customers. I’m still going to take advantage of my set up on there. While it’s not easy for me to plan based on having such sporadic income, I do love the advice that’s on there and I find it very empowering that there are solutions and plans for me to be debt free one day!