From getting out of debt to building savings, one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions is to improve your financial situation. A few months ago, I started using LearnVest, a financial planning website designed for women, to help me get a better grip on my finances. And in just a few short weeks, the site has helped me develop a financial plan that will have my considerable student loan debt paid off in just 54 months, instead of 22 years.
Yes, that’s right. If I follow this budget, I’ll have my loans paid off by the time I’m 34, instead of 52. Not bad, right?
Like most women, I am not a financial whiz. So when I heard that a company was offering financial planning services at a reasonable price, I leapt at the chance to try it.
Our mission at LearnVest is to empower women everywhere to take control of their personal finances so that they can afford their dreams. We’re here to help by giving you the information, tools, and support you need to earn well, save well, and spend well.
We believe that financial planning should not be a luxury, and that’s why we’ve created the LearnVest.
The website links to your bank’s website to monitor your spending. It also allows you to plug in the information for your creditor’s, so that you can keep track of your debts. Using these tools, you can determine where you need to cut back on your spending to pay off your debts.
The site also offers tools and bootcamps that help you understand your credit score, build your 401k or save for a major purchase like a home or a car. They also have a news and blogs section that offers articles on how to save money on clothes, how to dine out on a budget and how to get deep discounts on travel. And last, but not least, they offer career advice, counseling for new Moms and other valuable mentoring for women.
But, as far as I’m concerned, the best thing LearnVest offers is access to a financial planner. Usually, my taxes are a pretty simple affair, but next year, they’re going to be more complex than Euclidian geometry. Thanks to LearnVest, I can e-mail a financial consultant with questions and get referrals for local tax preparers in my area.
The financial planner has also helped me determine how much money to put in my 401k (whatever my company will match), and how to have an old, erroneous delinquency removed from my credit report (I’ve never even lived in the state where the account was opened in my name).
So if you’re a financial newbie or a professional woman looking to get a better grasp on your money in 2012, LearnVest is worth a try. When you sign up, you’ll get two weeks free. (So wait until Christmas is over and your focus is back in check.) After that, the service costs $129 for a year, $69 for six months or $39 for three months. Not bad considering that the financial planner I had been seeing cost $175 an hour.
Whether your a check-cashing lobbyist or a Ramen Noodle-eating intern, it’s always good to know where your money is going and where your debts stand. LearnVest helps you keep track of everything in one place and helps you build the financial future you want.
*No one paid me to write this. I just love the product.