New USAA Tool Helps Make Budgeting Easy

by News Guy on June 28, 2010

To help customers manage everyday spending, USAA Bank is introducing an online personal finance tool.

Through USAA Money Manager, customers can monitor their banking accounts and up-to-the-minute transactions in one safe, secure location on usaa.com, says Jeff Easley, executive director, deposits product management at USAA Federal Savings Bank.

“Our customers have told us they want help tracking their finances. This tool is a first step helping them gain control of their spending,” explains Easley.

With personal finance management websites like mint.com, quicken.com and wesabe.com already available, why add another one? It comes down to trust: USAA customers feel more secure managing their money on usaa.com, says Easley. Consumers in general trust their banks by a 2-to-1 margin over personal financial management sites, according to a Javelin Strategy and Research survey.

Besides providing a safe, secure tool on usaa.com where members are already banking, the USAA Money Manager offers features that set it apart from competitors.

  • Customers don’t have to buy, learn or load new software. In fact, there is absolutely no set up. USAA accounts are already included. For non-USAA accounts, customers enter the account information and the Money Manager automatically captures and updates transactions. (USAA accounts are updated in real time; non-USAA accounts are refreshed daily).
  • The service is integrated within one page view, so customers don’t have to toggle between different sections of a website like users of other personal financial management services are required to do. “We give customers one financial view and show them how everything looks on one page,” says Easley. That means checking, savings, credit cards, 401(k) and other investments can be viewed all in one place.
  • A default budget is automatically created based on the last 90 days of spending history. The Money Manager places each transaction into one of five top spending categories such as groceries, gas and entertainment. “You can instantly see where your money is going,” says Easley. If you’ve seen one too many movies this month or eaten out more than you realized, the USAA Money Manager will let you know.

The tool doesn’t require deciphering rows and rows of numbers. Instead, financial data is shown in easy-to-understand and visually appealing colored pie charts and bar charts. If their spending changes, customers can easily customize the service by adding new categories and changing their spending targets. This radically simple and holistic view of spending gives members the information they need to get control, Easley notes.

The tool is available to all USAA bank customers, who can choose to use as few or as many features as they want, he adds. While personal financial management tools and services like USAA Money Manager aren’t new, there is renewed consumer interest in them, according to a study by Aite Group, an independent financial services research firm. And these online budgeting tools appear to be helping them.

According to the study:

  • 78% of consumers who used these tools report they have better control over their financial lives.
  • 72% report that they finally know where all their money is.
  • 41% report that they are saving more money.

“The first step to getting control of your finances is to understand what is going on,” says Easley. “We are educating our customers because you can’t change what you don’t understand or see,” he says.

USAA Money Manager is designed to make our members lives easier and this is just the beginning, explains Easley. In the future, the service will be available on mobile devices and include customized advice and alerts. “Along the way, as members ask for new functions and capabilities, the service will keep getting better,” Easley adds.

About USAA

USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 7.4 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military – and their families. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit USAA.com.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Wanda Downer August 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm

I am trying to decide whether to change from Quicken to USAA Money Manager

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