It’s like having your mother in your back pocket, nudging you into making better choices with your money.
When I spend too much, the Clarity Money app taps me on the shoulder the next day via push notification: You spent $110 yesterday, a little high for you. I go to the app to check out what I spent all that money on. It tells me: You spent $59 on dinner; maybe you should eat in tonight. I comply.
That’s exactly what serial entrepreneur Adam Dell intended when he cofounded Clarity in 2015. Dell told Barron’s Next that he wanted to empower consumers to improve their financial health by providing them with actionable advice. The app uses a combination of behavioral and data science to get into your head. It definitely got into mine.
Setup is a cinch. After you download the app, you link your investment and bank accounts and credit and debit cards via Clarity’s handy list. The app mines all of your data and organizes it into neat charts that show your budget and where you’re spending your dollars.
At first, I was skeptical about Clarity’s usefulness when I began beta-testing the app in December, ahead of its official launch on iOS devices in January. It looked a lot like Mint, Intuit’s budgeting app, which also connects to your accounts and breaks out a digestible snapshot of your financial situation.
Unfortunately, Mint gave me indigestion. I gave up on the app within months of using it back in 2011 because it made me feel bad about my spending habits and didn’t really provide…