Getting on top of my finances and making sure that I don’t have any unwanted monthly payments coming out of my bank account is always something I plan to sort out, but so often gets pushed back down to the bottom of my lengthy ‘to do’ list. Sound familiar?
So when I was given the opportunity to work with Bean and test out their new personal finance app, I thought it would be a good excuse to finally find out what my regular expenses are and see if I could make some savings!
♥ What is it?
Bean’s three core functions are to find, track and manage your bills and subscriptions. Once you have signed up to Bean (which is completely free and easy – more details below) and connected your bank account or credit card to it, Bean will identify every recurring payment and allows you to track, switch and cancel anything reported.
This is all made possible without ever having to speak to another customer service agent, or scour the pages of a website trying to figure out how to cancel your subscription…
♥ How do I use it?
Signing up to Bean is straightforward and after I had created a username and password, all I needed to do to connect my bank account was enter my online banking passwords and memorable data. I connected my account which I use for quite a lot of my business related expenses and it took just a matter of minutes for all of my monthly recurring payments to show, up so I could then start sifting through them and see which ones I couple potentially cancel.
The figure at the top shows how much I spent last month on reoccurring payments, with each payment being broken down individually and a red or green arrow beside each one, identifying whether it had increased or decreased from the previous month.
When clicking on to each payment, users are then given the option, ‘Remove from List,’ ‘cancel Contract’ and ‘Back to Dashboard.’ You can also see how many months each payment has been going for and how much you have spent in total on that service (see pic below with Dropbox example).
♥ Is it safe though?
Bean take security seriously and explain that the green padlock in the browser address bar means all the information we share (for example, passwords or account numbers) is private when sent to their site. In other words, they can’t actually see our financial information.
They are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. There’s a whole section about security which you can read on the website.
♥ What did I think?
Bean was refreshingly easy and quick to use and has made me question several of my monthly payments. I vaguely knew that I paid for cloud storage but wasn’t exactly sure how much I paid per month and for which exact platforms. From using Bean, I could see that I use One Drive, Dropbox and Apple storage and am now planning to narrow it down to just one platform as soon as I have sorted out the other accounts.
I had also forgotten that I was paying £9.99 per month for Spotify, though I barely use it at the moment. I used to use it for my running playlist (because I could listen to it offline with the Premium subscription) but since I’m not training at the moment, I decided to downgrade to the free subscription and give the free version of Amazon Music a try too.
Bean is the sort of platform I intended to use from time to time, just as a virtual check-in to see where I can cut down on spending. Being able to cancel subscriptions directly through it is a handy option too, saving me time which is always a winner.
Apparently £448 million is wasted on unused subscriptions every year in the UK. I’m now going to connect my husband’s account to it to see what else we can save on too!
♥ Where do I sign up?
You can sign up to Bean HERE – remember it’s FREE, easy to use and it’s a great way of seeing exactly where your money is going and whether there are ways to reduce any of your monthly payments.
This post has been supported by Bean but all thoughts are my own.