Money tools are lifesavers. I don’t know how we lived without them back in the day and am always on the search for the best one out there. I’ve been trying out a new one called Bean, and I kid you not nearly had an anger heart-attack (do they exist?).
Right there, in black and white – highlighted the hidden fact I’ve been paying for Experian credit reports that I thought I cancelled over a year ago. £14.99 a month!
You know when rage starts tingling in your fingers and moves up your arms, to your face – and then you start shouting and moaning about the company on Twitter? Well actually, that’s probably just me.
So yeah, it’s hard to be organised as it is. Never mind financially. You sign up to things, not know what’s going in and out. Bagging yourself a free tool is vital in this day and age.
What is Bean?
It’s kind of like a money personal assistant, but on your computer. You know what, it’s so nice to have a money tool that isn’t just an app. I don’t know why, but I don’t love doing finances on a phone, I feel like for something so important, you need to do it on something sturdy! ha.
Really simply, it’s all your banking in one place so you can get organised. Apparently, £448 million is wasted on unused subscriptions every year (£100 odd quid of that is me) and people are often not even aware they’re signed up to them. Bean is an amazing way to weed these things out.
If you pay for utilities on your card, Bean can also offer you alternatives that will save you money. I honestly wish people would be up for switching utilities more often – as changing just one bill saves about £200 a year! Think of the cake you could buy with that…
How to do I set it up?
It’s so easy. You just need your bank details and 10 minutes in your day. Click here to get started.
Once you’ve filled in all the important details, you connect your bank account(s) to it. There’s a big list of them (I had to search for my Marks and Spencer credit card), and it’s just clicking a button.
Is it safe?
Handing over your bank details is a big deal. Although at university, I used to hand over my card and PIN number to people I’d known a couple of months all the time, so they could get me munchies from the shop when I was too lazy. I’m full of great decisions!
Anway, the first thing you should know is that your bank details aren’t actually stored in the tool, so Bean itself never actually sees them.
Bean has linked up with Yodlee who is the worlds biggest data aggregation platform (I don’t know what that means either, but sounds legit), who sends Bean over read-only info. Basically, Yodlee knows what it’s doing, it’s been around for yonks and works with major banks.
If you do try out Bean and decide it’s just not for you – when you close your account, they’ll delete all your info.
If it’s free, how does Bean make money eh?
Get you smartypants, smart question! So when it comes to day to day use, Bean doesn’t cost you a penny.
Let me explain. At some point (if it’s relevant) Bean will offer you products that will save you money. If you do sign up to those products – they’ll get a fee for recommending you. It’s pretty much how every website makes money these days, from MoneySavingExpert.com to The Mail Online.
I really like Bean. It’s not nearly as spammy as a lot of its competitors and it’s not overly complicated.
It’s an easy place to see what’s coming in and what’s coming out. From there you can get organised. Without Bean, I wouldn’t have realised I was STILL paying out for Credit Expert (grrrr).
Honestly, you really should sign up and try it out. It will give you clarity, and even if you don’t love what you’re seeing – it will provide the first stepping stone to getting organised.
To sum it up – Bean means you’ll have more cash in your pocket.
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.
This post has been supported by Bean but all thoughts are my own