I’m not holding back in my Wallet app review. As a millennial who thoroughly enjoys looking at numbers, I was eager to test out this app. Mainly because I’m a devoted excel user. I typically monitor my spending by manually updating a spreadsheet.
That said, I was curious about what the Wallet app might have in store for me. Could my spending habits really be automated? Could I ditch the meticulously laid out cells I so desperately cling to and instead lean into made-for-me bar charts? If you’re a money nerd like me, you are totally geeking out right now.
There are plenty of money saving apps ready for you to download. Is the Wallet app one of them? I tested it out so you can make the decision for yourself.
What is Wallet?
First of all, what is Wallet?
Wallet is a financial app that keeps track of all of your accounts in one spot. You can track spending habits and quickly see a list of transactions from every financial account you sync to the app.
The app was created by BudgetBakers, a small team based out of the Czech Republic. The main premise of the app is to help you see the big picture in your financial world.
This is especially helpful if you make purchases using multiple accounts, like credit cards and your checking account.
How does Wallet work?
The app works by adding all of your financial accounts and syncing your transaction history. Then you can review, learn, and adjust your spending by using preset categories or customize your own.
I give Wallet a thumbs up in my app review for making the syncing process relatively quick and easy.
The app has three main sections to help you understand your financial data:
- Accounts – Breakdown of your spending across all accounts, including debit and credit card spending.
- Wallet Now – Shows a simplified version of your accounts, plus a list of all of your bank connections.
- Statistics – Where you’ll find all of those colored charts that I’m goo-goo eyed over.
How much does the Wallet app cost?
Wallet includes free and premium versions, but if you want to make it easy on yourself, go with the premium version.
The premium feature is $21.99 annually, and Wallet allows a two-week free trial period, which I like.
What does the free version include?
Honestly, not much. You can manually submit how much physical cash you have on hand as well as current balances from existing bank accounts. I don’t like manually updating this within the app because if you are anything like me, things move quickly inside of your bank account.
If you choose to stick with the free version, be warned that you will either have to do a file import using an Excel, CSV, or OFX file or update your account by hand. This can lead to a large margin for error. Plus, this can be tedious and impedes on your Netflix binge-watching nights.
Remember my trusty spreadsheet? Yes, that gets manually updated so I was hoping the free version would help me avoid that, but it doesn’t. It’s essentially the same thing as what I already do.
Wallet app review: the good
You can change spending categories to fit your needs
Once you have synced your bank and credit card accounts to the app, you can go through past transactions and review assigned labels.
Wallet can get some of the categories wrong—it incorrectly labeled a bar outing as my rent payment—so you will want to go through and change categories so it makes sense to you.
Frequently used categories
I like to keep all of my vacation expenses lumped together. Regardless if I go to a bar, eat out, or rent a surfboard, my vacation expenses are all under one category.
Wallet displays most frequently used categories at the top of the categories page which can speed up the re-categorization process. It’s a handy and functional feature that I used a ton within the app.
You can share financial stats with others
You can share your financial stats in the app with others, which I can see working really well if you want to hit specific goals. It also works well for couples who share their finances together. This is a premium feature but might be worth it if you want to get your partner on board.
There’s a really fun money mindset game
Navigate to the Wallet Now section of the app. Once you have five transactions imported, you unlock a game called “Was it Worth It?” This was actually really interesting because I haven’t seen any other app discuss how spending can affect your emotions.
In the game, you can rate how your transactions make you feel. You can choose between love, neutral, and dislike. Your responses are then calculated into your emo index, which I found clever and cute.
I’m pretty neutral with my spending so far, but I think that will change as new transactions pop up throughout the month.
Wallet app review: the bad
The free version doesn’t include bank connections
Connecting your bank account is a premium feature. This is a little annoying because I can connect bank accounts using apps like Mint without paying for it.
My credit card payments messed up my reporting
I use a credit card for most of my purchases. I didn’t like how Wallet included that in my spending report. Essentially, they are counting my spending twice.
For example, I use my credit card to purchase groceries. Then I pay off my credit card for that grocery purchase. Wallet counts a credit card payment as a purchase, which isn’t accurate.
Categories are not clickable
I also didn’t like how the categories were not clickable inside of the spending report view. I can see the brightly colored bars showing how much I have spent in each category, but I can’t see a breakdown of what’s inside the category.
For that, I would have to toggle back over to accounts to see a list of transactions.
Transactions posted to your account are not instantaneous
Bank and credit card accounts are set to automatically refresh every 24 hours, so if you just bought a beer at the local dive bar with your card, it more than likely won’t show up until tomorrow.
If your bank uses multi-factor authentication, you can manually refresh multiple times per day, but Wallet recommends waiting around two hours between refreshes.
This doesn’t bother me because I am not a maniac and check my bank account balance every hour. That would mean I don’t have any trust in myself and I’m not budgeting properly (which I do). One new update each day is perfect for me but if you need to get your spending under control, this could work against you.
Using Venmo with the Wallet app
Here’s the thing. I’m an avid user of Venmo. I’m pretty much cash-free. I like using it to pay friends for various things: Uber rides, dinners, sending a coffee, or receiving rent from my sister.
The problem with using Venmo with Wallet, and with any other app for that matter, is that the Venmo transactions aren’t labeled like they are within the Venmo app. This can make it tricky to remember what you paid for in the past using Venmo.
Who should use the Wallet app?
If you only look at your account balance totals and don’t bother to look at individual transactions, you might consider downloading the Wallet app. It’s great for those who don’t look at their finances regularly.
I think this app also works well for beginners. That is, those who are taking on financial responsibility for the first time.
I did not find the Wallet app useful for myself, personally. I was hoping there would be a budgeting feature that helps me keep track of spending without going over my budget. Plus, I already keep a close eye on my spending habits using my own methods, and I didn’t feel the Wallet app helped me learn anything new about my finances.
Pros & cons
- Customizable — You can change spending categories to fit your needs.
- You can share financial stats with others — If you and your spouse are saving together, you can share your stats with them.
- It’s fun to use — Wallet offers a fun game that can help you stick with budgeting.
- Limited free version — There’s no bank syncing ability with the free version.
- No breakdown of spending — You can see the categories you spend in, but not where you’re spending.
- Transactions posted to your account are not instantaneous — If you want to check Wallet frequently, know that they only update your transactions every 24 hours.
The Wallet app makes it easy to see all of your financial accounts in one spot, but you need the premium version to connect your accounts.
You won’t be able to build a budget with Wallet (yet) but you can find nifty charts and statistics of your income and expenses.
While the ability to see all transactions in one app is helpful to change your behavior with money, you can find the same feature in free versions of other money saving apps.