A Genius subscription gives you access to real financial experts who can help with all things money. We're just a text away at 639-37.
Not sure where to start? Or what to ask? That's okay! We're here to make it simple to manage your money. Before you text Genius, check out some of our commonly asked questions below. Keep in mind, once you're messaging with a genius, we'll personalize our advice to fit your specific needs and goals.
Commonly asked questions
How do I make a budget?
We'll look at your regular income, monthly bills, and debt (like credit card balances or student loans) to create a custom spending plan for you. Next, we'll chat through your major financial goals (like saving for a house) and create a timeline for reaching them. And you probably want to know how much you can spend on the fun stuff each month. We'll help with that, too.
Where does all my money go?
We have your past 3 months of spending data on file and can break down where most of your money is going. Your spending stats provide an outline of your day-to-day expenses. They include weekly grocery trips, new clothes, gym fees, and more. More importantly, we'll help you learn how to stop overspending and start saving up.
What are some good spending habits I should start?
Want to start fresh with better spending habits? We'll share our favorite tips! Here's one: wait 24 hours before making a big purchase so you buy responsibly, not on a whim.
How much can I afford to spend on a house?
Short answer: it's different for everyone. We'll review your info and help you think about the major deciding factors, like how much you can save for a down payment, understanding mortgage requirements, and what overall price range makes sense for your lifestyle.
Paying off debt
What's the difference between "good debt" and "bad debt?"
Not all debt is bad. Good debts, like student loans, mortgages, and business loans, can help you meet personal, career, and financial goals. We can help you prioritize repaying bad or toxic debts, like credit cards and payday loans.
How do I improve my credit score?
A good credit score (anything over 680) can help you get approved for apartments, car leases, mortgages, and more. But how do you build or improve your score? We'll help you identify debts that may be negatively impacting your credit. One quick tip: avoid applying for multiple credit cards at the same time.
How much money should I have in my emergency fund?
A good rule of thumb is to save about 3 months worth of expenses for emergencies. But, finances are not one size fits all. We'll customize our recommendation for you, considering factors like your debt-to-income ratio, if you have children, and where you live.
How much do I need for a down payment?
Generally, larger down payments keep mortgage interest rates low and monthly payments reasonable. For most people, that means putting down about 20% of the home's value — but this isn't always the case. If you're a veteran or a first-time homeowner, there may be some helpful exceptions that apply to you. We can walk you through.
Should I use extra cash to pay off debt or invest?
It's different for everyone, but the answer usually boils down to a little bit of both. We'll talk through your financial profile to identify your personal priorities.
What's the difference between a Roth IRA and traditional IRA? Which one should I have?
IRAs can be an important part of your retirement plan, even if you have access to a 401(k). These types of accounts provide their own benefits down the road, but there are contribution limits and income caps to consider.
With a Traditional IRA, contributions may be tax deductible, and you don't pay taxes on the interest and investment gains until the funds are withdrawn. A Roth IRA is a little different, with one major perk. You pay income taxes on the funds the year you contribute them. That means any interest or investment gains grow tax free over the lifetime of the account.