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Learning how to manage money as a couple is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face. A study by TD Bank found that nearly 40% of couples between the ages of 23 and 38 fight about money at least once a week.
Once a week! That’s 52 fights a year you could avoid by learning to manage money better as a couple.
That’s where the Zeta: Couples Finance app comes in. It’s a free budgeting tool designed for couples. Keep reading this Zeta review to find out if it’s right for you and your partner.
What is Zeta?
While most budgeting apps are great if just one person is overseeing the finances, Zeta caters to couples. If you’re living together, getting engaged, or already married, the app helps you merge your finances, set goals, and track the progress together.
Plus, it’s free.
With online web access and an easy-to-use app, you and your partner can access Zeta anywhere. That means you can see your income and spending at home during your weekly money date or while you’re on the go.
You connect all of your accounts – your checking, savings, investments, and debts. You can choose which accounts you want your partner to see. So, if you have a separate savings account that you don’t want to share, you can add it to the app to track your own spending without them knowing how much you have or what you’re using it for.
How Does Zeta Work?
If you’ve looked at other budgeting apps, you can probably guess that Zeta tracks your income and expenses. You can sync your transactions automatically if you connect your accounts. Or, if you want more control, you have the option to enter each transaction manually.
But Zeta is made for couples.
The app can simplify your finances, whether you’re just starting to merge your money or you’ve been doing it for years.
When you add the account, you mark it as “shared” or “personal.” Shared accounts are ones you share with your partner, while accounts marked personal are visible only to you.
You can assign each transaction to one partner or the other, or you can split it between the two of you.
The software updates your spending in real-time. You can create your own budgeting categories or use the preset ones that Zeta includes in the app.
One feature that sets Zeta apart is the ability to track shared financial goals while keeping your expenses separate. If you and your partner are working toward saving for a vacation or for a down payment on a house, Zeta will create a savings timeline to help you reach your goal.
Best Features of the Zeta App
Plenty of apps exist to help you with budgeting. But few are made especially for couples. Instead of fighting about your finances, create shared goals, and manage your accounts with Zeta. Here’s what makes Zeta an excellent money-management app for partners.
Some of the most popular budgeting apps come at a cost. But why should you pay money to manage your money? With Zeta, you don’t have to.
Zeta for couples makes personal finance accessible to everyone without hefty subscription fees. In fact, it doesn’t charge a fee at all! You get all the features of a powerful budgeting tool without forking over any money.
That includes automatic transaction importing, the ability to create your own categories, net worth tracking, a bill payment calendar, and keeping track of your personal and shared accounts and expenses.
Budgeting apps have been around the block a few times. Most free apps limit their features. Some free budgeting apps make you manually enter your transactions or won’t let you customize your budget categories.
But Zeta is different.
With Zeta for couples, your transactions will automatically sync when you link your accounts. The app will connect with your checking, savings, IRA, investment accounts, and more.
Plus, you can create shared and individual budgets to personalize how you track your expenses.
Rules can help you simplify tracking. Instead of manually assigning categories, rules can automate the process. For instance, if you go grocery shopping at Aldi every week, you can create a rule to apply the “groceries” label every time a transaction comes through.
Have you ever missed a due date? I have, and it’s no fun. Usually, companies are quick to add a late payment fee for a missed payment. But it’s my fault for not keeping a closer eye on the calendar.
Luckily, Zeta has an in-app bill calendar. When you first set up your account, the app will analyze your recent transactions and suggest bills to add to the calendar. This saves a lot of time and hassle. Instead of going through your paperwork or sifting through your account, Zeta does all the work for you.
When I set up my account, it automatically added my monthly Netflix payment, Verizon phone bill, student loan payments, and my internet service.
It didn’t catch all of them, so I had to add a few myself. But once the bills and due dates are added, you can see them all in one place.
The app also lets you set push notifications for your smartphone, texts, and emails to remind you about upcoming due dates.
When you share bank accounts, you don’t always know what the other person is spending money on. You might see a transaction you don’t recognize. Instead of opening a separate messaging app, sending a text, or picking up the phone, why not send a message straight from the budgeting app itself?
With Zeta, you can. The app is meant for couples. And couples need to communicate about their finances.
The memo feature inside the Zeta app lets you add notes to transactions, so you and your partner are always on the same page when it comes to your spending.
If you picked up a gift card for your daughter’s swim coach, you could add a memo like, “thank you gift for the swim coach.” Or, if your partner stopped on the way home from work to buy a few groceries, they could add a note in the app to keep you in the loop with your budget.
Some couples completely combine their finances. But some don’t. And that’s okay – there is no “wrong” or “right” way to manage your money.
While other budgeting apps can make it hard to keep some expenses separate, Zeta makes it easy.
Zeta lets you split expenses by an exact amount or by a percentage of the total transaction. If you have separate accounts but go out to eat together, you can account for that in the app.
Net worth tracker
If you want to improve your money situation, tracking your net worth is an excellent place to start. You know what they say: what gets measured gets managed.
Your net worth is the value of your assets after you subtract your liabilities. Zeta simplifies the process by syncing all of your accounts in one place and doing the math for you.
At a glance, you’ll see your net worth go up or down based on the choices you and your partner make.
Where Zeta Falls Short
Zeta is a relatively new app, so new features are still being developed. Setting up the app is straightforward, but it isn’t perfect.
One downside is the app is a little slow when it comes time to update your accounts. It syncs your transactions automatically, but the Zeta app tells you that refreshing the account can take up to two hours.
The app also falls short with tracking progress towards your savings goals. If you’re saving for a house or an upcoming vacation, Zeta doesn’t update your progress automatically. Even if you have a category in your budget for the savings goal, you have to update your progress manually.
Who Should Use the Zeta App?
Money is stressful enough. Trying to manage finances in a relationship isn’t easy, but Zeta can help.
It’s an excellent tool that can open up communication about money. The app can also keep you and your partner accountable for your savings goals.
Whether you share all of your finances and bank accounts or don’t have joint accounts at all, consider Zeta for money management. The app can track shared goals while still letting you keep your financial life separate from your partner.
If you’re single, you can still use Zeta as a budgeting app. Although, you won’t benefit from most of the features since it’s designed for couples. You’d be better off trying another one of the best budgeting apps to help with your finances.
Zeta Review: The Bottom Line
Most relationships have a spender and a saver. There’s likely been a time where you didn’t see eye to eye about your finances. That’s where Zeta comes in.
It has a lot of features that you rarely get with a free budgeting app. Zeta goes a step beyond importing your transactions by letting you customize the budget categories to fit your spending habits.
Plus, setting up savings goals and tracking your progress helps to keep you motivated. And the in-app communication lets you keep your partner up to date on expenses, so neither one of you is ever in the dark.
It isn’t as fast as some other high-end budgeting apps you’ll find, but it is perfect for couples.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one budgeting solution, try Zeta. It takes about five minutes to link your accounts and set up your budget. You have control over what accounts and transactions your partner can see while still being able to work toward shared financial goals.
Have you tried Zeta’s free budgeting app for couples yet?
Please let us know what you think in the comments below.