Investing

Status Money Review – Compare Your Finances & Make Smart Decisions


Would knowing that you have more debt than your peers motivate you to pay off the debt faster? Would seeing your income as a top 10% income motivate you to save more or to work even harder to reach the top 5%?

That’s the premise behind Status. It’s an app that tracks your income, spending, net worth and debt, and the app shows you how you compare to the national average (and your peer group).

Will knowing how you compare to other people help you improve? For a limited number of people, I think it might work.

Here’s what you need to know about Status before you download it.

Status Features

Status is a financial app that really aims to give you a snapshot of your entire financial life in one app. It’s got features like spending trackers (which automatically categorize your transactions), interest rate analyzers that show you whether you’ve got competitive interest rates on your debts, checking and savings accounts. The app helps you track your net worth, and it even has a predictive component that tells you when you’re likely to overspend.

Of course, with each feature, you’ll actually get information on how you compare to the national average and to your peer group. As shallow as it sounds, Status gives you a fair idea of what your financial status is compared to your peer group. 

As far as I know, Status is the only app that allows you to compare your personal financial status with the statuses of others (while maintaining anonymity).

At first, I thought this was pretty cool to see how I ranked, but in time I got really annoyed. For example, the debt section showed that 100% of my debt is credit card debt, compared to a lower percentage of my peers. It also claimed that I had an uncompetitive interest rate. Thankfully, I’m fine with both of those, because I pay my credit cards in full each month. I focus on using a rewards credit card for everything to maximize points!

The spending tracker, which at first seemed interesting and even motivating, started to annoy me when I saw spending categories where I “overspent” my peers.

The more time I spent with the app, the more I realized that I’m initially fairly defensive when it comes to new information. Knowing where I stand relative to my peers is unlikely to motivate me in a positive way.

However, not everyone needs to react to Status the same way I did. I could certainly see someone using the information to get motivated to pay off debt, to cut restaurant spending, or to increase their income.

At the end of the day, I think Status will be helpful for some people, but it will put others in a bad headspace. It’s all about how you personally react to information that compares you to other people.

How Does Status Make Money?

Since Status is a free app to download, it’s important to understand how the company makes money.

As with many personal finance apps, Status serves up personalized ads from their partners. For example, if you’ve got a weak interest rate at a bank account, you’ll probably get an offer for an online savings account. If you have a high interest rate on your credit card, count on a 0% APR credit card.

In a lot of cases, these ads will have ideal products for your situation, but be sure to think before applying. I like to read reviews before I open up a new financial product, and I recommend that you do the same.

Also, you may find better deals on financial products by using financial comparison engines like LendingTree (for most debt products), Credible (for student loans) or CardRatings for credit card comparisons.

Bottom Line

Status is a cool app. It’s fun to see how your finances compare to the finances of others. I don’t think the app is particularly actionable (although it does let you set a budget), but it could be motivating for the right person.

Since Status is free, I recommend giving it a download if you’re curious about other people’s money. If you hate it, delete it. If you love it, use it for your own good.

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