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Having a spouse or significant other doesn’t always mean that you’re saving money equally or even jointly. Sometimes that’s really hard to do as it requires a lot of trust and communication and the willingness to combine incomes in order to meet a savings goal.
If you and your partner are in such a place where you want to start saving more money together, whether that’s for a specific goal or just for the long term, there is a new app on the market that can help.
The Twine app allows couples to work together to meet their financial goals. This could be a down payment on a house, a vacation to Hawaii, or even saving up for a wedding. Whatever the case, the Twine app is here to help couples get on the right financial path together.
And while Twine is designed to help couples, it’s perfectly okay to use alone too so really it’s an app designed for anyone looking to save more money.
In this review I’ll tell you about the Twine app, how to get started, how it can benefit you and so much more.
Twine is backed by the life insurance company John Hancock and was launched in November of 2017. Twine is currently only available on the IOS platform if you want to download the app, but you could sign up online and manage your account directly from your home computer.
Twine has their startup office in San Francisco and John Hancock office in Boston, and have a team of 28 individuals working to make Twine thrive for couples.
From their profile, you can see that this is a team geared toward fostering teamwork and a lasting, professional relationship with their clients.
The app is beautifully and intuitively designed using smart technology, making it very user friendly. The graphics and text are simple and the color scheme soothing with it’s yellow and white theme and dark grey text.
Overall I would say the app has a very modern and refreshing feel to it and you don’t get confused by a bunch of drop-downs or side-bars to choose from. The options available are very simple, so you can do exactly what you need to do directly from the app i.e. deposit money, withdraw money, change your profile and more.
In a nutshell, the Twine app is meant to help couples save and invest their money toward a common goal. But the app can also be used by a single individual just looking to save more money.
If you’re looking to save money, then the Twine app is for you, whether your joining with a partner or going solo.
How to Get Started With Twine
Signing Up and Linking Your Bank Account
Getting started with Twine is easy to do and 100% FREE to sign up. The only requirement is that you have to be 18 years or older. You’ll need to provide your email and set up a password when you create your new login.
You’ll also be asked to provide your phone number as an extra means of identification (required by financial apps). You’ll receive a text with a code to confirm your identification.
Those first few steps take literally seconds. From there you get to choose a cute avatar and then link your bank account and essentially log into your bank as normal, just via the app for linking purposes.
There are two options for linking your bank or credit union account. If your banking institution is supported by one of the many listed by Twine, then it is a fairly quick process of finding your bank, linking it with Twine and verifying your banking credentials. Twine recommends this as the best way to get started.
If you are with a smaller credit union or bank that doesn’t come up in a search, then you can enter your account and routing number. Twine will make two small deposits into your account (typically under $1) and then have you verify the amounts.
Choosing a Goal
Once your account is linked, you then have the option to choose your savings goal. Here are the goal options available:
- Kids – Having them, funding their college, buying them a car, etc
- Emergency Savings – For any of life’s unexpected circumstances thrown your way
- General Savings – Can be for small or large things or just to start saving more
- Custom – Anything you could want, like paying for Grad School, a purebred dog, or high end shoes
- Vacation – Save money and work on taking a vacation once (or twice) a year
- Large Purchase – TV, engagement ring, computer, etc
- New Home – Here’s where you want to save for your down payment which is usually 20% of the home’s estimated value
- Wedding – Twine’s newest goal option for those preparing to tie the knot
When you select your goal, you can choose whatever amount you want to work on saving, from $10 to $10K! Based on your amount, Twine will give you a list of options for automatic deposit (or choose a custom amount). This direct deposit amount can be changed at any time.
The monthly deposit will then be broken down into weekly deposits into your Twine account so that you can stay on top of your goals. So if you opt to save only $20 a month, then you’ll see a deposit of $5 each week into your Twine account.
Select Managed Portfolio
After your goal has been taken care of, you have the option to choose an investment portfolio, but this is by no means a requirement, but simply Twine’s way of getting a feel for your investment plans and knowledge.
There are three portfolio types: conservative, moderate and aggressive and are based on the level of investment risk you are willing to take and how much your net worth is.
If you want to grow your money and quickly, then an aggressive portfolio would be selected for you, but if you are a bit more cautious with your money then one of the other two portfolio types will be recommended.
Confirm Goal and Account
Once you’ve completed all the above steps you can review your goals and confirm that everything looks good. Then you’ll be asked to provide your full name, address, birthday and social security…all of which are needed to verify your identity. Twine does not use the information to run a credit check.
Add a Partner To The Mix
When everything comes out confirmed, you can then link up with the partner of your choice to work on your common savings goal. Or keep the account open just for your own personal use and add a partner later down the road once you feel more comfortable with your saving skills.
Types of Twine Accounts
One great thing to note about Twine is that you can set up your account as an individual (though it was created with the intention to help partners save together). Because of this they have a few different account options that they offer.
Standard savings account that you can use for your personal goal, i.e. a new pair of shoes, handbag or maybe even a present for your partner.
This account consists of two individual accounts linked by a common goal, like a wedding, vacation, or buying a new car.
Cash accounts will earn interest (based on current federal interest rates, currently around .8%) on the money placed in there and will be deposited into your account monthly.
Your money is protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and protects you against a loss of your insured deposits up to $250,000.
Managed Brokerage Account
If you decide to open an account and invest your money, Twine will recommend an investment portfolio for you based on your personal goals, financial situation, and the level of risk you want to take. Investment portfolios are comprised of Exchanged Traded Funds and Mutual Funds.
As with all investing, the changing market could result in some losses to the value of your account. Accounts created after November 2018 are yours and yours alone, making you the sole owner and contributor.
One thing to note is that they do charge $.25 per month for every $500 invested. The other alternative is to save your money in cash for free.
Who Can Use Twine ?
The beauty of Twine is that you don’t actually have to be a couple in order to use it. You don’t need to be married, in a relationship or even related! So yes, feel free to reach out to a friend to see if you have a common savings goal in mind…or use it alone, as that’s an option too!
Twine works by letting you and your partner set up a joint Twine goal (whatever that may be) with two individual brokerage accounts. While you will have a commonly shared goal, your individual account will reflect your Twine preferences.
This means that each individual will only have access to their specific contributions and earnings and you can’t dip into each other’s individual accounts.
Managing Your Money With Twine
When you opened your Twine account, you should have automatically chosen the monthly amount you wanted deposited into your savings account. If you started with a low amount and want to increase this, you can do so at any time.
If you’ve recently made a deposit into your Twine account and need to take that money back out, keep in mind that there can be up to a five day holding period before the funds clear your Twine account. When the holding period clears, you should be able to withdraw that money without a problem.
If at any time you want to pause or skip a deposit, you can do so really easily by logging into your Twine app. Under the “Activity Tab” you can select “Recurring Deposit” and choose to skip the next payment (with all subsequent payments to follow on time) or you can pause payments and resume at your convenience.
Pausing is a great option if you may not be able to meet your savings goal for that month. It allows you to take a breather and still keep your account active and ready for when you can resume your automatic deposits.
It can take 2-3 business days to see withdrawals from your cash account deposited into your bank account. Withdrawals from your investment account can take 7-10 days as they will need to sell your investments before they can deposit the money into your bank account.
Deposits and withdrawals can happen at any time, for free and without penalty. The money is yours, after all.
Why Is Twine Beneficial?
Using Twine is just as easy as setting up a savings account with your regular bank. Twine considers themselves a step above banks because their interest rates tend to be a bit higher so you’ll earn more on the money you have in your account.
Their rate adjusts with the current federal interest rate and the money accrued is deposited into your Twine account monthly. Twine is also better than a savings account because you have the option to invest, which gives your savings account the chance to grow even faster.
And as an app that lets you partner with someone to meet a savings goal, that’s pretty unique in itself. Because while you are combining your money together toward a common goal, Twine makes sure that each individual retains their separate account with separate access so that joint savings issues don’t arise.
Pros and Cons of Twine?
- Easy sign up process via the web or app
- 100% FREE to use
- No initial deposit required to set up account
- Set up automatic deposits, and “skip” or “pause” your deposits when needed
- Can use Twine with a partner or set up an individual account
- Multiple “Goal” options to choose from, based on your saving needs
- Option to save in cash or to invest in a managed brokerage account
- Twine is backed by a well established financial institution, John Hancock
- Regular recommendations, tips, and progress updates on your goals
- Secured account and privacy protected
- Only available on IOS
- $.25 a month for every $500 invested (.6% annually), which is a bit higher than some similar apps
Is Twine Legit or a Scam?
I don’t think an app backed by a organization like John Hancock can be anything but legitimate. There are a lot of great reviews about Twine and its usability and other than a few complaints about some desired features on the app, most of the reviews are extremely positive.
Is Twine Worth Checking Out?
I think anyone with short term savings goals should check out the Twine app. The interest accrued on a cash account is one of the best out there.
Another thing I like about the Twine app is the option to partner with someone and that they don’t need to be a spouse or even a relative, just two people working toward a similar goal (i.e. Girl’s or Guy’s Weekend in Hawaii).
And if you don’t want to partner with someone that’s totally okay too! Set the account up as an individual and set your own personal goal.
Also, even if you have more long term goals, I think Twine can help. The app is so simple to use and is set up in a way to see your goals and actions right there in one place. You can see how far you have come and how far you have to go and pat yourself on the back for your progress.
When you’re ready, you can always try out a managed brokerage account and see how you do with investing. You could grow your money even faster with minimal risk and therefore reach your goals sooner.
If you try the Twine app and don’t like it, you can always close your account. It’s easy to do and there is no penalty. All money saved will go back to your bank account.
Other Apps Similar to Twine
It wouldn’t be fair to mention Twine without throwing out a few other apps available that are similar in that they help you save money or invest your money. Plus these will be good options for both IOS users and Android users.
- Acorns – Get $5 when you sign up. Check out the FFL review here
- Digit – Get $5 when you sign up. Check out the FFL review here
- Betterment – strictly for those looking to invest
- M1 Finance – Save, invest and even borrow with a low cost line of credit
If you’re interested in short term or long term savings or stepping your feet into the investing pool, Twine could be the perfect app for you as it offers the convenience of both at the tip of your fingers.
With a well known organization backing them, you can rest assured that Twine is a legitimate app and company working to help their customers reach their financial goals.
If you’ve tried the Twine app, let me know how it has worked for you in the comments below. If you plan on checking it out, let me know that too! Thanks for reading and good luck with your future saving plans.