Talking about money is often thought of as being taboo. However, if you’re in a serious relationship or getting married, money talk is simply an inevitability.
This is actually a good thing. After all, money is a common source of fuel for arguments between couples. If you and your partner have drastically different financial views, this can lead to tension and unnecessary stress on your relationship. Ultimately, to get on the same financial page as your spouse or partner, communication is critical.
One way to work through financial differences is to create a financial roadmap for your future that makes both parties happy. Wealth accumulation should really be a team effort, and it starts with agreeing on how to save and invest your money.
Thankfully, with Twine, working toward a happy financial future is simple for couples. If you want to synchronize your saving and investing goals, signing up for Twine might be a step in the right direction.
How Twine Works
One advantage of personal finance apps is that they save time and simplify life. Twine isn’t an exception here, and the platform helps couples collaborate on their short- and long-term financial goals.
Twine is currently available on iOS mobile devices and on PCs through the company’s website. The platform is backed by insurance company John Hancock, and accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. If you want to start tackling your finances as a team, Twine is a safe and reliable way to get started.
Step 1: Create Account and Link Your Bank
Twine requires an account to start saving and investing. You create your account with your email address and phone number. Twine sends a SMS verification code to confirm your account.
Once you create your account, you link your bank account to Twine. Twine uses Plaid to link your bank account, which is the same technology used by popular apps like Acorns and Betterment. Twine encrypts your information for security and your credentials are never made available to Twine.
Twine has two options for connecting a linked bank account. The fastest method is to search for your bank because most major financial institutions integrate with Twine. If you can’t find your bank listed on the platform, you can manually enter your account and routing numbers instead.
Twine can take up to two business days to verify your bank account if you manually link it. If you use the search feature, your Twine account should connect immediately or within a few hours.
Step 2: Create Saving Goals and Begin Saving
Twine has two different account types: a savings account and an investment account. Additionally, you and your partner can open individual or joint accounts depending on whether you have separate finances.
You don’t have to invest your money with Twine, and its savings account is where most of the app’s functionality shines. Twine encourages couples to create savings goals to help determine how much money to save each month. Common Twine goals include saving money for:
- An emergency fund
- Wedding planning
- Your child’s college education
- A down payment for your home
- A large purchase
- General savings
- Custom goals
You need a minimum of $5 to open your Twine savings account. Each goal lets you set a financial target, your monthly contribution, and your partner’s monthly contribution. You can also create individual and joint saving goals and automate withdrawals to ensure you’re both putting money aside.
Twine’s saving account pays a variable interest rate depending on current federal interest rates. Unfortunately, Twine has recently reduced its rate to 0% as interest rates have bottomed out, but historically the account paid as much as 1.05% interest, which is respectable for a free savings app.
However, Twine’s primary goal isn’t to be a high-yield savings account. Rather, Twine helps automate your savings, clarify financial goals, and synchronize saving efforts between you and your partner.
Step 3: Invest Your Money
In many ways, Twine is similar to robo-advisors that invest your money in specific portfolios to match your investment goals and risk tolerance. You need to deposit at least $100 to your Twine brokerage account to start investing, which is more than popular robo-advisors like SoFi Invest that don’t have a minimum funding requirement. However, $100 is still fairly low in the world of robo-advisor requirements.
Twine invests your money in a variety of exchanged-traded funds (ETFs). It’s worth noting that you can invest in the same ETFs if you open up your own brokerage account with companies like Webull or Robinhood. However, Twine can help beginner investors get in the habit of starting to invest because you can set up automatic contributions and don’t have to research individual stocks or ETFs yourself.
Twine currently offers three portfolios and optimizes your portfolio composition as you approach your financial goal to reduce risk:
- Conservative. Contains 94% or more bond ETFs and 6% stock ETFs if you have a goal with a time frame shorter than five years. Goal timelines of 15 years or more change the composition to 55% to 70% stock ETFs.
- Moderate. Contains 90% or more bond ETFs and 10% stock ETFs if you have a goal time frame shorter than five years. Goal timelines of 15 years or more change the composition to 55% to 70% stock ETFs.
- Aggressive. Contains 60% or more bond ETFs and 40% stock ETFs if you have a goal time frame shorter than five years. Goal timelines of 15 years or more change the composition to 90% stock ETFs and 10% bond ETFs.
Twine’s moderate and conservative portfolios are fairly safe investments because of their bond concentration. If you’re setting short-term goals and are risk averse, both portfolios are worth considering. In contrast, the aggressive portfolio caters to couples who want to focus on growth and longer-term goals.
In reality, any Twine portfolio can lose value depending on the market. However, part of learning how to invest involves accepting risk and to trust in long-term success rather than trying to time the market.
Twine costs $0.25 for every $500 you invest, or 0.60% annually. In the world of robo-advisors, this isn’t a competitive management fee. For example, Betterment and Wealthfront charge 0.25% annually. Additionally, both platforms have more portfolio options and let you open a variety of investment accounts, like a Roth IRA or 401(k).
However, like its savings account, Twine isn’t designed to compete with the best robo-advisors. Twine is ideal for couples who are learning to invest and want to track their goals together. If you’re more serious about investing, choose another robo-advisor or online stock brokerage over Twine.
Step 4: Withdraw and Set New Goals
Twine helps couples stay on track with saving and investing. Once you reach your goals, it’s time to withdraw money from your Twine account to deposit back into your bank account.
You can withdraw money from a Twine goal at any time, even if it isn’t complete. You can also choose to withdraw a specific amount rather than completely depleting the funds for a goal. Cash withdrawals from your savings account take two to three business days to deposit in your bank. Investment withdrawals can take between seven and 10 business days to sell your investments and deposit your money. You must wait five days to withdraw money that was just deposited into a goal or investment account.
If you and your partner enjoy using Twine, there’s no reason to stop using the app after completing a goal. Twine lets you create an unlimited number of individual and joint goals, and if Twine helps you save more money than budgeting on your own, the app is worth keeping.
However, Twine acts mainly as a set of training wheels if you’re trying to learn the basics of saving and investing. As an alternative, you can set up automatic deposits from your own bank to a high-yield savings account like the CIT Savings Builder. Similarly, DIY-investing or using a zero-fee brokerage account also gives you more control than Twine’s portfolios, so you shouldn’t stick with Twine indefinitely.
Twine is largely an educational tool that helps couples organize their financial planning. To assist coupes, Twine has two main features:
1. “Me & We” Goals
Twine focuses on helping couples set and achieve financial goals. The app is incredibly flexible when it comes to setting goals with your significant other. Shared goals let you coordinate savings for small and major purchases, but you can still set personal goals for your own purchases. You can also use a single Twine account with your partner or each create your own depending on your preferences.
2. Goal Dashboard
Twine displays your financial goals and your progress toward each goal on a central dashboard. If you tap on a goal, you can quickly view the percentage of the goal you’ve accomplished, the current balance, and a history of deposits made by you and your partner. Overall, the platform is incredibly visually appealing and intuitive, making it easy to check in on your progress and to stay motivated.
Most personal finance apps don’t cater directly to couples. This makes Twine unique and also creates several advantages:
- Simplicity. With Twine, you and your partner can both create your own account to start managing your finances. Alternatively, you can use a single account if one partner doesn’t want to use the app or if you connect both bank accounts to one Twine account. Creating an account is also fast and simple, and Twine helps keep you on track with recurring deposits to reach your goals.
- Low Account Minimums. Twine’s saving and investing accounts require $5 and $100 to get started, respectively. Although some robo-advisors and saving apps don’t have a minimum requirement, Twine is still beginner-friendly. By contrast, Personal Capital, a popular financial planning app, requires $100,000 to use its investment services. Twine provides an accessible way for beginners to improve their savings and begin investing with a much lower barrier to entry.
- Flexibility. Twine doesn’t require opening both a savings and an investing account. If you only want to use Twine as a cash savings account, you can do so without paying fees. If you want to invest, you can use one of Twine’s portfolios to start growing your wealth.
- Unlimited and Custom Goals. Twine lets you create as many individual and joint goals as you need. Additionally, although there are several goal categories, you can also create custom saving goals and name them accordingly. Ultimately, this means Twine helps any household save more money, and you aren’t limited by strict goal categories or the number of goals you can set.
Twine is a beginner-friendly app that’s flexible and perfect for couples who are learning how to save and invest. However, there are several disadvantages you should consider:
- High Investment Fees. Paying 0.60% annually for using Twine’s investment account is not competitive. Most leading robo-advisors charge under 0.50% annually. You can also invest in ETFs on your own without having to pay Twine’s fees.
- Lack of Account Options. Currently, Twine doesn’t support tax-advantaged investment accounts for college savings or retirement, such as 529 College Savings Plans or Roth IRAs.
- Lackluster Interest Rate. Twine’s saving account aims to make saving consistent for couples. However, the saving account isn’t a replacement for a high-yield savings account like you might find with Ally or Capital One. This means that you’re leaving money on the table when you use Twine’s low- or zero-interest savings account over more lucrative options.
- No Android Mobile App. Although Twine works on desktop and iOS mobile devices, the lack of an Android app is an obvious downside for Android users who prefer using their smartphone for financial management.
When it comes to successful financial planning, setting both short- and long-term financial goals is important. After all, if you don’t have a roadmap for growing your wealth, it’s difficult to know whether you’re staying on track and making the right financial decisions.
The importance of financial planning doesn’t change when you’re in a relationship. In fact, having regular conversations about money is critical if you want to have a healthy financial relationship with your partner.
Granted, Twine isn’t the most affordable investing option or lucrative savings account out there. However, few financial apps focus on couples, and this is what sets Twine apart from the competition. If you and your partner are just getting started with financial planning and need a helping hand, it’s hard to find a more beginner-friendly solution than Twine.
When the time is right, you can take off the training wheels and look for alternative options among the many popular robo-advisors on the market. In the meantime, use Twine to build positive financial habits and to start planning a bright financial future for you and your partner.