Here’s Where This Financial Planner Keeps Her Money (Hint: Not Big Banks)

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in January 2019.

After becoming a financial planner last year, Denisa Petricko took a closer look at her own finances.

A lump of her money sat quietly at Wells Fargo.

With a more informed eye, the 39-year-old California resident started investigating what the bank did with her money.

“After looking at the breakdowns of how my money was being handled by a larger bank, I realized that I had large sums just sitting in an account accumulating interest — but not for me,” she says in an email. “It was for the banks themselves.”

Petricko met with her bank’s financial consultants to see if there was anything out there that’d help her out — earn her some interest.

The meetings led nowhere.

Then, last summer, as she clicked through Elephant Journal, an online yoga-centric magazine, she stumbled upon an article about the Aspiration Account.

When she read the online account could earn  2.00% APY in interest — for her to keep — she was sold.

Editor’s note 2/21/2019: Aspiration now offers a new and improved account with buckets for spending and for saving. You’ll earn 2.00% APY interest on your savings and 0.5% cash back on debit card purchases with the spending account. Some of the information below has been updated to reflect the details of this new account.

Why This Financial Planner Uses Aspiration

using debit card in the city
Petricko has navigated urban America as well as remote rural countries using her ATM card with Aspiration. Peggy Peattie for The Penny Hoarder

Although the initial sell for Petricko was the interest rate, she’s come to love many other parts of Aspiration and her account, including:

  • As we mentioned in a previous Aspiration review, Aspiration is a do-good company, focusing on what’s best for not only you, but also the planet. You can even track the impact of your spending based on the retailers you frequent.
  • It allows you to choose what you pay each month — even if that’s $0. Additionally, there are no sneaky fees. There’s no minimum balance and no minimum monthly deposit on the spending account, and your minimum deposit for the savings is just $1 per month. Plus, you can open an account with just $10.
  • You can travel (which Petricko does frequently for both business and pleasure) without facing insane ATM fees. In fact, ATM fees across the world are 100% refundable. Aspiration automatically reimburses you.
  • Aspiration has an easy-to-use app and website, making it accessible everywhere there’s cell phone or internet service.
  • It also offers investment options, including its Redwood Fund and Flagship IRA accounts — all of which Petricko has in one convenient spot.

It’s been about six months since this financial planner trusted Aspiration with her money, and she says she has no regrets; she’s yet to have a negative experience.

In fact, Petricko would go as far as to call Aspiration’s online-only model “banking [services] of the future.”

“The big banks are proving to be crooked,” she says. Aspiration has given her new hope for financial institutions.

Petricko wholeheartedly recommends Aspiration to her clients, her friends and her family.

If you’re interested in learning more about the online-only accounts, head over to Aspiration.

It’s been more than a year since Petricko started using Aspiration and has yet to have a negative experience. “…Aspiration gave me new hope in banking,” she says. Peggy Peattie for The Penny Hoarder

We may receive compensation from Aspiration for promoting the company, but we weren’t paid for this specific review. All reporting is our own.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She too banks with Aspiration and broke down why she loves it (as well as a few downsides).