Cinch Help

Looking for answers on the CinchSM budgeting tool? You're in the right place.

Basics

  • What is Cinch?

    Cinch from Fidelity is a simple, free tool that helps you track your saving and spending. Just connect your bank and financial accounts and Cinch will aggregate your transaction history and account data so you can see, all in one place, what you earned, spent, and saved across a specified period of time.

  • How does Cinch work?

    With Cinch, you select the bank or financial institution you wish to add, and enter your login credentials (generally the username and password you use when accessing your account on your bank or financial institution’s website). There is virtually no limit to the number of accounts you can add. If you’re a Fidelity customer, your accounts are added automatically. Each day, Cinch collects transaction data from the outside accounts you’ve entered, as well as any Fidelity accounts, allowing you to view the income and spending history for your connected accounts in one convenient place.

  • How often is my account data updated?

    We aggregate bank data every day for any outside accounts you've entered (including Fidelity accounts, if you’re a customer), and we update your information based on how frequently you log on to Cinch. Please note that updating account data is also dependent on the outside bank or financial institution’s system availability. Below is a frequency schedule to explain how often banking, credit card, and investment accounts are updated.

    Users who have logged in within the past 30 days Every 24 hours
    Users who have logged in 30-45 days ago Every 3 days
    Users who have logged in 45-90 days ago Once a week
    Users who have not logged in within the past 90 days No refresh
  • How do you get my data?

    Fidelity has teamed up with Yodlee,® an independent company, to bring you this tool. At your direction, Fidelity uses Yodlee services to obtain your account information from banks, financial institutions, and other third-party account providers’ sites and makes it available to you for viewing, along with your Fidelity account information, on the Fidelity website. The service is provided as a convenience, and should not be considered a substitute or replacement for account statements and other documentation provided by Fidelity, your bank, your financial institution, or other third-party account providers.

  • How secure and private is Cinch?

    Fidelity is committed to maintaining the highest levels of security and privacy for your personal information. All data is secured within Fidelity so we can provide you with the security and privacy you have come to trust and expect from Fidelity.

  • What happens if I lose my Cinch guest username?

    Currently, there is no way to recover your Cinch guest username if you lose it. If you do happen to lose it, you'll need to sign up again for the service.

  • How can I reset my Cinch password?

    To reset your Cinch password, select the Profile link located at the top of the page. You'll be automatically directed to the Edit Your Profile page. Once there, select the Change Your Password link.

  • When I sign up as a guest, do I automatically become a Fidelity customer?

    No, signing up as a guest does not make you a Fidelity customer. To become a Fidelity customer, you must open a Fidelity account, such as a brokerage or mutual fund account.

  • Are there limitations to using Cinch as a guest rather than as a Fidelity customer?

    You can use the Cinch budgeting tool as a guest for as long as you'd like, without commitments or fees.

    The limitations arise when you decide to become a Fidelity customer. For security reasons, we treat guest logins and Fidelity customer logins differently.

    Both login methods are secure, but when you become a customer, your existing budget won't come over with you. You can still access it as a guest using your guest login. However, you will not be able to do so using your customer login.

    For that, you'll need to reconnect your accounts and create a new budget—not an ideal experience, we know. The upside is you'll be able to open new accounts, consult with Fidelity representatives, and enjoy all the benefits of being a Fidelity customer.

    If you'd like to avoid the guest-to-customer transition, consider becoming a customer first. Look into opening a Fidelity account.

  • What browsers and devices work best with CinchSM?

    Using Cinch on the latest versions of the following browsers will allow you to make full use of its tools and features:

    • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
    • Google® ChromeTM
    • Mozilla® Firefox®
    • Apple® Safari®
    • Cinch may not perform as well if you use outdated browser versions, specifically Internet Explorer 7 and older. We recommend upgrading your browser on a regular basis to ensure that you are taking advantage of all that Cinch has to offer.

      The same recommendation applies if you are using Cinch on a mobile device. We fully support iOS6, 7 and 8 on the iPad® and iPhone®. In addition, we support AndroidTM smartphones and tablets. Using older versions of any mobile operating system may not provide a fully optimized experience.

  • What Is Beta?

    Beta means the Cinch budgeting tool is still in the development stage and is not the final version. During the beta period, some features are not yet available. We are looking forward to your feedback, which will help us improve this tool.

Adding Accounts

  • How do I add an account?

    The Add an Account link is available on the Accounts page.

    A pop-up opens when you select the Add an Account link. You can add an account in the following ways:

    • Keyword Search:
      Type the name of the account you want to add in the text box and see whether it appears in the search results.
    • Popular Accounts:
      Browse the most popular accounts from the Popular Accounts section.
    • You will be asked for your login credentials for the site, such as your username and password. After providing the information, select Add.
    • At this time, Cinch is not able to support accounts that are denominated in foreign currencies.
  • What happens if I add an account denominated in foreign currencies?

    At this time, Cinch is not able to support accounts that are denominated in foreign currencies. If you were to add such an account, the tool would not automatically convert the foreign currency into U.S. dollars. Instead, the foreign currency amount will be pulled into the tool, but will appear as U.S. dollars, without any conversion taking place.

    Example: Let’s say you have an account denominated in a foreign currency and your account is worth 1,000 foreign currency units.

    If the conversion rate is currently 10 foreign currency units = 1 U.S. dollar, the converted amount should be displayed as 100 U.S. dollars. However, the tool will display your amount as 1,000 U.S. dollars, overvaluing the actual number by 900 U.S. dollars.

    In a future release, we will be enhancing Cinch to allow for accounts maintained in foreign currencies.

  • Why do you need the username and password I use for my bank or financial institution?

    We need your username and password in order to establish a secure connection with your bank or financial institution. This enables us to automatically download and update your transaction history and account data so you can view your account activity in one place, safely and securely.

    You need to enter your login credentials only one time for each bank or financial institution you're adding. Remember: Whenever you change the username or password you use when accessing your account on your bank or financial institution’s website, you also need to update that information on Cinch.

  • Cinch says it supports my bank but I can't add it. What should I do?

    Try logging on to your bank or financial institution's website to verify that your account information is correct and that your account is set up properly. If you continue to have problems, please contact Fidelity.

  • What is the Accounts page?

    The Accounts page displays detailed account information for accounts you’ve added to Cinch. Each account shows the total available balance, your transaction history (where applicable), and when the account was last updated.

    The Accounts page can be used to update your login credentials for an account, add new accounts, and hide or delete accounts.

  • How does the Cinch tool display transactions?

    Cinch collects transactions from all the accounts you've connected to the budgeting tool and displays this data in the Transactions list on the Accounts page and the My Budget page.

    All transactions also reflect the date when the transactions occurred, as reported by your financial institution.

  • What do the "as of" dates underneath my transactions represent?

    The "as of" dates represent the last time the Cinch tool has pulled transaction data from your connected accounts. These dates allow you to see how current the transaction data is that you are seeing in the Cinch tool.

    The Cinch tool updates your information based on how frequently you log on to Cinch.

    So, for example, if you log on to your Cinch account regularly (or within the last 30 days), the "as of" date will reflect your most current data.

    However, if you wait three or more months to log on to your Cinch account, your "as of" dates may not be current and will take a few moments to refresh. You can also refresh this page in your browser to show your latest information.

  • How do I change the username or password for an account I've added?

    To change the username or password that Cinch uses to access your bank or financial institution website:

    • Select the Accounts link at the top of the page.
    • Once on the Accounts page, select the Manage Accounts link.
    • Select the Edit option for the account you want to change. When the pop-up opens, replace the existing username or password with the new one. If you are updating the password, be sure to enter the information twice for verification purposes.
    • Click Update to save your changes. Note: If you have more than one account with an institution, you need to update the username or password for only one account—that change will apply to all your accounts with the institution.
  • What does it mean to hide an account?

    When you hide an account, all future transaction data for that account will no longer be displayed in your budget from the point you hide the account moving forward; however, historical account and transaction data for that account is still preserved in your budget for reference purposes and you can reactivate the account at any time. To hide an account:

    • Select the Accounts link at the top of the page.
    • Once on the Accounts page, select the Manage Accounts link.
    • Select Hide option under the account name you want to hide. (To show the hidden account again, select Show.)
    • Click Done.
  • How do I permanently delete an account from Cinch?

    When you permanently delete an account, both the account (for example, your checking or savings account) and financial institution will be permanently removed from the Cinch tool and other Fidelity sites and applications. Once a financial institution is deleted, all data related to that institution and the related accounts are deleted from Cinch, and there's no way to recover any account information or historical data. In most cases, we suggest using the Hide option, in case you want to view your data later.

    If you’re a Fidelity customer, please note that you can delete only non-Fidelity accounts; Fidelity accounts can be hidden but not deleted.

    To permanently delete non-Fidelity accounts:

    • Select the Accounts link at the top of the page.
    • Once on the Accounts page, select the Manage Accounts link.
    • Select the Delete option under the account name you want to remove.
    • The Delete Account confirmation pop-up appears, prompting you to confirm that you want to remove the account and all historical data and associated information.
    • Select Done to delete the account.

Budget Features

  • I've signed up for Cinch and added my accounts. What happens next?

    It's time to create a budget. Once you connect your bank and financial institutions, Cinch automatically aggregates your income and expense data for the outside accounts you’ve entered, as well as Fidelity accounts, if you’re a customer. To create a budget, you will need to follow the simple three-step process in Cinch, which includes:

    • Confirming your Take-Home Pay.
    • Identifying the money you typically set aside for bills, such as rent, food, utilities, and other basic needs. These are what we call your Essentials.
    • Keeping an eye on any Leftover income. This is the money you can safely spend — and hopefully, also save.
  • How does Cinch define monthly take-home pay?

    Your monthly take-home pay is the money you take home each month after taxes, retirement contributions, and other deductions have been taken out.

    When you calculate your take-home pay, we suggest you include only recurring income, because it's predictable, stable, and can be counted on in the future. Similarly, we suggest that you exclude variable income, such as bonuses or tax refunds that you don’t receive on a regular basis.

  • How does the Cinch tool calculate my Take-Home Pay in the Monthly Take-Home Pay & Expenses chart before I create a budget?

    Take-Home Pay (before you set up a budget): Prior to setting up a budget, any take-home pay displayed on the Monthly Take-Home Pay & Expenses chart is an estimate based on aggregated account data we have pulled from your connected accounts.

    Take-Home Pay (after you set up a budget): Once you've set up your budget and identified which deposits you would like to include as part of your take-home pay, the chart will now reflect the actual numbers you have defined.

  • What if I don't see one or more of my deposits displayed on the Take-Home Pay page and I want to add it?

    When you create a budget, the first step is to confirm your take-home pay.

    If Cinch is unable to detect a deposit, you can adjust your take-home pay manually by either using the slider on the page or by entering any missing deposits in the Other Income field.

  • What's an essential expense?

    That's up to you. The Cinch tool lists all the aggregated expense data from your connected accounts, and asks the user to determine what he or she deems is essential. There aren't really any hard-and-fast rules about what qualifies as an essential expense. Your essential expenses are anything you believe provides you with a reasonable standard of living.

    One thing is clear: If you define your essential living expenses first, you can prioritize your other expenses accordingly.

    Essential expenses might include things like:

    • Mortgage/rent payments
    • Household bills
    • Car/essential transport costs
    • Essential insurance
    • Food
    • Phone bill (within reasonable limits)
  • What does Leftover mean?

    In the Cinch tool, once you've paid for all your essential expenses, any money that you still haven't spent is referred to as Leftover. You can either spend it or save it or both.

  • What does Overspent mean?

    In the Cinch tool, Overspent means your expenses have exceeded your income for the month. If you have a month in which you have overspent, you can identify ways to trim your budget by going to the "Worth It…Not Worth It" section in the Cinch budgeting tool to review your spending for the month and identify transactions that would help you not overspend your income in the future.

  • What happens to the Leftover, the money I have not spent?

    Not spending all your leftover money is a good thing—so a tip of the hat to you! If you have leftover money at the end of the month, Cinch will prompt you to consider creating a Savings Target.

  • What happens to money that I set aside in my Savings Target?

    No one—not us, not even you—can move money from your online accounts into the budgeting tool. Cinch only "reads" your information and pulls the data from the online accounts you've actively added. If you wish to transfer your Savings Target amount to a separate savings account you need to do that outside this tool.

  • How does the Cinch tool calculate my one-month, one-year, and five-year Savings Target numbers?

    Once you create a monthly Savings Target, the Cinch tool multiplies that figure by 12 to arrive at your one-year savings target. The tool then multiplies that one-year savings target by 5 to arrive at the five-year savings target.

The images, graphs, tools, and videos are for illustrative purposes only.
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Start budgeting: Meet Cinch

Introducing CinchSM from Fidelity, a simple way to track your saving and spending. Just answer a couple of questions to get started.