Can ChatGPT help me manage my money better?

3 August 2023
4 minute read
Man with headphones on laptop

Ask ChatGPT anything and it will give you an answer. Can it answer your money questions and help you manage your money? We put the chatbot to the test!

ChatGPT will give you useful information quickly

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot. It’s free to use, easy to use, and unlike many other chatbots, sounds human! And, you can ask it to explain its answers as well as any terms you don’t understand - without it getting upset with you! It will also tell you when it cannot answer and always emphasises that it cannot offer personalised financial advice.

How to get the most out of ChatGPT

We found that ChatGPT can help you learn more about money and personal finance, such as what is inflation and what you should consider when investing. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of ChatGPT:

  • Use clear language and short sentences.
  • Give details and be specific if you want detailed answers. For example, specify your country and currency (rands) for information relevant to South Africa.
  • Have a conversation with ChatGPT. For example, when it says something ask why. If it uses a term you don't understand ask for an explanation. If it uses an assumed return on an investment or interest rate, ask if that is before or after costs and how much those costs are. ChatGPT calls this asking follow up questions and encourages it!

Using ChatGPT to improve your financial knowledge

You can educate yourself about the world of money and personal finance by asking ChatGPT relevant questions. It’s also a good resource to use when you come across a term you don’t know or understand and don’t want to ask in public.

Questions you can ask include:

  • What is inflation and how does it erode the value of money?
  • How does inflation affect my savings?
  • Please explain how compound interest works.
  • What is an investment strategy and should I be following one?
  • What is the difference between saving, investing, trading and speculating?

Keep in mind: ChatGPT may not cover all aspects of a topic and leave out some information. For example, we asked ChatGPT what money was, and the answer included the statement that money retains its value, without reference to inflation, which can erode the value of money.

Using ChatGPT to help you manage your money well

When you want tips on how and where to cut expenses, whether or not you can take on more debt, and what you should consider when investing, ChatGPT can provide useful information. We asked ChatGPT how much debt was too much and its answer included looking at an individual’s debt to income ratio - a useful way to check how much of your income is going towards debt.

Questions to ask:

  • I earn Rx and spend Rx and have Rx amount of debt – is it too much?
  • I earn Rx a month, how much should I put away in savings?
  • I want to save Rx by the end of the year, name three fun savings challenges to help me.
  • I am a South African earning Rx and have saved Rx towards my retirement. I want to retire in 10 years time, how much more do I need to save to live comfortably in retirement?
  • I want to save for x. Help me create a vision board to inspire me.
  • Ask for savings tips! For example: what advice do you have, I spend too much on transport every month. You can then ask for more detail on any of the savings tips that it gives if you want more detail.
  • Ask it to suggest budgeting tools and apps in South Africa.
  • Ask it to create a meal plan for the week for the family and tell it what foods your family enjoys
  • Ask it for help with any financial challenges you face. For example: help me save on the cost of a new car or on the cost of painting your house.

ChatGPT won’t give you advice

We asked ChatGPT if we should invest in Amazon shares, which is a very specific question. ChatGPT politely declined to answer but gave some areas we should investigate before making a decision on whether or not to invest.

The chatbot is not going to give you advice, but is instead recommending using a financial adviser, who would go through your goals and circumstances and tailor a financial plan and any product recommendations to suit you.

Two points to note

ChatGPT is in development and may improve in accuracy and other areas over the years. However, for now you should take note that:

  1. Some information may be out of date. For example, ChatGPT told us that FSB is a financial term South Africans need to know. However, the FSB (Financial Services Board) no longer exists as it became the FSCA (Financial Sector Conduct Authority – the financial services industry regulator) in 2018.
  2. ChatGPT makes no guarantee that information is accurate. Which means some of the information and answers may be inaccurate. In addition, the chatbot does not distinguish between real and fake news stories and information. One of the disclaimers reads: May occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content.

Keep these in mind when you are using the chatbot!

Use ChatGPT, as well as other resources

Artificial Intelligence is becoming part of our lives, and you can use it to help you learn more and manage your money better. But, your financial adviser is still best placed to give you personalised financial advice that is appropriate for you, your budget and your financial goals.

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