Happy New Year!
I hope you had a fun time celebrating and are ready to hit the ground running. You have declared your resolutions for the year and some goals you wish to accomplish. Making improvements to your financial situation is a common goal for people.
Last post I wrote about ways you can improve your finances this year. Today I will write about apps and other technologies that could help you out. With today’s technology, there are vast numbers of apps, programs, and software that can aid you in your financial journey.
Here are 6 apps/programs you can use to improve your Financial Health.
Acorns is a great app for those who want to either get started with investing with a little bit of money, or those looking to add to their current investment savings for just a little more.
Acorns is made for everyone. It rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar amount and invests the difference. For example, you buy something for $2.50. Acorns will round that purchase up to $3 and invest the $.50.
This is a slick approach to investing, and it is pretty affordable. For accounts with a value of $5,000 or more, Acorns charges .25% of the account value.
Mint brings all of your accounts to one location. Every bank account, bill, and retirement account you have you can link up to Mint. With everything in one location, you are able to see where all of your money goes. You can also track your investments and your retirement savings because Mint updates your accounts frequently.
Also Mint is watching you and your accounts (sorry, sounds creepy), so it is able to make recommendations on where you could cut back and where you could increase your savings.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
You Need A Budget is exactly how it sounds, it’s a budgeting system. It boils down to four rules:
1. Give each dollar a job before you spend it. That means writing down your expenses and figuring out exactly what you need and want to spend your money on.
2. Save for future large expenses. If you pay your water utility quarterly and it’s usually around $200, save for it monthly. Break it down into $65 in monthly savings. Also, save for emergencies so surprise expenses don’t hurt your regular monthly budget.
3. Roll with the punches. Your expenses are going to change, and therefore, your budget is going to change. Don’t treat it as a problem, just adapt and stay the course.
4. Age your money. Don’t spend any money that’s “younger” than a month old. By doing this, you relieve the stress of waiting for payday.
YNAB is a great value at $6.99 per month. It includes the system, great support, and even classes that help you improve your financial knowledge.
Though I do not use any of the apps above, this is one app that I do use. Monefy is free but also has a premium version if you want to customize to fit your spending. Monefy is an app designed to track spending.
There are several categories for your spending, including bills, cars, food, and more. There is also a category for your income. This gives you the ability to compare your spending to what you bring in. If the number is green, then you made more than you spent. If the number is red, you spent more than you made. Come on!
Personal Capital is similar to Mint. You are able to link all of your accounts to the same place, track your spending, review your investments, and also track the progress of your net worth and your retirement savings.
If you have questions on how you’re doing, they also have financial advisors on staff that you can talk to. This is a free program and has a user-friendly interface.
This program/app tracks your credit score. It analyzes your credit accounts and your usage of those accounts. It will then give you your actual score and how the credit agencies came up with that score, as well as the importance of each category.
There is a tab near the top of the page or on the side of the app labeled recommendations. Here you will find credit cards that Credit Karma feels appropriate for you and your current situation.
Getting your financial life in order is very important. This year, have one of your resolutions be improving your financial health and use one or more of these apps to help you.
So readers, what’s an app that you use to improve your finances?