It can be difficult to make ends meet each and every month. If you’re like a lot of Americans, you’re counting every penny, yet you’re still not reaching your financial goals. We have created this article to help you get back on track with some of the best budgeting apps of all time we have seen.
Personal money management is more difficult than ever. You’re likely to be earning about the same as 10 years ago, and your cost of living has increased.
Apps have become a great way to create a budget and manage your money. About 63% of smartphone users have a financial app installed, and 17% have one budget app. Many people find that it’s more convenient than using spreadsheets for budgeting.
Out of all of the budgeting apps out there, which ones are the best? Keep reading to find out the best budgeting apps of all time.
Mint has become the standard for all budgeting apps. It’s made by Intuit, which is the company behind Quicken and QuickBooks.
The best thing about Mint is that you have everything in one place. All of your bank accounts, credit card accounts, expenses, savings, and reports. You just have to open the app and you know exactly what your financial situation is.
You also get free credit score reports, reminders when you’re near your budget limits, and insights to improve your finances. Mint is free to download and use all features.
You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget is a great personal money management app that you can use. They also have a YouTube channel and plenty of resources to help you create a budget you can keep.
The budgeting app lets you set goals, connect your bank accounts, and see detailed reports. That shows you exactly where your money is going.
There’s a free trial for 34 days. After that, it’s $7 a month. It may be worth it to you as long as it helps you save money and pay off debts.
How would you like to save money and not even know about it? Acorns is a good tool to use if you’ve had trouble setting aside savings each month. You know how hard that can be when you feel like you’re drowning in debt.
Here’s how it works. You make a debit card purchase for $2.25. Acorns will take round up to the next dollar and invests that money in an exchange-traded fund (EFT). With one small purchase, you just saved and invested $.80.
Now imagine how many purchases you make with your debit card each year. How quickly do you think what will add up? Acorns does have a monthly fee, which is between $1-$3.
When you’re just getting by financially, you know that one forgetful moment can leave you reeling. It’s common to think that you can spend a certain amount of money and spend it. You then realize you didn’t account for an expense or a check that didn’t clear.
That may mean that you can’t pay your utilities or rent because you miscalculated. PocketGuard makes sure that doesn’t happen again.
The app lets you know how much you can spend after you pay your expenses. The basic version of the app is free. You can upgrade to PocketGuard Plus, which is $4 a month.
Personal Money Management Tips
While these apps are great to help you budget your finances, the tools are only as good as the people who use them. In other words, you have to know how to budget well in order to make the most of these apps.
Set Financial Goals
When you’re just getting by from month to month, it can be very difficult to see anything beyond paying rent and basic expenses.
One of the best ways to set a budget for yourself is to have goals. That may seem crazy when you’re just getting by, but goals can give you the hope and motivation to stick to your budget.
Your goals can be anything from paying off debt to saving up for retirement.
Budget for Annual Expenses
It’s easy to budget for your monthly payments like rent, groceries, and utilities. You might get caught off guard by annual expenses.
It’s easy to forget about them until the money gets automatically withdrawn from your account. Go through your bank statements from the last year and pick out the annual and semi-annual expenses. Add them to your budget in the months where those expenses are withdrawn.
Budget for More than Minimum Payments
Do you have a lot of debt that you’re paying off and just making the minimum payments? While that’s keeping you current, you’re paying way more in interest and fees over the long-term.
You also need to consider if your credit cards have a high APR. The higher the APR, the more interest you pay on your credit card debt.
Paying the minimum payments is OK for a short-term strategy to get your finances back on track. However, if you want to pay off your debt faster, you want to pay more than the minimum.
Have a Contingency Line in Your Budget
Have you ever watched a home repair show where they uncover a major issue in the home? The repair winds up costing way more than what was initially budgeted.
Most contractors will have what’s called a contingency line in the budget. That is money set aside for unexpected expenses.
About 40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 expense. If you’re one of them, you should set aside a small amount of money each month to account for emergencies. That could help you pay for a car repair or a medical expense.
We live in a world that’s all about instant results. Like most good things in life, reaching your financial goals will take time. That’s the case whether your goal is to save money or pay down your debts quickly.
You need to be consistent with budgeting and paying down your debts. It’s not enough to make your budget one month and then go over it a month later.
Manage Your Money with Budgeting Apps
There are a lot of advantages of technology. You can have pretty much everything at your fingertips. Personal money management has never been easier, thanks to the number of budgeting apps available.
The best budgeting apps help you pay down your debt faster and achieve your financial goals.
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