The best budgeting tools for controlling your spending; free and paid apps and Websites to help you manage your cash flow and save more money. Now that we all carry a tiny computer in our pockets wherever we go, it’s a lot easier to stay up to date (or even up to the minute) on the state of our finances.
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There’s now an app for just about every aspect of personal finance. Here are a few of the best (and most popular) ones available.
None of them are perfect, or perfect for everyone: You’ll need to consider your own financial situation and what’s most important to you. But the appropriate app can really help you get your money under control.
Personal CapitalPersonal Capital is ideal for someone who really wants to dig deep into their investments, to see what works and what doesn’t. It analyzes all your accounts across different brokers and lets you know if you’re paying too much in fees or if you need to sell some stocks and invest in other assets to be more diversified.
You can also track your bank and credit card accounts, but Personal Capital’s focus is on investments, not spending. This app can help you put together a long-term investing plan in a way that Mint can’t compete with, and that LearnVest requires payment for. You can use the fee analyzer to see if you are getting the most efficient use of your money, and you can also get help with asset allocation.
This budgeting app is more about planning and the future, and can help you put together an investment plan for retirement that will benefit you for years to come.
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You Need a Budget (YNAB)YNAB isn’t so much an app as it is a personal finance religion.
The people who love YNAB love it a lot, and speak of it in the same hushed and reverential tones recent converts use to speak of the Lord Masses of loopholes, bargains, discount vouchers, new offers and just plain ol' good sense are crammed into our forum. If you're new to the site, first check out the big family savings; give yourself a Money Makeover to ensure you're getting the best deal on all your finance products, and aren't paying over the odds for..
YNAB’s principles are grounded in zero-sum budgeting, which, in YNAB’s case, means you “give every dollar a job. ” (That’s one of YNAB’s four budgeting rules, or articles of financial faith.
The other three are “embrace your true expenses,” “roll with the punches,” and “age your money. ”) Signing up for YNAB isn’t so much about downloading an app as it is about embracing a lifestyle shift.
YNAB syncs between your desktop and your mobile devices, and allows you to enter transactions in real time. You Need A Budget is much more hands-on than, say Mint, which is more about analyzing and observing your habits rather than actively trying to change them. After all, it’s You Need A Budget, not You Need A Retirement Plan.
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Mint Mint is the granddaddy of budgeting and expense tracking apps.
Founded in 2006, the immensely popular app was acquired by Intuit in 2009. Mint allows you to track your expenses across all your different credit, checking, savings, and investment accounts.
You can even add in assets like cars or houses to get a better sense of your net worth. It allows you to set goals, or sign up for alerts if your spending in a particular category gets out of hand. Mint gives you a lot of information, but, unlike YNAB, doesn’t really tell you what to do with it, or give you as much flexibility.
If, say, you have an unexpected auto expense, Mint will probably send you an alert (which is a little redundant, since you probably already know you had to replace your transmission), but without suggesting you shift money from another category to cover it 31 Oct 2016 - Student budgeting may be pretty boring but it is essential if you want to graduate without a massive amount of debt. student loan, salary from a part-time job, or some cash you're rents offer to help with uni costs) and keep a log of your expenses in the below section (like clothes, rent, books and going out)..
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If you’re more deliberate with your spending, you may find Mint’s alerts and reminders unnecessary. Best for: Someone who wants an easy way to see what they’re spending money on.
Cost: Free, but you’ll pay for it in cross-promotions, often for credit cards you already have. MvelopesAs you might gather from the name, this app takes the old “envelope” system of budgeting and makes those envelopes digital rather than paper.
With Mvelopes, you can see your past spending with the help of linked accounts, and then assign future money to “mvelopes” that help you stick to a budget. If you use credit cards, Mvelopes will make sure you don’t run up a balance at the same time you’re draining your checking account—when you charge something to a credit card, Mvelopes moves that amount out of your “spending” envelope and into an envelope set aside to pay your credit card bill.
Best for: Someone who’s tired of using cash and real envelopes, and wants to go digital, and doesn’t mind paying to do so. Cost: Free 30-day trial, $4/month or $40/year for Basic services, and $19/month or $190/year for Plus services, and $59/month, $149/quarter, or $549/year for a Complete plan.
Money DanceIf you miss The Quicken of Old, Money Dance may be the next best thing 3 Apr 2012 - No matter how cheap we want to be, travel requires some money. There's no way to avoid that, so in order to save for our trips, we need to cut our expenses. Here are some simple and creative ways to cut your expenses, make money, and get on the road sooner: Cut the coffee – Love your Starbucks? Well .
You’ll pay for the software, but it has a number of features. The display looks like a ledger, and you can automatically add recurring transactions, create charts and graphs to visually represent your spending, and project your finances into the future.
Money Dance has a homepage that quickly summarizes your financial situation, including assets and liabilities, and your net worth. You can also track your investments, and it allows for multiple currencies.
Money Dance can also help you reconcile your bank statements. If you wish Quicken 2005 was still a thing, Money Dance is the app for you.
Best for: Those still in mourning for the demise of Quicken 2005. 99MoneyStrandsI’ve never felt completely comfortable linking my accounts to budgeting apps, so I’ve struggled to find apps that actually work and aren’t as painstaking as just using a traditional spreadsheet.
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With a smooth looking interface, similar to Mint, it’s a millennial’s dream. What I like most about this app is the calendar—it’s simply easier to see when your bills are due if you’ve got a calendar in front of you.
You can also set goals for yourself, and add nice looking pictures (i. a picture of the car you’re saving up for) and track how much you’ve saved. Best for: Those who want a good budgeting app but who don’t want to link bank accounts.
Cost: FreeCalendar BudgetThere’s nothing glamorous about this basic budget calendar, but then again, there’s not too much that’s glamorous about budgeting. Calendar Budget isn’t an app, but a desktop software that’s a step above the spreadsheet method.
If you can stomach sitting down every month or entering your expenses as you go, the calendar will do the math and tell you how much you have left in your account Erin Lowry, personal finance expert and author of a website and book entitled “Broke Millennial,” says this first step is essential. Fortunately, a handful of tips about the basics of budgeting and reasons why you need a budget can help make things go more smoothly. Here are Online savings with no minimum balance..
Some people can stick to their budget better when they’re actively involved it, so this software is great for those looking for who don’t mind the extra step.
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It’s not just a product, but a “way of life” according to their demo video. Unlike some other apps who rave about leaving your personal information out of their calculations, Cinch goes the opposite way and wants to get to know you…after all, personal finance is personal.
You’ll be asked for your bank account info, your social security number, and your annual income. So, right away, if you’re not into providing your personal information to budget apps, Cinch might not be for you.
Although, Cinch does promise that your information is being used only to help determine your financial plan. What’s great about Cinch is that it’s not just a budgeting app, but it takes in your full financial picture using AI technology, and offers advice on how to manage debt, lower certain payments, and more.
Another great thing—Cinch promises no annoying advertisements, something you won’t get with other apps. Best for: Someone looking to manage every aspect of their financial life, in addition to their budget.
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They have a similar idea to Cinch, but rather than use an AI to answer your financial questions, Albert promises advice from an actual human 11 Jul 2017 - The best budgeting tools for controlling your spending; free and paid apps and Websites to help you manage your cash flow and save more money. If you use credit cards, Mvelopes will make sure you don't run up a balance at the same time you're draining your checking account—when you charge .
It’s a minimalist app that allows you to text questions to real financial experts (their team is made up of engineers, designers, and financial “geniuses”) and get actionable guidance. Albert will find you savings, help you learn to pay down debt faster, help you set up automatic savings, and earn you 1.
00 percent back on your savings (which is 10x the average checking account). Best for: Those who want a human touch to their financial advice.
Cost: FreeTrimThis isn’t necessarily a budgeting app, but it can help you save on all those subscriptions you don’t use that are still charging you money. Trim uses your credit card and bank transactions to inform you of long-forgotten subscriptions. You just link your bank and credit card info to their service, and Trim loads only the transactions related to subscriptions.
It then sends you a text message with all your subscriptions and you can cancel them by replying with “Cancel insert subscriptions here .
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No need to fear those awkward phone calls anymore!Best for: Someone with a lot of subscriptions or memberships they’ve been meaning to cancel. Cost: FreeSummaryBudgeting apps take some of the guesswork (and discipline) out of tracking your expenses and sticking to your budget.
It may take a little trial and error (and more than one free trial) to find the best one for you.