Unless you’re a boss when it comes financial responsibility, it’s likely there have been one (or many) times in your life that you’d made purchases without considering the consequences on your budget. (Guilty.) If you haven’t had the (dis)pleasure of receiving a lovely overdraft fine, let me go ahead and clue you in on a little secret: it sucks. But even if it doesn’t go that far, the last thing you need is to be strapped for cash when a big bill or rent is due.
The answer to never experiencing this again (or at all all) may just lie in your phone’s app store. Yep, we’re serious. A handy little money tracking app can be a life saver when it comes to staying on top of your spending and bank account status. Here’s 5 free (woot!) budgeting apps that earn two thumbs up ratings here at My First Apartment.
All apps featured here are available for iOS and Android.
Mint is a hugely popular budgeting app for many reasons. First, it gives you a super comprehensive look at your finances overall, from your net worth to your daily spending habits. On top of that you can create endless (and personalized) spending categories and it’ll update you when bills are due or when it notices a new trend in your spending. If you want to dig deep into what’s going on with your money, Mint is where it’s at.
Ever wish you had a personal assistant when it comes to adulting? Well, you’re in luck. With the financial part of being adult anyway. Penny — your digital, Siri-like assistant within the app — will send you messages to let you know where you stand in terms of spending and will update you with interesting facts about the way you use your money. She’ll also notify you of upcoming bills and keep track of your day-to-day transactions. Basically, Penny has your back.
Level Money makes it easy to know where you stand with your spending limit any time of day by automatically taking your fixed expenses out of your income at the beginning of the month. As time goes on, it deducts how much you’ll need for bills from your “spendable” amount and will continue to update that amount as you spend on non-essentials as well. Basically, it’s the best thing out for avoiding nasty late or overdraft fees.
A digital version of the old envelope trick (where you put the cash amount allotted for each part of your budget into different envelopes based on how much you’re able to spend), this app does more than track your spending — it teaches you how to budget for your current needs and for the future. If self-regulating when comes to spending isn’t your thing, this app is a perfect choice!
This app scores major points with us for a couple of reasons. Besides tracking your transactions and using easy to understand visual graphics to know you where your digital wallet stands at any given moment, this app focuses on getting you the most bang for your credit card buck. For each purchase, it will let you know which card you should use to get the most of your reward perks and it helps you stay below your credit limit for each card you own.