Having all of your money available digitally can be great. It lets you pay your bills, at any time, no matter where you; buy things online that you can’t find anywhere; shop for the best deals; even the ability to pay with your phone.
Unfortunately, all of the things that make digital currency so great are also some of its greatest weaknesses. When you have all of your money in one easy, convenient location for fast, efficient, painless spending, it’s becomes all too easy – common, even – to lose track of your money.
Not keeping track of your finances can lead to:
- Unnecessary spending on impulse buys
- Living beyond your means
- Signing up for unnecessary subscriptions and services
- Difficulty managing long-term financial goals
- Relationship difficulties
- Roommate tensions
Technology is a tool, and like any tool, it can be used to nurture or destroy. There are copious technological tools to help you get the most out of digital finances, without succumbing to the pitfalls.
To help you make the most of your online banking, we’ve compiled a list of our 5 favorite money management apps, so you can start to thrive instead of just survive.
The Top 5 Money Management Apps
1. Mint: The go-to gold standard of Personal Finance apps, Mint is a free app for iOs, Android and Windows. Mint is a financial swiss army knife, with all of the tools you’ll need to balance your savings, spending and budgeting. Mint brings all of your financial data into one convenient dashboard, to give a concrete, comprehensive overview of where all your money is going.
As a final benefit, Mint lets you set budget alerts – organized by topic – to let you know when you’re reaching your monthly limit, making it MUCH more difficult to overspend.
2. GoodBudget: If you’re already happy with your banking software and just want a great free app for keeping trak of budgets, GoodBudget is a wonderful solution. Formerly known as EEBA, GoodBudget is a free app for iOs and Android, that is stripped-down and easy to use. The concept is similar to putting your money in different envelopes or coffee cans for different budgeting goals. GoodBudget offers simple, straightforward solutions for monthly budgeting, as well as offering options for “irregular budgets”, like going on vacation or saving up for a gift.
3. LevelMoney: While the deep desktops and granular insights of Mint and GoodBudget are insanely useful, all those numbers and graphs can be a bit much to take in when you’re just trying to see if you have enough for a latte or not. For a stunningly simple money visualization app, LevelMoney lets you observe your finances in easily digestible infographics. Your budget or available finances are depicted as circles, with a guage showing how much you’ve spent, and how much you’ve got left to spend. LevelMoney makes budgeting as simple as knowing when you need gas.
4. BillGuard: Sometimes it can be hard to remember where all you’ve spent money. This can make it difficult to determine when you’ve been overcharged or if fraud has occurred, if someone stole your debit card or personal info. BillGuard is a great free app for iOs and Android, that functions both as a wealth visualization app as well as a security measure. BillGuard syncs up with your bank account, showing you each transaction and offering a simple Tinder-style interface. Swipe right for purchases you recognize, swipe left for questionable transactions. Swiping left offers a variety of follow-up options, like contacting the merchant or setting yourself a reminder to follow up later.
5. ScannerPro: More and more merchants are making digital receipts available, with so many people using debit cards and smartphones for their purchases. While that’s a great and simple way to have all of your finances in one place at one time, not everybody’s gotten with the program yet. This means sometimes you’ve got a bunch of e-mails, and a box full of receipts, making monthly budgeting like trying to do your taxes, each and every time.
Having a scanner on your phone is a great way to get your paper receipts into the digital realm. Yes, a camera can do it, but pictures can’t be scanned for data, meaning you’ve got to go through each and every pic to find what you’re looking for.
Scanner Pro is a cost-effective scanning app for iOs and Android, which lets you export pictures as PDFs, making them easily searchable and able to be integrated with other financial apps.
Finding the perfect money management app that fits your needs makes all the difference in making the most of online banking. It puts the power firmly in the palm of your hand, letting you take the reigns of your future. Knowing how you’re spending is 3/4 of the struggle of truly managing your money instead of constantly trying to play catch-up.
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