“There’s an app for that!” In fact, there are mobile apps to solve most problems these days, and your budget is no exception. If you’re like me, your mobile phone is never far from reach, meaning your budget shouldn’t be either! Check out these must-have budget apps and get downloading!
Bank, Credit Union, Credit Card Apps
First thing’s first! Wherever you bank or store money… download their app! This will keep you in the loop of the balance and status of your accounts. If you work with multiple companies (i.e. use Wells Fargo for a checking and savings account and American Express for a travel credit card), be sure to download both. This won’t help you budget right away, but these apps should keep your spending top of mind and make your accounts accessible.
Secondly, if you are investing money (for example in a Roth IRA account) with any other financial organizations, such as Edward Jones or Charles Schwab, download their app as well! You may check this one less often (or more often, depending on how much you trust the stock market!), but should always have this information at your fingertips.
Another key number, other than your balances, is your credit score! This will get checked if you are looking to rent an apartment, apply for a credit card, or make a big purchase (like a car and eventually, a home!) so it’s important to stay on top of it, even if you only check it every few months. Personally, I like Credit Karma because it’s free and offers suggestions to improve your score, but you have options!
Now that you’re baselined, here are some apps to help with budgeting!
Mint is an app that links to your financial accounts and illustrates where you spend your money. One o the biggest parts of budgeting is understanding where you could stand to cut spending, and Mint is a great place to start for that. They also have additional functionality in the single app, like creating budgets and credit monitoring. This is a great (free!) one-stop shop! To learn more about where you’re spending and begin to build a budget.
Once you’re comfortable budgeting, you may choose to create a spreadsheet with your information. I’ve done this in a shared Google Doc with roommates in the past so each roomie could easily see which bills were due when, and how much. Additionally, you can track your personal bills (like the gym or grocery shopping) if you don’t want to use an app like Mint. Now, I use a Google Doc spreadsheet to track all recurring bills and keep myself accountable with paying them on time.
And, if you’re really ready to get proactive on reducing your spending, check out apps that search your bank statements for recurring subscription payments. At this point, so many fees are subscription-based (think monthly Netflix or Spotify bills) that we forget what we’re paying for! These apps will let you know which subscriptions are live and you can choose to eliminate the ones you don’t need.
As you can tell, technology is able to keep you one-step ahead of your budget! Download the apps that make sense for you and start to spend more wisely! Do you have any budgeting apps you live by? Let us know in the comments!