Managing personal finance can get stressful.
But a number of apps are taking a swipe at making it a lot easier.
These smartphone apps will help you track your expenses and save lots of money.
Perhaps the most widely used personal finance app, Intuit's Mint gives you a real-time, complete look into all of your finances, from bank accounts and credit cards to student loans and 401k.
It automatically tracks your spending, categorizes it, and alerts you when/if you approach your budget limit. You can even ask for custom savings tips within the app.
Everything is shown in simple, intuitive graphs and charts, making it one of the most popular personal finance apps in the world.
Acorn is an app that helps you invest your spare change in low-cost ETFs.
Once you connect your checking and credit card accounts to it, Acorn automatically rounds up every purchase to the next dollar, and invests the difference in a portfolio of your choice. For example, if you spent $US2.25 for coffee, it will invest $US0.75 for you.
Acorn says users invest $US30 to $US180 a month on average in 'round ups' alone. But if you want, you can also invest a lump sum amount up to $US30,000.
Level Money calls itself the 'mobile money meter.' Once you connect the app to your bank account, it automatically calculates your income and recurring bills, and then suggests what your daily, weekly, and monthly spending should be.
It also comes up with the amount you should be saving every month and subtracts that from your monthly budget. You can set up an auto-save amount too, and any cash left unspent from your budget will rollover to your savings account.
It tracks your spending in real time, so you can easily see what you've spent and how much you can spend within a given period.
Digit helps you save money that you didn't even realise you had. It automatically scans your income and spending patterns, and transfers a small amount of savings that it deems you won't necessarily need in to a separate account that it manages.
You can withdraw from that savings account anytime, but you won't make any interest off of it - Digit is free and runs itself with the interest it generates from the users' savings account. The value proposition is that Digit helps you discover and save money that you would spent elsewhere.
It officially launched in February and has Google's backing.
You can sign up for it here.
Besides offering free credit scores and reports, Credit Karma allows users to monitor their spending patterns by linking to their credit card and bank accounts. Based on that information, Credit Karma recommends better credit card or loan offers that can further improve your finances.
Its offering now ranges from auto insurance to mortgages, and users are absolutely loving it. It has over 32 million users worldwide, and just last September, raised an additional $US75 million, valuing the company at over $US1 billion.
Goodbudget is an app that brings the time-tested envelope budgeting method into your smartphone. The users can create 'envelopes' for each of their budget category - think groceries, transportation, shopping, etc. - and pre-determine how much they're going to allocate in each envelope.
Once it's all set up, users can record and track how much they're spending from each envelope. It may not be as sophisticated as some of the other apps, but Goodbudget offers a simple way to stick to your budget and keep your spending really disciplined.
Wally is an expense tracking app that shows a complete picture of your expenditures. You can view how much you've spent daily, weekly, or monthly, while dividing expenses into separate categories.
The best part about the app is that it allows you to simply scan your receipts and it will automatically input all the details of your purchase. That way, users don't have to go through the hassle of typing in every detail of its spending, while the app saves all the receipts.
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