We live in an age of constant stimulation; if you’re not being told exactly what to buy by the television, internet ads, blogs, and YouTube videos, then you it’s just as likely that you’ll be consumed by work or addiction to online technology.
With this fast-paced lifestyle, it’s not hard to lose track of what’s going on in the background; namely, the state of our own personal finances. Thankfully, there’s a slew of great apps out there which we can use to keep tabs on how much we’re spending.
Today, we’re going to look at a selection of our favourites for doing just that.
You Need a Budget
Also known as YNAB within its community, this app is pretty spectacular. Its goal is to help you visualize your finances, so that you can stop living on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis. In fact, its emphasis on assisting you in tackling your debt and dealing with unexpected circumstances is a breath of fresh air in the free-flowing world of app releases; because, when all things are considered, the only thing better than an original app idea, is an original app idea that helps you to drastically improve your standard of living.
Instead of allowing users to set their own disposable spending limits, YNAB analyses your funds by gathering information about your regular income and expenditure, and then creates a budget around that. This means that, instead of merely having saving goals, you’ll be living within the most realistic income of all – your actual earnings! Genius.
Another great tool for helping you to build your own nest egg is Acorns. By helping you to develop good financial habits, this simple app can let you start making the steps you need to build up a considerable nest egg.
How does it do this? Well, every time you make a purchase using a bank card which you’ve pre-configured with the Acorn app, it will round the amount to the next-highest dollar. By investing the difference between the price of your purchase and how much is actually deducted from your account into low-cost exchange-traded funds (and you can actually tell the app how risky you want your investments to be), you’ll start to see your rate or returns significantly grow.
After all, who doesn’t want to find an extra $500 or $1,000 in their investment account at the end of each year? We’re serious guys – try this one!
Yes, it’s ghetto, but it gets the job done. In fact, in the years before the proliferation of genuinely useful mobile apps for managing finances, I used to manage all of my expenses using a fairly straightforward Spreadsheet I put together in Excel.
Even with the most rudimentary formulas, you can tally up how much you’ve been spending, how much has come in to your bank account, and identify those sinks where you’re spending too much money and take the necessary action needed to close them up.
Of course, there are countless ways to manage your personal finances using today’s mobile technology. In fact, for those of you who are really into it, you can combine several different tools to create a kind of monolithic, terror-inducing master method for saving money. However, for those of you who just want to save a little, any of the above options are going to get you on the right track starting today.