If there is one resolution I have this year it’s to better manage my finances. I’ve always had a knack for finding ways to save and score a deal, but good money management isn’t just about spending wisely, it’s also about saving wisely – something I haven’t been great at. Thankfully there are so many great money management apps and tools out there, and these 4 in particular have really stood out for me.
Mint – the Grand Poobah
Add your bank accounts, your credit cards, your investment accounts, and even your real estate properties, and Mint gives you a detailed breakdown of everything. It shows you where your money is going (60%+ of my spending go to my home, thanks to my mortgage) and gives you suggestions on how you can save more or spend wiser. You can also set budgets and Mint will remind you when you’re overspending in any category – very helpful if you’re a shopaholic like me.
If you want just one app to better manage your money, this is the app for you. It’s free and has a web version and both iPhone and Android apps. Highly recommend!
Check – when you have too many credit cards
I have a lot of credit cards because I like to maximize the rewards, but it’s a pain to keep track of them all. Yes you can always select autopay, but I have a habit of checking my statements before I pay, just to make sure I’m not paying for someone else’s crap (definitely had to cancel a couple cards because of that).
You can add your bank accounts, your credit cards, and your loans to Check, and it’ll remind you when payments are due. But there’s more! You can add your utilities – water, electricity, etc. – and your phone bills, and Check will keep track of those as well. Pretty much anything that requires monthly payments, you can keep track of with Check, for free.
Spendee – going old school
Way before the iPhone, I kept track of my spending using a little notebook. Weekly allowance: +$15. Shopping trip: -$50. End of the day: -$35. Yes it’s old school, but IMO this gives me the most up-to-date and accurate look on my spending for the month. Spendee is like my little notebook, but packaged in an iPhone/Android app with a gorgeous user interface.
You have to be diligent about tracking every single transaction though, or else the report won’t be accurate. Luckily Spendee makes that easy by allowing you to add recurring transactions – great for monthly bills and paychecks. Seriously, the pretty design just makes you want to use it!
Betterment – investing for the n00bs and lazy
I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I graduated from the business school, yet I’m clueless when it comes to investing. It doesn’t help that most investment sites overwhelm their users with information, which only confuses me even more. However, I know that putting all my savings into a savings account and getting 0.8% interest rate isn’t going to get me anywhere, so I turned to Betterment.
I’m a fan of clean and intuitive user interfaces, and Betterment has definitely nailed that. On top of that, the system is dead simple: tell it what your goals are, how much you want to make, how long, and bam, it makes all the calculations and allocations for you. To get you started, they give you a 30-day free trial and a $25 bonus. The fees are very reasonable, so definitely check them out if you’re a lazy or easily intimidated investor like me!
How do you all manage your finances? I’d love to know what you guys do, especially in terms of saving and investing! Hope you found this post somewhat helpful/informative!