If you’re like most of us, every month you vow to stay on track with your budget, only to get sidetracked by flight deals, designer sales, Uber Eats, emergencies and pre-spent tax refunds. Before you know it, your budget is low, your wallet is angry and you’re back to square one vowing to get it right the next time. But why wait? Now is as good a time as any to get serious, for real, about your finances. With the help of these personal finance apps, small steps can be taken today to get you started on your journey to financial wellness, so that getting your money right can go from recurring broken promise to permanent lifestyle.
You Need a Budget (YNAB)
The You Need A Budget App is not your average budgeting app. YNAB doesn't let you create budgets around money you don't have – it forces you to live within your actual income, helping you to stop living paycheck to paycheck, pay down debt and plan for emergencies. Not only can you set up weekly/monthly budgets, but you can also set up budgets for things like holiday gifts or baecations. Getting off track? No worries, the built in accountability partner is there to reign you in. YNAB is free for 34 days before a $6.99/month fee kicks in (It's free for students for 12 months), but the fee is worth it to have access to other features like email support, financial classes and free, live workshops.
Mint helps you bring together everything from balances and bills to your credit score and more, so you can see where you stand and how to improve. The app lets you know when bills are due, what you owe, what you can pay, and also sends you payment reminders so you can avoid late fees. Mint even gives you specific advice to gain more control over your budget by analyzing your spending habits.
If you've thought about investing, but didn't know where to start, Acorns is the app for you. Acorns is an easy, painless way to save money without having to think too hard. Simply connect your card to the account and Acorns uses the spare change from your purchases to get you started in micro investing that’s extremely easy to do and comes with a low risk. The spare change from every purchase you make becomes an investment in your future without you even noticing. Looking to beef up your retirement fund? Acorns can help with that too! Acorns Later will recommend an IRA and portfolio that’s right for you and get you started with recurring contributions, so you can just set it and forget it.