In today’s digital age, when our smartphones are never far from us and we regularly use apps to keep lists, track our steps, and chat with friends, too many of us are still stuck with paper and pencil when it comes time to balance our budgets. Luckily, while we’ve been mired in the stone age, app developers have been innovating and streamlining a variety of apps to help us save money and keep our spending on track. Today we’ve gathered together 5 of the best.
Mint is the reigning king of financial apps, and for good reason. Mint gives you a clear view of your finances, income, and spending by automatically sorting your spending into different categories (food, clothing, bills, business, etc). It also allows you to see how you’re spending in each category changes over time, which gives you the ability to make informed decisions about how to change it in the future.
While not every deal you’ll find on Groupon is worth it, there are undeniably huge savings waiting to be reaped as long as you’re willing to do a little hunting. Like all deal-finding apps though, Groupon can be a bit of a double-edged sword by tempting you to buy things you don’t need. As a general rule of thumb though, you should do research on the average price of the item before taking advantage of any deal, and take a minute to ask yourself whether it’s something you really need or just want.
Acorn is another money saving app, but works fundamentally different than Groupon. Acorn is an app that automates your savings that rounds up the spare change of any purchase with your credit card and invests it in a portfolio. So if you want to plan ahead and feel like you just don’t have the time, Acorn is a great way of doing that.
Digit takes automatic savings a step further than Acorn. Instead of just rounding up to the nearest dollar, Digit analyzes your average leftover income each month after all your bills and costs are paid, and automatically shifts over a small amount immediately to a savings account. It’s great because the amount is small enough that you won’t notice it month to month, but when you do need it, you’ll have a nice little nest egg.
If you do have a little more time to invest but don’t necessarily have the money to immediately become a captain of industry, Robinhood is a great way of easing into the world of investing and stocks. The app is conveniently designed and streamlines the process of buying and selling stocks, while also minimizing the cost of each individual trade.
Hopefully, you’ll find these 5 apps to be useful in keeping your finances on track. If you still find your struggling afterward though, think about taking out payday loans. They’re fast and convenient and are another way people are forcing their finances into the 21st century.