While it’s helpful to have a financial advisor to talk to about savings and investments, it’s not that easy for some Americans to actually save money, even if they make a lot. This 2016 survey found that 69% of Americans have less than $1000 in their savings accounts, and it’s not entirely surprising. A lot of people struggle to spend less than they make. One way to figure out where your money is going is to budget better. Here, we suggest three of the best apps to help manage your budget.
Mint.com is a free app that allows you to set up budgets and effortlessly lets you see what you have and what you owe. Just add all of your bank and credit card accounts, and Mint becomes your all-in-one resource to pay your bills on time and set up a budget that helps you save. You no longer need to sign into multiple sites to pay bills; it’s all right in front of you. It tracks your spending and sends you payment reminders so that late fees are a thing of the past.
You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget (YNAB) operates on a simple premise: every dollar has a job. Because of this, users are basically training themselves to live within their means; if you overspend on a category one month, you don’t have funds for that category the next month. It’s a great way to see where you might be overspending without even realizing it. Though this app requires either a small monthly or annual fee, YNAB also offers online Q&A classes to help you learn budgeting basics.
If the difficulty to budget extends to your work life as well, the free app Expensify helps you track your expenses if you’re a freelancer or small business owner. You can instantly add expenses, use their SmartScan option to take photos of receipts, then categorize and save them (no more scrounging to find all those slips of paper for your expense reports!). You can also track Time and Distance if you do a lot of traveling for work (or turn on your Location on your phone, and Expensify will do the work for you).
By using these apps either on desktop or mobile, you’ll be able to get a handle on where your money is going – and you’ll be less likely to spend outside of your income. Once you’re saving regularly and are in a good place financially, sit down with a Chatterton & Associates financial advisor to talk about investments or other financial needs that are important to you.
Chatterton & Associates