5 Apps to Help Managing Your Personal Finances
Description: In the old days, we used to look to our checkbooks to see how much money we had in our bank account. Now, with a touch, we can pay for anything, using nothing more than our finance apps. That is getting some folks in debt. We have a better plan.
Introduction: Smartphones have revolutionized the way we do practically everything these days. For finding a spouse, ordering groceries, chatting with several friends at the same time all over the world, there are apps for it. And as smartphones have evolved, so have the apps, and the convenience of what they do has made life better for many of us.
The ease of connectivity
Want to connect with a friend you haven’t seen since high school? Go on Facebook. Want to book a cruise, then pick one of a cadre of travel agent apps or download the cruise line’s personal app and book straight from the source. Want to play your 20 free spins at your favorite casino? Most of them are also in your app store.
The average smartphone has five times the computing power of the Apollo space shuttle in the 70s. And with all that power, it can be easy to lose ourselves in the simplicity of use. Online shopping is a good example of that. But finance apps are where many people slip up.
Keep watching over your money
Financing applications help us keep a weather eye on our money. That’s what a personal finance apps job is. We can buy things and pay bills with them, but ultimately, we can check our balance without having to go to an ATM. But too often, it becomes so convenient to just hit “purchase” or swipe our phones over an RFID reader on a credit card machine, we have become complacent with tracking our finances.
Budgeting, watching the checkbook, and using certain financial software are things of the past, and this new recklessness in spending habits has devolved into a machine for debt, overdraft, and maxed out credit cards. Good finance apps tell you when you are getting low on money, but some will allow automatic withdrawals to go through even if the account Is near empty.
It could be reasoned that the problem is that many people don’t know how to use finance apps the way they were intended. The banks created them for you to keep track of money, make deposits, and even cash checks, all from the comfort of your home. Personal finance apps budgeting features are tailored to keep overdrafts at bay.
But many people think it is just a convenient way to buy literally anything, and that is flawed logic. Sure, it works for that, but financing applications are so much more versatile, and many of their features are underutilized by the undereducated user. Finance apps work best when you know all of what they do, not just the basic functions.
A few features of your finance apps are:
- Contact information with the bank
- Depositing checks
- Transferring money
- Applying for a new debit or credit card
- Reporting a lost or stolen debit or credit card
And if you are using it for home or business budgeting:
- Proper finance management
- Profit and loss statements
- Asset tracking
- Inventory control
The lists go on, but the point is, there is so much more to a finance app than just spending.
Top 5 apps to manage your finances
A top-notch budgeting tool that has been the go-to option for anyone serious about keeping their money in check for a pretty long time. It helps you save by budgeting properly, and if to put a fine point on their mission, they even made the app free.
This one will cost you a few bucks, but the way the app is set up, it is worth it, and it will balance out in the end. YNAB is conceptualized on a zero-based budgeting idea that takes what you make, plus your debt, and your savings, goals, and everything ends up at zero by the end of the month. For budgeting, it is an amazing concept, because every cent is accounted for.
Another free app; it tells you exactly how much money you have at any given time with one click.
If you want a comprehensive budgeting app, this is your choice. It tracks your finances, and even your subscriptions (and those fees can sneak up on you.)
There is a concept called the envelope system. Basically, you take, let’s say, 100 dollars, and you split it between a series of marked envelopes with plans or trips or future purchases written on each. And they don’t get touched until the desired total is reached. Goodbudget does that, except on your phone. It is the pinnacle of the finance apps list.
Finance applications aren’t just for personal and business finance. There are news apps to warn investors of market shifts. Then those investors use finance apps capital allocation features to shift money, saving their clients some serious headaches, and a lot of money.
Conclusion: For whatever aspect of the money game you are in, find your perfect app and learn everything about it, not just the basics, but the intricate details. There might be something in there that can make your life even easier than the app already has. Do you have a budgeting application on your smartphone?
Ellen Royce is an entrepreneur and a financial advisor with a passion for helping people develop successful side hustles. She knows the importance of smart money management firsthand, as the Coronavirus epidemic has had a devastating effect on several of her friend’s businesses.