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10 Personal Financial Management Apps You Need To Build Wealth

10 Personal Financial Management Apps You Need To Build Wealth

Building wealth is a long-term that takes not only time, but also the use of a variety of tools to make it happen. It requires the monitoring of various aspects of your spending and saving life. When there is a fault in one aspect or the other, it can impede you reaching your goal in a timely manner. Today, we will take a look at 10 personal financial management applications that will ensure that you are on the right track to building wealth and a large nest egg for the future.

1. Acorns

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    Acorns is an application that is set to be released in July 2014 on the App Store. The app allows you to invest the small spare change, or any amount you choose, into a diversified money market account. Through this, you can gather profit from small and large companies, government bonds, and more.

    Love: Makes investment more approachable for the average individual who may be scared off from the idea of a sophisticated investment portfolio.

    Hate: You must use your bank account for investments. Understandable to prevent credit card debt, but some individuals may prefer other options.

    iOS ($1/month) – Android ($1/month)

    2. Mint

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      Mint allows you to get a holistic view of your finances, including advice on problem areas. When your active accounts are connected, you are able to get a full view of your cash flow, taking into consideration credit card charges and income as well.

      Love: You are able to stay on top of your finances and even get emails when you are falling off the wagon of financial health.

      Hate: Sometimes, budgets aren’t accurate, which requires having to stay on top of the application more than your finances sometimes to ensure things are properly allocated.

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      iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

      3. Level Money

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        The main appeal of LevelMoney are the informative info graphics that allow you to stay on top of your finances, savings as well as spending habits. Plus, as shown above, you can get an easily digestible view of your day, week, and month.

        Love: Simple, easily digestible, and informative.

        Hate: Some may want a little more out of the application, in terms of financial management.

        iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

        4. Scanner Pro

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          Having a digital form of your receipts and financial forms can allow you to ensure that you can easily access important documents dealing with your money. Scanner Pro brings scanning capabilities to your iPhone, allowing you to export as a PDF all within your iPhone itself.

          Love: Great way to digitize papers on the go.

          Hate: For $2.99, the capabilities that come with the app may not be worth it to some, who may simply substitute by taking a photo instead.

          iOS ($2.99)

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          5. Spendee

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            Spendee is a very minimalist financial advice application that analyzes your spending habits to provide you tips on how to spend your money wisely. Your savings activity is also monitored to ensure that you are working toward a plan of building wealth for the future.

            Love: The ability to export your spending and income into an Excel document. I also love the ability to take photos of bills and receipts all in an app worth gorgeous graphs.

            Hate: Financial information focuses more on the month to month, rather than continuously offering your financial state.

            iOS ($1.99) – Android ($1.99)

            6. BillGuard

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              BillGuard allows you to stay on top of your finances to build wealth through keeping track of the bills and other aspects of spending to ensure that you are on a path of financial health. The “guard” aspect of BillGuard comes with the fact that your cards are protected from fraud.

              Love: Security of cards through notifications of suspicious charges and activity.

              Hate: Improved categorization needed.

              iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

              7. Expensify

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                Simply attach your accounts and get expense reports easily downloadable on the application. Several of the features in the application make it welcoming to frequent travelers and business users alike.

                Love: Currency conversion is a great pull feature for travellers, including the ability to import flight information.

                Hate: iPhone seems dependent on the web component.

                iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

                8. Credit Karma Mobile

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                  The most important gate to building smart wealth is through having full knowledge of your credit score and history.  Credit Karma is a big name in credit scores and the application allows you to stay on top of it while also keeping track of your financial accounts connected to the app.

                  Love: You truly get your full credit report for free, without any hidden fees.

                  Hate: None.

                  iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

                  9. Check

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                    Stay on top of your due dates and credit limits. This is the application that ensures that you are on top of bills and ensures that you aren’t going to have a high utilization percentage on your credit cards.

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                    Love: Beautiful application that alerts you when due dates are nearing.

                    Hate: Account management issues; including separate accounts under the same company.

                    iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

                    10. Bloomberg

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                      Staying on top of market news and updates of the stock market will help you to come to a better conclusion on the right time to invest in a specific company. Bloomberg for iOS and Android ensures that you become well versed in all things in financial current affairs.

                      Love: Easy to use and minimalist, while continuing to give a determined and serious user interface. This is the app to get the news you need on finance without fluff.

                      Hate: Geared toward those a little bit more versed in the financial markets, not exactly for fresh beginners yet.

                      iOS (Free) – Android (Free)

                      Featured photo credit: Frontspace via frontspace.com

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                      Published on May 7, 2019

                      How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                      How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

                      When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

                      Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

                      Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

                      You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

                      Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

                      1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

                      Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

                      But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

                      • Will you spend more time with your family?
                      • What does retirement mean to you?
                      • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

                      Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

                      Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

                      2. Figure out When to Invest

                      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

                      It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

                      The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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                      A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

                      Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

                      3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

                      Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

                      Why?

                      Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

                      Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

                      Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

                      Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

                      4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

                      Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

                      If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

                      You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

                      1. Vanguard
                      2. TD Ameritrade
                      3. Charles Schwab

                      5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

                      Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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                      Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

                      That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

                      Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

                      A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

                      6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

                      The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

                      Robo Advisors

                      Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

                      Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

                      Bonds

                      Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

                      Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

                      Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

                      1. Treasury bonds
                      2. Government bonds
                      3. Corporate bonds
                      4. Foreign bonds
                      5. Mortgage-backed bonds
                      6. Municipal bonds

                      Mutual Funds

                      Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

                      One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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                      Real Estate

                      Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

                      Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

                      This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

                      But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

                      Savings Accounts

                      Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

                      7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

                      Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

                      So how can you master delayed gratification?

                      By building your discipline.

                      Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

                      Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

                      8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

                      I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

                      It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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                      More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

                      But, how can you invest yourself?

                      Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

                      Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

                      But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

                      Retire Happy with Excess Money

                      The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

                      It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

                      I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

                      Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

                      One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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                      Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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