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Top 10 Money Management Apps Every Personal Finance Enthusiast Must Use

Top 10 Money Management Apps Every Personal Finance Enthusiast Must Use

Mobile apps are quickly becoming one major way we run our daily lives. But when it comes to more important matters,like personal finance and household budgeting, there are some apps out there that are really worth their weight in gold.

1. Mint

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    Mint allows you to pull all of your personal finance accounts into one place so you can manage your money from anywhere. You can track your spending, create a budget, and get bill alerts and reminders from this mobile app that allows you to see all of your accounts – checking, savings, and credit cards – in one place.

    Download Mint here. (Reviews here)

    2. Check (formerly Pageonce)

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      This app is a very simple and easy to use tool to help you remember when payments are due and to create monthly budgets. Check stays on top of your bills and money for you, so you can avoid missing a bill payment or getting hit with late fees. When bills are due or funds are low, the app will let you know so you can address the issue before it becomes a problem.

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      Download Check here. (Reviews here)

      3. You Need a Budget

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        As the name suggests, YNAB helps you build a reasonable budget and stick to it to help you get out of debt. It helps you make smarter decisions when it comes to purchases by giving you an overall picture of what your financial situation looks like. It is subscription based, which will cost you $60.00, but offers a free 34 day initial trial period before you commit to buying.

        Download it here.

        4. Doxo

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          Doxo is a new app, created based on the success of social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. Doxo allows you to centralize all of your important family information into one organized space, helping you move beyond financial management and into household management. It allows you to back-up important family documents, manage household payments, and connect with utility and service providers.

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          Download it here. (Reviews here)

          5. SigFig

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            SigFig is a mobile app that will design you a professionally diversified investment portfolio, monitor it, and automatically make the necessary changes to keep it on track. Once you sync your accounts (currently works with over 100 brokerages including Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab, Ameritrade, E*Trade, and Scottrade), it allows you to see all your investments, including your 401K and IRA, in one central place.

            Download SigFig here. (Reviews here)

            6. Toshl Finance

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              It’s easy to forget that all of those morning cups of coffee, fast-food lunches, and gas station fill-ups add up. This app tracks it all for you, and was built behind the belief that knowing where your money is at all times is the first step to financial freedom.

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              Download it here. (Reviews here)

              7. Spending Tracker

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                Spending Tracker is one of the easiest and most user-friendly personal finance apps you can find today. It helps you to track your spending so that you are better able to stick to a budget and save money.

                Download it here.

                8. Checkbook

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                  Checkbook replaces your paper checkbook with a quicker, more convenient way to manage your daily finances. You can reconcile transactions, save recurring expenses, and schedule items to take place ahead of time.

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                  Download it here.

                  9. Expensify

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                    This mobile app is a must-have for entrepreneurs who have to track their business expenses for reimbursement or tax purposes. Their “SmartScan” technology reads the receipt and records the expense, and the app helps track your mileage and record your business related travel.
                    Download it here.

                    10. Mvelopes

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                      Have you ever heard of the envelope system of budgeting? This is where you set your monthly budget for various items and then when you get your paycheck, you literally put cash into different envelopes, each labeled with a different category from your budget. Well, if this budgeting method works for you, then Mvelopes is the app you need.

                      Download it here.

                      Many people believe that using apps can help them make real financial progress with both eliminating and preventing debt. If nothing else, it can certainly help you become more disciplined and aware of your spending habits.

                      Featured photo credit: Ken Teegardin via seniorliving.org

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                      Published on September 17, 2018

                      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                      How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

                      Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

                      With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

                      So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

                      1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

                      It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

                      You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

                      So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

                      2. When you want something big, wait

                      Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

                      It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

                      We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

                      A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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                      So, you get the itch.

                      You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

                      Here’s where you have to take a step back.

                      Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

                      Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

                      It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

                      The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

                      3. Live smaller than you can afford

                      You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

                      You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

                      That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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                      Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

                      Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

                      The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

                      But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

                      4. Practice smart grocery shopping

                      Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

                      But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

                      Create a grocery budget

                      Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

                      Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

                      I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

                      Make a list… and never deviate

                      Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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                      You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

                      These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

                      Eat before going grocery shopping

                      It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

                      If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

                      After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

                      Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

                      However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

                      This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

                      5. Cancel your gym membership

                      Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

                      The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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                      Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

                      I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

                      Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

                      Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

                      For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

                      Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

                      There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

                      It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

                      I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

                      Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

                      The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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