Nowadays, there are millions of apps available for our smart phones. So, why not use them to help achieve some of our goals in life! I think it’s safe to assume that each of us, no matter our age, has financial goals. But to achieve our goals, we need to first have control of our money. To help, this blog will discuss a few of the most popular apps that might just help you get your finances in order.
Mint – This is an all-in-one app. You can track your bills and spending, and link as many accounts as you want, including debit cards, credit cards, savings, and even your student loan accounts. One awesome feature of Mint is you can recategorize your transactions as you’d like, and Mint will learn this for future transactions. For example, say you always want to categorize Target as groceries, but Mint categorizes it as shopping. On the website, www.mint.com, using your desktop or your mobile device (not the app), you can click on the transaction you want to change and select, “Always rename Target as Target and categorize as Groceries.” From this point forward, every time your card reads Target, Mint will add it to your grocery budget. Another great thing about this app is, you can set goals and link accounts related to these goals to see your progress all in one place.
Clarity Money – Similar to Mint, Clarity Money allows you to track your spending and link as many accounts as you’d like. Clarity allows you to see your spending patterns. The app sends notifications about your spending trends as well as how much you have spent over the last few days, and whether this is high or low for your typical spending habits. You can see graphs illustrating the percentage of your income spent on each of your categories. Also, like Mint, sometimes Clarity will categorize your tra nsactions differently, so you will have to recategorize the transaction on your own. A great feature is that Clarity will look at any subscriptions that regularly come out of your account and give you the option to cancel the service. If you choose to cancel, Clarity will cancel your subscription within about a week.
Goodbudget – This app allows you to save and track your spending by putting your money into “envelopes.” You may have heard of the envelope method before, but if not, check out our “Tracking Your Expenses” blog to learn about this method. This app is pretty much the same except that you are tracking your spending electronically. You can see reports of your spending habits in the app. This app is awesome if you have trouble with overspending because once you run out of money in the envelopes, you are done spending under that category. A different feature about this app is you can manually add your transactions and do not have to link your accounts. The app’s basic version is free, but you can pay $6/mo. for their PLUS version, which has a few more options available. The free version lets you have up to 10 envelopes, add 1 account, use it with 2 devices, and see your history for 1 year. I think the free version will work for almost everyone.
Hopefully, this blog gives you a little more insight into how apps can simplify your money management. These are some of the most popular apps because they offer customization, and help you visualize and keep up with your goals. Be mindful of the ads you see when using the apps. Advertisement is how these apps make money, but it doesn’t mean you have to sign-up for any of the products they offer. An important feature, and why people enjoy using these apps the most, is that they help you accomplish your goals for FREE.
I am a bilingual (Spanish/English) coach with an educational background in personal finance. I recently obtained my Master’s in financial planning from Texas Tech University, where I also gained practical experience in coaching students. While at Texas Tech, I coached my peers about their educational and financial concerns through individual coaching sessions and presentations. As a first-generation and minority graduate, I understand that succeeding through college can be difficult at times. I believe I can relate to what you are going through emotionally, mentally, and academically. Having recently graduated myself, I hope that with my education, experience, and empathy, I can provide you with the right tools to help you achieve your educational and financial goals.
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