No matter how you feel about smartphones and our attachment to them, there’s no denying the usefulness and convenience of apps. Programs that fit in the palm of your hand help you do everything from requesting a taxi to paying rent to keeping entertained on the go. Budgeting and personal finance require constant vigilance, which makes apps and other online tools perfect for keeping you on track. Consider loading up your phone with some of these.
Mint is probably one of the most popular budgeting apps you can find for Apple or Android devices. Owned by Intuit, the creators of tax and business software like TurboTax, the app combines all of your finances into one place to help you manage the big picture. It pulls all of your transactions and categorizes them to show where all of your money is going. From there, it walks you through creating a budget based on your needs, and then tracks future transactions to keep you accountable. Latoya Irby of The Balance reports that some of Mint’s latest updates also let you monitor your credit score for free and see how your current finances are affecting it.
YNAB, or You Need A Budget, is an upscale version of Mint with a price tag to match. Arielle O’Shea and Lauren Schwann of NerdWallet reported that an annual subscription to YNAB is $83.99 a year, or $6.99 a month, with a discount for students. You can take advantage of a free 34-day trial before you commit, but this app might not be for you if your financial position makes paying that much prohibitive or you aren’t sure how devoted you’ll be to digital budget management. The program’s main differentiator is that it utilizes an envelope-based system, which means it allots your income into specific categories to make sure that you stick to a stricter budget. The basics of YNAB are best accessed on a browser, O’Shea and Schwann report, but apps still do the job when you’re out spending money.
Budgeting is great to help you accomplish your big-picture goals, but sometimes when you’re out and about you just want to know how much you can spend right now. O’Shea and Schwann say that PocketGuard analyzes your income and how much of it is dedicated to bills and accomplishing your financial goals. When you open the app, it simply tells you how much money is left to get you until the end of the budget period– or in your pocket, so to speak. You can decide if you want that money in your pocket to be pre-destined for certain categories, or just a lump sum to divide up as you see fit.
No matter how you look at it, budgeting is something that takes a lot of your time and dedication. If you decide to use these smartphone apps, you can take big strides toward accomplishing your goals.