In order to improve your financial situation, it's important to have a clear view of your spending. Instead of taking hours each month to manually sort through bank account statements to see where your money is going, budgeting apps can automate the process for you, providing clear and detailed charts of your financial and spending breakdowns.
With this information, you can more easily stay within a budget and make changes to your habits or lifestyle that address the most pressing issues for your financial health. A great way to start small when it comes to budgeting is product protection. An extended warranty plan can save you money in the long run by ensuring your products are protected in case of accidents, damage, or anything else that might happen.
What can budget apps do for you?
- Raise awareness. Without a clear picture of your spending and earning habits, it’s easy for your finances to spin out of control. By getting a breakdown of your spending categories, it's much easier to gain awareness of your financial strengths and weaknesses.
- Help save for goals. If you are someone who wants to save for a house, wedding, vacation, or emergency fund, but don’t feel like you have the level of organization required to make it possible, an app can help you automate or streamline the budgeting process, so you actually achieve your financial goals.
- Pay bills on time. Missing payments is harmful to your credit, and apps can help you keep track of your bill schedule and meet your payment requirements.
- Reduce stress and anxiety. Having an unclear picture of your finances can be overwhelming and lead to more stress. With the right information at your fingertips, you'll be able to reduce your stress levels and take action.
Our favorite budgeting apps that can help you save
Mint is owned by Intuit, a company known for its other contributions in the financial space, including TurboTax and QuickBooks. The app is thorough and allows you to track your bills, subscriptions, and costs in each spending category. Mint automatically categorizes your purchases to help you stay within budget and shows you where you are coming in over your targets. It also helps you build savings goals and can tell you when you will have money left over to put aside.
Goodbudget is based on the envelope method of budgeting, wherein you put aside a designated amount of money per month for each spending category (theoretically, cash into envelopes for each one) and then track when you are nearly using the full amount. Then you can set aside money to spend on other activities or saving, so you can make a plan up-front rather than only tracking your spending behavior after the fact.
This app offers similar tracking features to Mint, but will also help you plan to pay off your debts. Plus, you can create savings goals that follow the SMART (Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Relevant; and Time-Based) goal framework to help you hit your targets in the quest to save for an emergency fund, vacation, or other occasion.
This app is designed to help couples manage their joint finances, making it easy to coordinate bills between shared and individual accounts. They also offer a joint bank account and debit card that couples can use to make their shared payments.
Brought to you by Ramsey Solutions, EveryDollar allows you to develop a budget with customized categories, savings goals, and bill planning. You can connect your accounts, get insight from financial professionals, and save for major goals.
Designed to help its users build credit, access their paychecks faster, and get cash advances, the Empower app offers not only spending tracking and savings planning, but also gives access to the same perks as credit cards, with up to 10% cash back.
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To save money while you shop, use the Mulberry browser extension. It allows you to see the product protection plans that are available on your items, earn rewards, and even qualify for free protection plans. It's another great tool when it comes to saving money.