Managing money was hard enough when it was just our weekly allowance of a crisp twenty dollar bill, but taking even one step into the adult world makes everything incredibly complicated, and managing all your money online can often add to that confusion instead of resolving it. Thankfully, there are some super smart apps out there to help line your pockets and keep your pockets in line.
Probably the most widely-known of the personal finance apps out there, Mint lets you plan budgets, track your bills, see across all your accounts, and even get a free credit check, all in one place. The app will even help you create a budget by analyzing your purchase history, then reviews the budget with you using visual graphs and simple guidance. Most experts recommend Mint for beginners who are looking for simplification without paying an arm and a leg for the service.
Think of this one like a personal piggy bank that catches all your spare change. Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar, then deposits those cents into a computer-managed investment portfolio. So if you pay $4.25 for a latte, 75 cents will get swept into the investment account, with the idea that saving a little on a consistent basis will round up to a lot. The cost is low at $1 a month (until you hit $5,000), and is particularly aimed at college students, who can sign up for free with a valid .edu email address.
You’ve definitely heard a commercial (or seventeen) hyping up this free credit score service over the last decade or so, but if you were waiting for the catch, there isn’t much of one. Instead of paying to view your score
For the eager learners out there who can’t seem to stick to their limits, you need this app. The educational resources surpass those offered on other apps, helping you actively learn how to improve your financial situation and better manage your money so that you have more of it. You won’t get an MBA out of it, though – this app is more for people who are living on a limited income and need to stretch every dollar. The app requires you to balance your budget and meet expenses without overspending, and helps you become overall more aware of spending habits and wasteful behavior.
Calling all Marie Kondo fans: do your spending habits spark joy? That is actually the basic concept of this app, which tracks your savings and spending based on the user’s happiness related to purchases. Users are prompted to report how happy or sad they feel about recent purchases, which helps users reflect on how their money management is adding or detracting happiness from their lives. So let us know, is that Netflix subscription sparking joy?