Today we have a guest post for you from fellow blogger, Anum Yoon. Enjoy!
There are tons of online tools and apps available to make all aspects of your life easier. With that the case, why is it still so hard to save money?
It takes discipline to effectively save money, but let’s face it — not everyone is up for the challenge without a bit of prodding. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that can help motivate you to save more money. Here are five.
Level Money describes itself as a “financial GPS” app because it helps you navigate your financial situation, so you spend smartly. The app helps you plan ahead by accounting for regular essentials such as rent and other bills, as well as a goal for savings.
It calls the money that’s left over your “spendable,” which is the cash you have on hand that you can spend comfortably without cutting into any of your essential piles.
The app tracks and visualizes a variety of spending types to give you an idea where your money is going. If the bar on your “eating out” tracker is too big, you know it’s probably time to cut back on it.
One of the best things about the app? It’s free.
The Acorns app is aptly named, because it aims to help you grow your wealth. The app doesn’t necessarily motivate you to do so yourself. Rather, it does a bit of micro-investing for you each time you make a purchase.
Here’s how it works. You connect the app to your cards and accounts you use to make common purchases. Each time you spend, the app rounds up the total and invests the spare change. So, if you spend $19.11 on a quick grocery trip, the total is rounded up to $20 even. That extra 89 cents is invested and diversified across more than 7,000 stocks and bonds.
The app does the investing for you, but once you start to see tangible results, you’ll no doubt be motivated to do a bit of the investing on your own. It costs $1 per month, and it’s free for college students with a .edu email address.
If you’re serious about saving money and want to take an active approach, there are all sorts of online calculators available to help you meet your goals. Some prefer not to think about the money they save, though, and for those folks, there is the Digit app.
The first step to the app is to connect your bank account so Digit can analyze your spending habits. The app then moves some money from your checking account to a separate Digit account without you having to do anything.
The app never takes out more than you can afford, and it even has a no-overdraft guarantee to give you some peace of mind. It also allows you to access and transfer your savings anytime.
The app is great for those who have trouble saving on their own. It offers a free 100-day trial, and then it’s $2.99 per month.
There is a good chance the acronym YNAB is right for you — it means “You Need a Budget.”
The YNAB app connects all of your bank accounts in one place and makes it easy to budget by keeping things in order. It gives you information about your account in real time from any device, and you can share that info with a spouse to help prevent overspending.
One of the most useful features of the YNAB app is the lessons it teaches you about eliminating and staying out of debt.
The YNAB app is free for 34 days, and then it costs $50 per year. That can be a solid investment. The company says users save an average of $200 in their first month and more than $3,300 in their first nine months.
Spendee is a budgeting service that has apps for iOS and Android devices, as well as a web-based app you can access from any device.
The app syncs with your online banking accounts and allows you to create separate wallets for different purposes. It tracks your locations to show you where you tend to spend your money, and it helps you plan transactions across multiple budgets.
The free version of Spendee offers basic features, while the $2.99-per-month premium version includes features such as wallets you can share with friends or family and unlimited budgets.
Spending money is easy. For some, it takes some training and guidance to get into the saving mindset. If that’s the case for you, each of these five apps will help you get there.
Anum Yoon is the blogger behind Current on Currency, a blog for adults who can’t money good. All jokes aside, Anum is passionate about sharing actionable personal finance insights.