Creating a budget is a necessary part of money management, but sticking to it, for many people, is the hardest part. Most people find it difficult to maintain a manual money management system.
The good news is that in this age of mobile technology, “There’s an App for that!” There are hundreds of personal finance apps. However, here are three of the best free apps for managing money that are easy to use.
Mint is one of the first free, web-based personal finance tools that plugs into all of your banks, investments, retirement funds, credit cards, and other financial accounts. This tool gives a quick, complete picture of your financial position and can connect to several banks in the United States and Canada. This personal finance app lets you see all of your money, where it’s going, as well as your account balances in real time. Mint helps you create a budget based on your spending habits and deposits and will warn you if you are not sticking to it. Want to create savings goals or see how much money you are really spending on dining out or shopping? Mint lets you see how much you’re spending on what types of purchases to help you make the necessary money management changes to help you stay on budget. Mint only has read-only access to show you account information and does not have access to change anything in your accounts. Mint also suggests financial products, like higher-interest savings accounts or lower-interest credit cards.
If you use or have heard of the “envelope budgeting system,” you will love Goodbudget. Goodbudget (formerly EEBA, the Easy Envelope Budget Aid) is a free, web-based personal finance tool that helps you categorize and track your spending in an easy and practical way. This tool allows you to divide your estimated income into categorized budget “envelopes,” like groceries, gas, utilities and entertainment. You then enter your expenses in their categorized and relevant envelope, where the available budgeted cash is reduced. Goodbudget’s free version allows you to create up to 10 custom “envelopes.” You can upgrade to the premium subscriptions to create unlimited envelopes and sync your budget across five devices to access the information anywhere or involve family members.
BudgetSimple helps you create a budget that works best for your lifestyle. This free budgeting and personal finance tool analyzes your finances and creates a budget with suggestions for where you can save money, increase your savings and reduce your spending. The goal of BudgetSimple is help you no longer live paycheck to paycheck. This tool gives you the option to enter your expenses manually, or connect it with your bank accounts. Once you have created your budget, this tool will help you keep your financial health in check. To use the advance feature to link your bank accounts to BudgetSimple, you can upgrade to a premium account. BudgetSimple is a simple and sensible budgeting tool that you can live by with graphs and statistics to help see where your money is going.
These three free apps for managing money will not only help you create a realistic budget, it will also help you stay on track with managing your money successfully. These and other free personal finance apps can be downloaded via iPhone or Android app stores.
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