Maybe you’re struggling to pay your bills or sock money away for an emergency fund. Maybe you’re wondering if you’ll ever be able to afford to send your child to college or buy your own home.
Could personal finance apps solve all of your problems? Probably not. But the right one might just get you pointed in the direction of where you need to go.
Personal finance apps can help you manage your budget on the fly, alert you to when your spending gets too high and even give you virtual high fives for good effort. Equally important, these apps are free -- so you won’t have to dip into your already tight budget to take advantage of one.
Developed by the popular personal finance site, this app lets users track and pay bills; budget; check their credit score; and get alerts or advice on how they’re doing. With it, your cards, bills and accounts are all in one place -- making it easier to keep tabs on all of your spending and saving.
The money management tool does everything from track the money you’re spending to uncover ways you can save. Features include recommending wasteful accounts that you could cancel, such as that membership to the gym that you never go to, and helping you get a better deal on your credit card or cable bills.
The app pulls together all of your bills, statements and other important documents into one place so there no longer is any frantic searching for paper bills and online statements anymore.
The app aims to help users “achieve balance” between spending and saving. With Level Money, you can plan ahead for required costs, such as your mortgage payment and the utility bill; set savings goals; and, finally, keep track of any extra spending money you might have for a little splurge such as dinner out or a night at the movies.
The app makes it easier for users to automate their efforts to save more money. You steer the ship -- setting up savings goals and savings rules that determine when money is transferred from your own checking account to your Qapital account, an FDIC-insured account at Wells Fargo Bank that you open through the app. Savings “rules” could include something as small as rounding up your change every time you make a purchase with a card linked to your Qapital account. According to Qapital’s website, the average user saves $44 each month just rounding up their change.
Having trouble creating a budget? This app says it makes the task “easy and fun.” You set up your budget plan in the app, which can predict your balance up to two years into the future and graph it for you, according to its website.
Just like with any personal finance or savings plan, none of these apps will help you do anything unless you make a plan, set goals and stick with it. These apps just make the task a little easier -- and, just maybe, a little bit more fun.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.
Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
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