Budgeting without a visual component makes setting goals unrealistic. When you can’t see what’s coming and going from your account, then you cannot create a plan to become financially stable. With mobile banking, we already have the ease of real-time access to our accounts. However, if you’re not tracking your purchases (and those sneaky subscriptions), you’ll have a difficult time understanding how you spend money. To start comprehending your finances (ie. what you actually can and cannot afford) meet with a financial advisor. Your bank most likely provides these through appointment only, but they’re a great tool to get yourself on track.
Then, once you know what your goals are and how to reach them, start planning. In the era of the App Store, you can find tools to keep track of your progress. These apps will require access to your bank accounts, but choosing the right one means higher security and better results. Below, you’ll find a list of the most popular and successful savings tools.
App Store Rank: #14 in Finance | Rating: 4.7
This is a great app for saving and investing money without having to make the transfers yourself. Acorns uses your transactions and invests change through Round-up. For example, if you spend $4.30 on a Starbucks coffee every morning, then Acrons rounds up to the next dollar to invest $0.70 for you. Your money goes toward Exchanged Traded Funds (learn more about ETFs here) and is handled through the app’s experts. Monthly costs range from $1-3 depending on your plan. This app also provides a bank account and debit card, making your investments easier.
App Store Rank: #24 in Finance | Rating: 4.7
Mint is great for anyone who enjoys making lists. This app lets you create your budgets and automatically categorizes each transaction to its rightful place. That means fast food, gas, groceries, clothes, gym memberships, etc. are all categorized for you. Each group is then placed into a pie chart–and taadaa, a visual representation of your spending. This helps you see areas you can cut or lower spending. It also sends you weekly updates on your spending habits and will immediately notify you when you’ve gone over a certain budget.
App Store Rank: #48 in Finance | Rating: 4.6
Primarily a financial tool, Albert analyzes your income and spending habits to find new ways to save money. While reviewing what you spend each month on bills and subscriptions, this app will alert you when you’re overspending and suggest new providers at a lower cost. But what makes Albert different is the 24/7 access to real, human financial advisors. You can text Albert anytime with questions about major purchases (buying a car) to small ones (like going out to eat).