Whether they are for social media platforms or for e-commerce services, we rely on smartphone apps to conduct various activities that affect our everyday lives. There are even apps that help us save money.
For many people, saving money, budgeting, and tracking all of their finances are all challenging. According to the Federal Reserve, 44 percent of Americans said they couldn’t come up with $400 for an emergency situation.
Fortunately, these money apps can help you learn how to budget and save. Each has their own unique nuances which set them apart from similar services; however, they are all designed to collect small amounts of money which add up over time.
The following are the five apps that can help you save money:
- Mint - From the creators of Quicken and TurboTax, Mint is a budgeting app that is available for both iOS and Android users. This app allows you to keep track all of your financial activity from every single one of your accounts (i.e. checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, etc.), helping you understand your spending patterns and creating a budget. Additionally, it also notifies you of ways to reduce the money you spend on monthly bills and fees, and informs you of unusual charges. Most helpful of all, it shows your credit score to provide a clear picture of the overall condition of your finances.
- Digit - If you want to save money without even thinking about it, you should try Digit. While this app studies your spending habits and income history to predict your cash flow, it also analyzes your bank account activity, then makes small withdrawals in a very discreet manner. Digit will transfer money from your checking account to your Digit account, according to what you can afford and without risk of overdrafts. This app is free on iOS and Android for the first 100 days, then it’s $2.99 per month after.
- Acorns - Acorns is considered the first app to invest your spare change in a basic investment portfolio. First, it rounds up the cost of your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference from your checking account into an Acorns account. For instance, you pay $3.50 for a burger, it would round up and you’d invest 50 cents. It invests the money in $5 increments in one of five portfolio options--ranging from conservative to aggressive. The app charges $1-per-month for accounts with less than $5,000, or an annual fee of .25 percent of the account balance for accounts with more than $5,000. Keep in mind, your Acorns account is considered an investment account, meaning it is not insured by the FDIC.
- Qapital - This app enables you to establish specific conditions which trigger it to transfer money to your savings. For instance, you can direct Qapital to set aside 12 percent of your paycheck every time you get paid. Moreover, it also conducts round-ups to the nearest dollar on every purchase, depositing the difference into your savings. Qapital is free and all accounts are insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000.
- You Need a Budget (YNAB) - This app allows you to create a budget according to a four-step plan: (1) live on last month’s income, (2) make every dollar count, (3) avoid overspending, and (4) monitor infrequent expenses. The purpose of YNAB is to change the way you manage your money and to create finances without stress. Available on both iOS and Android, it has a 34-day free trial period and after that, it is $50 annually. But if you are looking to gain a better understanding of your finances and turn them around, this software is well worth it.