Your smartphone is rarely out of your sight — you use it to communicate with friends, play games, keep up with work, surf your favorite websites and engage with friends and followers on social media. Your smartphone is a staple in your life, so it should stand to reason that it can be useful in running your finances. If you’re not using these finance-focused apps, you could be missing out on budgeting tools, major savings and fun perks.
Math can be intimidating on its own, and only becomes more so when it ties into your financial stability and future. You Need a Budget is one of several apps that help take some of the intimidation out of the process and can help boost your confidence that you are doing all you can to make the most out of your money.
“You Need a Budget is an app that helps you create an easy-to-use budget interface that teaches you more about the value of money,” writes Due Co-Founder Renzo Costarella for Entrepreneur. “As a result, you’ll learn to prioritize certain expenses, find ways to save more money for retirement and emergencies, handle unexpected costs and live within your means rather than using credit.”
Costarella also recommends Mint for those who have a lot of bills to pay every month. In addition to helping create a budget and build up your savings, Mint helps you keep track of due dates and lets you see how your progress has positively affected your credit score.
Automate your finances
Arguably one of the largest impediments to saving is the fact that you have to make a conscious effort to do so. It’s not that you don’t want to save, but that you can always think of other ways to use that money. It is easy to talk yourself out of putting money away every month in favor of spending it on necessities.
To get around this, MarketWatch’s Kari Paul recommends automating your savings with apps like Trim, Digit and Qapital. These apps are proactive about putting away the money you have and finding ways to minimize your expenses so that you have more money to work with, and they’re exceptional tools for your budgetary arsenal.
Be a digital coupon clipper
Before you make an online purchase, you should always stop to check if there is a coupon for the retailer. You’ll more than likely be faced with some questionable links and websites in your search, which can make it difficult to know who to trust. An app like Honey, according to Costarella, takes much of the uncertainty out of the process.
“Working as a browser extension on all of your devices, Honey is always working to uncover those sweet deals you need to spend less on anything you buy online,” Costarella writes. Honey automatically finds the most applicable, valid coupon for your order and applies it, minimizing your risk of inadvertently venturing onto a compromised website.
If you want a mix of printable, online and mobile coupons, AARP writer Jean Chatzky suggests using an app like Coupon Sherpa. Chatzky writes, “I get the savings without investing hours clipping and organizing. And no rifling through an envelope at checkout.”
You can even make your binge-watching sessions and online gaming hobby work for you. An app like Viggle, according to Costarella, earns you points for television and game time, which can be applied at your favorite, often budget-derailing haunts like Barnes & Noble and Starbucks.
“That means you won't be spending $5 a pop on a coffee or magazine, so essentially watching television and using this app will entertain you while you save money,” Costarella writes.
You trust your smartphone to bring you all of your news and entertainment, so why not also trust it to help improve your financial acuity? These apps make it easier to take control of your finances, build a budget and save for the future.
This article is presented by Colonial Volkswagen of Medford in Medford, Massachusetts.