At the beginning of each new year, many resolve to save more money. With holiday bills to pay, sometimes this is easier said than done. Fortunately, that’s where tech comes in.
If you have read our previous blog post about apps that can help you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, you know that there are plenty of online tools that can help you save money this year. This post will explain how these apps (and other online tools) work so you can find those that work best for you.
Envelope Budgeting Systems
There are many ways that people save money and create budgets. One of the most popular is the envelope system in which you allocate take-home pay after bills and expenses into a separate category or envelope so you don’t overspend. Though some still use cash in envelopes labeled “Groceries,” “Entertainment,” “Clothing,” etc., many no longer use actual envelopes. In fact, there are many apps that use the envelope system to prevent you from overspending as a whole.
You Need a Budget, for example, syncs with your bank to provide you with real-time information about your finances. Then, you must budget it into an envelope. This app can help you be more intentional about paying down debt and spending money in ways that make sense for you and your family.
Good Budget works in a very similar way. This app also lets you sync your account with your spouse and set a budget for the family. Each month, you can determine where the budget is going, who is spending, and how much is left in each budget category.
Sometimes you don’t need a whole budgeting system; you just want to save for something important. Got a vacation coming up or another big budget purchase, such as a car or engagement ring? These apps can help you save for something in the future. You might be surprised by how much you can save when you alter your habits slightly. These apps can help you do just that.
Digit: Sometimes the reason you don’t save is because you don’t think about it. You can take the brainwork completely out of saving by using Digit. The app uses algorithms to withdraw small amounts of money that you won’t notice and set them aside in a Federally-insured saving account from which you can withdraw at any time. You can also set goals within the app to help you save for those major purchasing goals you have this year.
Qapital, like some other savings apps, can be set to round up every purchase to the nearest whole number and save the remainder for a specific goal. With Qapital, however, you can also set your own rules, such as saving whenever your team wins or whenever you order takeout.
Although automated savings apps are great for keeping your money safe from your own prying fingers, they only save money that you already have. Acorns will take your savings and grow it for you. This app (like Qapital) rounds all of your purchases up to the nearest whole number and invests the remainder in $5 increments. You can choose the amount of risk you want in your savings portfolio.
You might be surprised by the amount of money you waste each year in subscriptions you forget about or don’t even use. Magazines, streaming services, music sites—you could instead save the money spent on those subscriptions for something truly useful. Use these apps to cut out the subscription waste in your life.
Truebill analyzes your bank account to find all of the recurring bills you have amassed. It then compiles all of these expenses, and you can have Truebill cancel all unwanted services. You can even use the app to negotiate lower recurring bills for you.
Trim also tracks your recurring bills and looks for ways you can save. The app can provide you with a comprehensive list of your ongoing subscriptions in an easy-to-use and intuitive messaging interface.
Personal Advisory Software
Want a more comprehensive tool or app to manage your money? With these tools, you can not only analyze your spending and create budgets, but also check your credit, keep up with debt payments, and get tips on how to better save and invest your money in the future.
Mint: Mint is one of the most well-known online money management tools, especially among younger budgeters. The app can help you stay on top of your bills and regular payments and can help you create budgets all in one place. Everything is also personalized for you, so you know that the plan you make is what is best for your budget.
Personal Capital: For those that need more business-like graphics to review their monetary accounts, Personal Capital is the way to go. You can sync bank accounts, analyze your investment portfolio, and see the complete picture of your net worth, all in one place.
Cinch: When you don’t trust yourself to manage your money, trust Cinch. The app uses artificial intelligence technology to manage all aspects of your financial life, including your budget. You can also ask questions about everything from debt management to investing.
Albert: Gives similar advice as Cinch, but with Albert you are guaranteed to talk to an actual person. A team of financial experts will answer your questions about money, finances, budgeting, and investments. The app also creates an automatic budget for you to stick to this year.
Remembering to save can be difficult, but these apps help make it a little easier. Start the year off the smart way by trying a few of these tools and services to find out which one works best for you. Saving can be as simple as finding the right tools to help guide you along the way.