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Are you looking for an app to help with your month-to-month budgeting? Since 2016, I’ve tried dozens of apps to help make the process easier that tracks my expenses and save me time, but have found only one app that truly delivers. This shouldn’t surprise many, but the app is from the company Lampo Licensing, LLC, a Ramsey Solutions firm by none other than Dave Ramsey. The app is EveryDollar.
This app is the best budgeting app because you can access your data by mobile app or on the website and helps to enforce a Zero-Based Budget. There is a free version and a paid version. The free version is just as good, and the paid version connects to your bank account saving you time.
The website has delivered helpful content in everyday money situations.
$pendee is another option. Ranked Winner of Mobile UX Awards in 2017, $pendee helps consumers control their expenses, accounts, and budgets in one place. It’s earned 4.7 out of 5 stars on the App Store.
The app offers a basic Free service but has limited features. Starting at $1.99 if purchasing the monthly plan gives one access to unlimited accounts, import/export transactions, and much more. An annual plan starts at $14.99 with a premium account at $22.99/year.
When it comes to investing money, there are a few apps that I use. The apps are Robinhood and Betterment. With Robinhood, you can buy and sell stocks of your choosing. While I only recommend this after you have a regular, consistent IRA, 401(k), or other monthly retirement contribution started, this app isn’t for qualified retirement savings.
It is used to buy and sell stocks. I use this app because not only is it simple to use with its easy app platform, but Robinhood doesn’t charge brokerage fees. If you have used similar apps or trading websites, you know you are charged anywhere from $4 to $20 for buying stocks and then again are charged for selling. This app is a great way to trade stocks while saving money so your money can work faster.
Betterment is a different type of investing platform. From retirement saving to building a safety net, there is a team of qualified and certified advisors who can assist you if needed. Whether you have a 401(k), IRA, or other Employer Plans, you can transfer these accounts over or establish a new account allowing you to make regular qualified retirement contributions easily.
If you are struggling to build a safety net or emergency fund, Betterment can help you with this too. The website helps you to establish a target date to save three to six months of savings by a designated period of your choosing.
Unlike Robinhood, there are fees associated with a Betterment account. Depending on the dollar amount, they charge meager fees ranging from 0.25% to 0.40%.
Start Incrementally Saving
Most budgets and monthly expenditures have waste, meaning one’s budget can be reduced more than one expects. Consumers have become accustomed to spending excess or not willing to make sacrifices by limiting their overspending.
By savings between $45-$75 per week, you can save up to $900-$1,500 by summer. This is where you need to ask yourself if I do not have this much to set aside each week, where can I cut some expenses. Here are a few passive and straightforward ways of saving money.
Start by using coupons or switching to store brands. Another option is to utilize online rebates or cash back from purchases. Apps, such as ibotta, help to make this possible.
I also recommend Qapital and Acorns. These are micro-investing apps designed to take your spare change, rather than put into a piggy bank; the difference can be invested helping you to earn interest or some capital appreciation. If you do not have an app that is tailored to saving money both passively and active, then you should download it today.
These apps are great to save money quickly and very discreetly because it rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar while depositing that rounded difference into savings like account or investment. Before you know it, it leads to significant savings every month.
For instance, when you make a grocery purchase, let us assume the total is $101.34. Acorns and Qapital will round this amount to $102.00. The apps then take the difference of $0.66 and put the change into an account of your choosing. Last month, Acorns saved me $35, and I never felt a burden of the small deposits being taken out.
These apps have been featured on CNBC, Fast Company, and Forbes. CNBC says “Investing is one of the most effective ways to build wealth, and you don’t need a lot of money to get started thanks to Acorns.”
A Do It All App
Clarity Money claims to be the “Champion of Your Money.” Similar to $pendee, Clarity Money assists in budgeting, but this Goldman Sachs app delivers great financial assistance. “Using Artificial Intelligence to simplify your personal finance” by looking at your transaction history and current subscriptions to deliver the best financial advice educating you to make more informed decisions about your money.
It improves your financial well-being by reviewing your credit score and how to improve it while also receiving suggestions to cancel subscriptions not used. Their top-notch security platform keeps your data secure while automating personal finance. If you are looking for an app that does it all instead of having multiple finance apps, then consider looking into Clarity Money App.
Saving Money on Gas Prices
Unless you rely on public transportation on your daily commute back and forth from work, you understand the importance of your budget when it is time to refuel. These next few apps will save you money on fuel prices. The apps are GasBuddy and GetUpside.
Last December, these two announced a partnership with each other leading them to become the leading source for “real-time” fuel prices helping you to get the best prices. Their database helps to track over “150,000 gas stations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia” benefiting the customer by earning up to 25 cents per gallon at some stations.
Since the announced partnership, expect some transition efficiencies to occur over time. Both platforms are different because after you purchase your fuel, you scan your receipt into the GetUpside app to receive your cashback while GasBuddy will mail you a debit-like card that is linked to your checking account. When you use the GasBuddy card, it negotiates a lower price with the gas company, and within a few days, you will see the fuel charges deducted from your banking account but at a lower price, hence the savings.
While the partnership streamlines this process, both are must have options to help you save money this year on gas prices. Be sure to check out their blog on “The Best and Worst Days of the Week to Buy Gas 2019”.
When it comes to saving money, technology can be your friend. By putting money apps on your phone, it can save you both time and money. For 2019, these are the best apps to do both for the next several months ahead until a new app is created. If you have used a great app like one above, let me know and share it with us below.