Smart Spending Apps

There’s nothing like tax season (now extended to July 15) to motivate you to get your finances together. Here are excellent apps for tracking your money, sticking to a budget, and investing for the future.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

The first rule to saving money is tracking how you spend it. You Need a Budget (YNAB) makes it simple to account for every dollar. The app will walk you through the entire budgeting process, starting with your immediate obligations, such as your mortgage or student loans. You also will be encouraged to set money aside for “true expenses,” such as car maintenance and home repairs. To make sure you’re sticking to your new budget, you can sync your bank account or enter purchases manually. According to YNAB, the average user saves $600 in the first couple of months just by better understanding his or her spending.

Spendee

Spendee is another personal finance app, especially helpful if you want to track multiple banking, cryptocurrency, or e-wallet accounts. Once you sync your accounts, the app will give you a real-time view of your entire income and spending. Intuitive graphs will show whether your saving goals are on track or whether you are overspending. Spendee also will help you stick to a budget by showing you how much you can spend per day. You can share budgets with family or roommates. The basic account is perfect for most users, but you may consider upgrading to Spendee Plus ($1.99 per month) if you want to create different budgets or add multiple accounts.

Prism

Prism takes the sting out of late fees by helping you track and autopay all your monthly bills. The app lets you sync accounts from more than 11,000 billers. Prism’s intuitive calendar shows you when every expense from your Netflix subscription to your power bill is due. The app’s autopay feature can save considerable time you once spent writing checks or logging in to multiple websites. You can add prepaid funds to your Prism account or deduct expenses from your bank account.

Stash

If you’re a new investor, Stash will help you start saving for the future. New users will be asked a series of questions about their long-term goals, whether that’s saving for retirement or building a strong stock portfolio. You also will be asked whether you want to invest slowly in more stable stocks or take a greater risk for higher returns. The app will then suggest investments based on your personal needs, and you can begin investing with just $5. Stash also places a priority on socially conscious funds so that you can support companies that match your values.

Ibotta

Ibotta is the perfect app for savvy shoppers and coupon champions. It’s one of the most trusted cash-back apps that lets you save money on your regular purchases. The app works directly with more than 300 national retailers, and it’s free for consumers. Ibotta will send you regular offers on your favorite brands. Once you make a purchase and scan in your receipt, you will receive a rebate within 24 hours. You can save money on online purchases, as well as link your loyalty accounts for more rewards.

 

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