April is National Financial Literacy Month. To celebrate, Moran Law has evaluated a variety of web and mobile applications to help you track your spending and budget your money.
Most offer a basic account for free, and they’re all extremely user-friendly.
Below are our top three choices:
Mint is a popular web application owned by Intuit, the company that makes Quicken software. Mint is completely free to use. It can give you a picture of your financial health by plugging in your all bank accounts, savings, retirement funds, investments and credit cards.
Don’t worry! Mint will have read-only access to your account information to show you where your money is going. It breaks spending down into different categories, such as groceries and loans, and complies the data into visualizations and graphs that are easy to understand.
You also can use Mint to create a budget. Mint will warn you if you’re not sticking to your goals. It also can suggest financial products, such as lower-interest credit cards, that might be of use to you.
2. You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget is a web service that helps you manage your money by teaching you to make informed spending decisions and track your income and expenses.
It isn’t free, but the cloud sync makes it easy to access your information across multiple platforms and devices, keeping everything up to date.
It can help you to use better foresight when planning your finances. For example, suggesting you set aside $100 a month for your six-month car insurance premium.
It’s simple, user-friendly and helps you save more money more quickly. The average user increased their median net worth by $200 after one month, which goes to show how essential being acutely aware of your financial situation is to improving it.
“Knowing how much money you
have and where it’s going is key.”
YNAB operates on four core principals of financial wellness:
- Give every dollar a job.
- Save for a rainy day.
- Roll with the punches.
- Live on last month’s income.
YNAB also features a blog and free webinars on different money management topics. You can check out a trial version free for 34 days, but to continue using the YNAB afterward, you must pay a one-time $60 fee for the service.
BudgetSimple is completely free to use, straightforward and easy to understand. Whereas other apps branch out into different aspects of financial wellness, BudgetSimple focuses squarely on helping you create a budget that fits your lifestyle.
The budget planner helps you find areas where you can save money and shows you where you can make cuts to spend less and increase your savings.
The founder of BudgetSimple based the service off his own experience – learning to manage his debt through creating an Excel spreadsheet to budget his money.
While BudgetSimple guarantees your information is safe with them, you do have the option of entering information manually if you’re uncomfortable sharing access.
We suggest linking your bank account information to BudgetSimple. It’s painless and will help you stay current in your financial tracking.
Upgrading to a premium account allows you to fully link all your bank accounts and sync your information with a mobile app for $5 a month.
Knowing how much money you have and where it’s going is a key element of financial wellness. These services do an excellent job of tracking your finances.
All you have to do is interpret the data they give you (“Wow, I really spent $200 at bars this month? I could have put that money down on my student loans instead.”) and muster the willpower to create and stick to a budget that fits your means and lifestyle.
Photo source: cygnuspub.com