Easy-to-use personal finance apps for saving more, spending less, investing smarter and more
These apps are money.
Millions of Americans are banking on doing better with their finances in 2018. Indeed, saving more/spending less is among the top 5 most common New Year’s resolutions that people say they’re making for 2018, according to data on Google searches gathered by iQuanti. That’s up roughly 17% from 2016 data.
But many of us will fail at achieving these resolutions. Indeed, data shows that less than one in 10 people achieve the resolutions they set. One big reason that money resolutions fail: It’s difficult to save more, spend less and get better with money as we juggle so many of life’s other priorities.
So Moneyish asked experts their favorite apps — that are simplest to use — that can help you more easily save more, spend less and otherwise get your money in order. Here are some of their favorites.
Truebill and Trim: To cancel unwanted subscriptions and lower bills — automatically. “Consumers spend more than $500 billion per year on subscription services, but more than 70% say they’d have cancelled their subscriptions previously — except, they forgot,” writes Moneyish’s Reed Alexander. Automate that process with the apps Trim or Truebill. They analyze your bank accounts to find recurring subscriptions and will cancel those for you if you opt for that; they also look for bills and can negotiate lower rates on those when you authorize that. The apps are free to download but they may charge you to negotiate bills; you will be given the option to decline that and do it yourself.
Qapital and Acorns: To make saving more virtually effortless. Acorns rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and then automatically transfers that amount into an investment account. Ian Atkins, a financial analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, says he loves the app because it makes a “tedious task” (saving more) “fun and engaging.” He adds: “I can’t help but check in and see how my pocket change is performing. That means saving money and growing my net worth is always on my mind.” Qapital does something similar but rounds up the purchases and puts that extra money into savings. Both apps are free.
Paribus and Earny: To automatically take advantage of price drops on things you’ve already bought. Most of us don’t have time to look for price drops after we buy something, but these apps do that for you. The free Earny and Paribus apps scan your email to look for receipts, check for price drops on those items from retailers and then automatically file a claim with the company to get you the price difference. As I recently wrote for Moneyish, Paribus now also gives you refunds if items you ordered get shipped late.
Mint and You Need a Budget: To finally make and stick to a budget. The old-standby Mint is still one of the best, says Deborah Sweeney, CEO, MyCorporation.com. “I love it because it gives me the ability to see exactly where the money I’m spending is going and sends me an alert when I’m about to reach the end of my budget. It allows me to be much more mindful of my finances and proactive about the process,” she says. You Need a Budget (its users call is YNAB) is another highly recommended option. The Balance recently raved about it, noting that it was one of the “easiest apps out there, and that can be attributed to the fact that it’s designed for budgeting beginners. If you’ve tried to budget in the past and failed, this could be the app for you.”
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