Finances have been a taboo subject for years. People often begin to squirm when the topic comes up. This uncomfortable feeling often stems from unhealthy relationships with money, whether it’s insecurity because of financial struggles or pride because you have an abundance of money.
Regardless of your current situation, it is important to manage your finances well so you can stay out of debt, eliminate any debt you already have, and live with more financial independence.
One step in the right direction is to set a budget and stick to it.
Thankfully, you don’t need a finance degree to budget and manage your money well! All you need is a commitment to stick with your budget and a tool to support you with daily saving and spending like a budgeting app.
While it might seem counterintuitive to pay for an app that helps you save money, for some it can be incredibly beneficial to actually buy into the process. When you invest your personal resources, you may find yourself more inclined to use the app. Some of the following apps are free and others come with a small fee.
Summary: This program focuses on zero-based budgeting, which is when your income minus your expenses equals zero. The purpose of this is that every dollar has a job, whether you are giving it away, spending it, saving it, or investing it. This process will take some finessing, however once you get it down and stick to it, it will actually allow you to spend your money more freely.
Cost: Free 34 day trial, then $11.99/month or $84/year (saving $59)!
Summary: YNAB also relies on a zero-based budgeting plan and helps you gain a current view of your spending as well as look forward, rather than focusing solely on past habits/actions. YNAB focuses on four rules - Give Every Dollar a Job, Embrace Your True Expenses, Roll With the Punches, and Age Your Money.
Cost: $2.99.month for annual or $3.99/month
Summary: Quicken is a well respected financial company who recently launched their app Simplifi. While you have to manually enter your data, you will get a clear bird's eye view of your personal finances. Paying a monthly fee eliminates advertisements and also can add motivation to actually use the app.
Cost: Free manual plan, Premium plan for $9.95/month, or Super plan at $19.95/month
Summary: PocketSmith is unique in that it uses a calendar to build an “event-based budget” that is helpful for visual learners. On the calendar view, you can see expenses, income, transfers based on color-coded flags. This system is web-based with an integrated iOS application.
Summary: Clarity Money uses integrated algorithms to monitor your expenses and help you reevaluate where you are spending money, what you can cut, what prices you can negotiate. For example, it will look at your monthly subscriptions and recommend eliminating ones that are wasting your money. It also will help you determine if you can get better deals on paid plans like your credit card.
Getting started with a budget can be overwhelming. That is why we pulled a list of some of the best budgeting apps to help you get started. We encourage you to explore these apps and determine which one suits your needs best. Each of these apps is designed to help you experience financial freedom and control your finances rather than allowing your finances to control you. Financial freedom is just around the corner!