It seems like today there is an app for everything, from monitoring your security systems at home to calculating how many calories you’ve eaten today. You can even transfer money from one bank account to another on your smartphone without ever stepping foot into an actual bank. People use their smartphones to monitor their bank accounts and make credit card payments; in fact, according to a recent article from USA Today, 60 percent of 25- to 35-year-olds use their phones to bank.
The Finance Experts at Equifax recently compiled a list of the most useful financial apps in a blog post, “Financial Planning: There’s an App for That.” Here are the apps the experts found most useful to help manage funds:
- Mint: Mint is one of the most popular finance apps available. It is a free platform that links to your consumer accounts to give you an overview of your current financial status and shows you how much you are spending in different categories such as groceries, entertainment and gas. Mint is convenient because you’re able to see your checking accounts, savings accounts, investments and student loans all in one app.
- LearnVest: This is also a free app that allows you to link your accounts automatically or manually enter your expenses to create a financial plan.
- You Need A Budget (YNAB): YNAB is a great financial tool that helps users adopt a money-saving strategy by budgeting for next month’s expenses. It allows you to allocate a certain amount of money to each category and every time you spend, you know how much you have left in that category. If you overspend in one category, you have to shift money around to other categories so that you don’t over spend. It teaches users to learn how to save for big expenses and how to adjust their budget to plan ahead for upcoming purchases such as holiday gifts or car expenses.
- Acorns: While Acorns doesn’t teach you about budgeting, it is a great investing app, especially for those who do not have much investment experience. Acorns is an app that allows users to invest their spare change in a diversified stock portfolio. With each credit card purchase, it rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and automatically invests it in different funds based on individual user preference. It is a set-it-and-forget-it system that can help you invest your money. If you invest just $5 of change every few days, that adds up to more than $1,000 a year.
Financial apps can be helpful tools for more easily managing your money. Budgeting can be hard for a lot of people, but it is very important for anyone planning on purchasing or investing in Chicago real estate. The good news is you can start taking better control of your finances with the help of the above apps and you can learn more about personal finances, money management, saving, investment, real estate, taxes and more at the Equifax Finance blog.