The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.
The Strong Case for Using a Budget App
Our phones take a lot of heat, from being a dangerous distraction to their addictive nature. But these little devices also serve as valuable and convenient tools for managing our money all in one place with a tap and scroll. This time, we want you to increase your screen time — for better finances by using a budget app.
You can ditch cash, cash envelopes, that never-gets-updated budget spreadsheet, random receipts, paper bills and even your wallet. Here’s how your phone can rescue you from the chaos:
- Turn your phone into your digital wallet using online payment apps like Google Pay or Apple Pay to purchase something with a quick face recognition or Touch ID.
- Use a simple dual-purpose phone case wallet designed to protect your phone and store a credit or debit card. To simplify your spending and monitoring, it’s better to handle as few cards as possible.
- Use a budgeting app so you can track your spending in real time and handle all your finances and bills on a single platform.
If you’re new to using a budget app, it’s tough to know which one will work best for streamlining your finances. There are countless options! We’ve cherry-picked our favorites below based on the features we love.
Lower Your Bills Without Doing a Thing
We are big fans of Truebill, an app that’s there for you when money issues can bring you to tears. Truebill recognizes how running finances can affect your emotional wellbeing. To help you save more on bills, this app does all the heavy lifting and negotiates the best rate possible on your behalf. Expert negotiators dig to find hidden discounts, promo rates and one-time credits applied to your account.
Why is it called the Financial Control Center? Truebill provides an overall snapshot of your finances. See what bills are coming up, stay on track toward your savings goals, cancel forgotten subscriptions and know where exactly where your money goes.
Take the Cash Envelope System Digital
Planning your budget is just as important as tracking your expenses and spending. The Goodbudget app is based on the tried-and-true envelope method, except it’s modernized to work right from your digital devices. Each envelope is a budget category, like mortgage, bills, groceries, gas, vacation etc. You’ll set up these envelopes and allocate a certain amount that you can spend. You’re monitoring your spending based on funds in the envelopes, and not your account or credit card balances.
What else makes it so — good? Goodbudget syncs your budget to other devices, so your partner, for example, can see all the deductions too. You can also save for future big expenses and use Debt Accounts to watch the progress of your debt reduction.
Sit Back but Stay Informed with Alerts and Reminders
Continuing to reign as the king of budgeting apps, Mint “keeps an eye on things so you don’t have to.” Using the dashboard, you can organize your bills and check their status. Mint can also remind you of upcoming bills, send alerts when bills are due, warn when funds are low/you’re exceeding your budget and let you know of any suspicious activity. Mint takes some of the burden off your shoulder and gives a heads-up so you can avoid penalties and fees.
Tell me more! Mint puts all your finances in one place, from account balances and your credit score to investment tools and budget tracking. Get automatic, recommended budget goals based on spending patterns, as well as end-of-month reports and real-time updates.
Get the Bigger Picture in One Glance
Think about how much easier it would be to see your checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans and investments in a single place. Using PocketGuard, you can link all your accounts to the app, so you can conveniently see your balances and payment due dates with one scroll. The Balance spotlights this app as the best tool to help guard you against overspending!
What about the “In My Pocket” feature? After accounting for all of your financial obligations, this feature tells you how much money is leftover, helping to answer the question, “can I really afford this?” Rely on In My Pocket to help you make the right decision on a purchase!
Could your financial life use some improvement? Test out these apps to see which has the benefits that work best for you. Access all your finances in one place — and say goodbye to opening paper bills, missing due dates, spending mindlessly and mismanaging your money. Budgeting will never feel so good!