Smartphones and Savings: Top Budgeting and Personal Finance Apps
Technology is racing toward new advancements seemingly every day and the way we connect with each other and the world around us is changing too. Today, more than two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone, and for millennials and Gen Xers, that number is more than 80 percent.
No matter which brand you choose, smartphones make many aspects of life easier for consumers. They can give directions when you’re lost, answer tough questions when you’re stumped and entertain you when you’re bored.
One thing they’re particularly well-equipped for is helping you save money. There are countless budgeting, couponing and investing apps out there that help people improve their financial health, one day at a time. Some of the best ones include:
1. You Need A Budget
You Need A Budget is the no-nonsense app that can help anyone create an intelligent budget. Lifehack explained YNAB has four basic goals:
- To have a purpose for every dollar
- To live on last month’s income
- To adapt as needed
- To save for a rainy day
One of the best parts of this app is that it can be accessed across multiple platforms, like a smartphone or desktop. U.S. Money & News Report contributor Trent Hamm wrote that his family uses both versions to keep track of expenses easily.
For some, connecting smart devices to bank accounts can be nerve wracking. While keeping track of spending habits is important, making sure all financial information is private is of top priority. Hamm explained that YNAB doesn’t require you to enter any account information, so you know everything is secure.
2. Level Money
While creating a budget is a great first step in taking control of your finances, sometimes it can be difficult to apply monthly and annual savings goals and spending limits to your daily life. Level addresses this issue. Its attractive interface clearly displays what an acceptable amount of money to spend per day is, Time Money described. It calculates this based on how much money you have as well as living expenses like groceries and rent.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to apply monthly and annual financial goals to your daily life.”
If your spending habits aren’t feasible, Level will let you know, explained DailyWorth. You can also track habits. For example, DailyWorth writer Alicia Eler said she decided to track how much she spends on coffee each month. After a month of recording purchases at her favorite cafe, Level told her how much she would spend in a year if she kept up the rate.
3. Campus Special
If you’re a college student, you are probably familiar with the dilemma of wanting to eat something delicious, but knowing you can’t afford to spend a whole lot on food. Campus Special helps you find the best deals at restaurants and stores near your university. Plus, Lifehack explained that you will earn loyalty points the more you use the app. It also lets you order right from your phone, making this money-saving app super easy to use.
4. Gas Buddy
Gas prices have been on the cheap side lately, but filling up your tank can still add up. Gas Buddy helps you identify the least expensive gas in your area so you never overpay again. It also updates as you travel, so when you’re driving through an unfamiliar area, you can still find low-cost fuel. The prices are updated by users like yourself, which means you can contribute to the app by reporting prices that you see. This helps keep everything accurate and current. In return, Gas Buddy will reward you with points that give you a chance to earn $250 to go toward gas – think of how many tanks you can fill with that!
For some dedicated couponers, finding the best deals and carefully snipping them out of the weekly shopper or newspaper insert is time well spent. However, not everyone likes to scour the ads for the best deals and cut them out one by one. SnipSnap does the cutting for you – virtually. Take a photo of your best coupons so you have a mobile version at the ready next time you’re about to check out. You can also see what your friends and fellow couponers recently found in the online directory.
There are endless opportunities to save using free or inexpensive apps on your smartphone. Using these five are some excellent ways you can reduce your spending and restructure your budget.