No matter what your financial status, keeping track of your spending and taking control of your monetary future can be a wonderfully beneficial thing. While most people don’t like the idea of bean counting, those who have devoted some time to putting together a realistic budget will testify of its distinct benefits – namely, a healthy sense of financial control which will help you and your loved ones live a little easier.
The great news, too, is that money management is no longer boring! With mobile banking becoming the norm, developers have been hard at work building an abundance of slick, user-friendly apps that make budgeting, saving and investing an absolute breeze.
So, without further ado, here’s a rundown of the top three apps that will help you take control of your money today:
“Mint” is one of the most popular money management tools out there, giving users a broad view across all their financial transactions and helping them keep track of where their cash is headed. The app prides itself on bringing all the moving parts together — from bank balances to bills and investments — and allows users to link all their bank accounts to the app for a comprehensive picture of their personal finances.
Within minutes, Mint pulls transactions from as many accounts as you wish, meaning you will be provided with immediate insight into your daily spending habits (and likely be shocked at how much cash you are dropping on those daily double-shot lattes!).
The budgeting tools are clear, with an attractive pie chart layout to help you keep on top of your spending. Mint will track all your expenditure against your budget, which can be customized according to your financial situation. It will also send you alerts when you are in danger of overspending and will hit you with reminders when bills are due for payment.
With Apple Watch compatibility, a credit score checker, investment options and a crisp user interface, it is easy to see why Mint has become an industry leader in the mobile banking field.
Plus, it’s free to sign up!
If you’re looking to take control of your financial future, investment platform “Betterment” may be right for you. The app-based investment manager is one of these newfangled “robo-advisers” that employs an algorithm-led approach to helping you invest your money into funds tailored specifically to your financial needs and limitations.
Their products range is attractive and includes a high interest savings account called “Cash Reserve,” a no-fee Checking Account with zero overdraft or account fees, and various long-term investment options including comprehensive retirement plans.
Plus, owing to the fact that robo investment funds require less manpower to operate, annual fees are significantly lower than your standard office-based financial adviser. Currently, the annual fee for a basic “Digital” account is set at 0.25%, while a “Premium” account, with comprehensive financial advice included (and a minimum $100,000 investment required), is at 0.40% per annum.
Yes, this may be an automated investment platform, but rest assured that there are real experts manning the phones; you won’t be met with a robotic voice, and if you are concerned about your investments or have any sort of query, you can hop on a call with a real life person instantaneously. Note: if you want to set up a one-time advice call and action plan with a licensed expert, it will set you back $200 at a minimum.
However, with just a $1 buy-in required to get going, a wonderfully user-friendly platform interface and flexible investment options, Betterment could be a great choice for those seeking to sow into their financial future.
Smart financial management platform Acorns prides itself on an innovative new investing technique: round-ups. Basically, the app will round-up every single transaction you make from a linked bank account and invest the spare change. It might not sound much, but over time, these everyday purchases could see you investing thousands into a growing portfolio.
We’ve all heard of credit card cash back as an incentive to spend at your favourite stores, right? Well, Acorns does it a little differently with something it is calling “Found Money.” Basically, every time you shop at one of their 350+ partner stores, they’ll give you a nice little bonus that goes directly into your Acorns Invest account.
Sign up is just $1 per month for the “Lite” version, which includes the round-up account, bonus investments and access to a plethora of articles written by financial experts. Alternatively, for $3 you can get yourself the investment fund, a fully-fledged retirement account and a regular spending checking account with no account fees and reimbursed ATM charges – sweet!
Organizing your finances can save you a lot of hassle in life and is sure to dramatically improve your mental and physical wellbeing. With tremendous smart saving and investment technology at our fingertips, now is the time to sit back and let the robo-advisors do the heavy lifting.
Keeping track of your money via a smart digital platform will also ensure you aren’t chasing an endless paper trail of bank statements and will free you up to spend more time on the things that matter.
That can’t be a bad thing, right?
So, check out these apps, wrangle back control of your money, and take the first step towards financial freedom.