For some people, budgeting can be…difficult, to put it lightly. A dollar here, a dollar there—it all adds up, and eventually, all those dollars end up looking like a rather large wad of cash…cash you don’t intend to spend, based on your budget.
But, it’s exceedingly difficult to stop yourself from justifying those dollar bills in the moment, and this habit has the power to create a very slippery slope.
It’s just a $5 cup of coffee.
But I really need a new pair of shoes.
It’s only $2 more for the full meal.
You can see where we’re going with this. However, the opposite notion holds true, as well. When you figure out how to stop yourself from spending a little more for a little extra, it gets easier and easier to do, and a great place to start in your money-pinching journey is with a budgeting app. Find the right app and it’ll do all the work for you—the math, the organization, the monitoring, and a summary of where your money went and when it went there. Here are three budgeting apps to get you started.
Mint is budgeting made pretty; it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing budgeting apps available and manages not to lose an ounce of simplicity and effectiveness in the process. Connect your bank account to create a customized budget and categorize your reoccurring bills to fall automatically into your budget. You can also download Mint Bills which seamlessly integrates with your online accounts. Mint Bills will send you alerts of any upcoming bills to ensure you never miss a payment.
At first, Level Money appears to be like any other budgeting app… it integrates with your bank account and gives you the option to categorize routine purchases and bills. However, Level Money also helps you proactively manage your spending by showing you how much money you have left for the day, the week, and the month. It even compares previous purchases and bills to give you financial insights, like if your electricity bill has been steadily on the rise for the last six months or if the amount you spent on gas last month was drastically lower than the current month.
If you’re worried about identity theft, then BillGuard is the route to go. Every transaction made on your credit cards and bank accounts will appear in the app’s inbox and will stay there until you approve the transactions or pin them as suspicious. The purchases are also prioritized as ‘familiar’ and as ‘new’, so you see the potentially problematic transactions first. BillGuard shows your transactions in a list, as well as on a map, allowing you to make the most sense of where and when your money is spent. With credit monitoring services and fraud alerts, this is a great budgeting app that goes well beyond budgeting.
Hope these apps give you some new insights and help you save some money and help you as we are closing out the first month of the new year (and new years goals/resolutions) of 2020!