The stimulus check may have given you a little cushion, but you can only live so long off of $1,200. Undoubtedly, you’re looking for easy ways to cut down on spending and find useful tips on budgeting your money.
Whip out your handy smartphone and take a look at our list of budgeting apps that will make living within your means a much easier feat.
Here are the top seven that made our list:
1. Pocket Guard
Pocket Guard is an app that will link to your institution to track your income, spending, and savings to better understand your budget.
This app will recognize which of your payments went to monthly bills and do some number crunching based on your income. Then it will let you know how much you have left to use at your will.
This app will also find ways to save on your monthly bills by negotiating a better price for you.
Hey, any way to save money is good, right?
This app will layout your spending habits in a visual pie chart to help you see where your money is going. This keeps you from overspending on unnecessary things.
If you notice that a big slice of the pie is from Google Play, you know you need to stop buying those in-game purchases from Farmville.
Intuit, a leading financial company that brought you Turbo Tax and Quickbooks, created its very own budgeting app.
Like Pocket Guard, Mint will give you an easy-to-understand pie chart visual of your spending so you can better understand where your money is going.
This app is a great budgeting tool because it sends you alerts when going over budget on any one spending group, which you preset beforehand.
To accurately track your spending, you need to link the app to your financial institutions and cards.
With this app being free to use and coming from such a reputable company, it definitely ranks high in our books.
You Need a Budget (YNAB) is a zero-based budgeting tool. Zero-based budgeting means that every dollar you earn goes toward something. This cuts out useless spending.
With this app, you can choose whether or not to connect to your accounts, which is an excellent option if you don’t like sharing your financial data online.
This budgeting tool isn’t for planning for future spending. Rather it uses the money you have now wisely, which helps those who have an aggressive impulse buying habit.
You can access the same account with multiple devices. Enabling you to share the budgeting responsibilities with your significant other.
You can try out their services for 34 days then choose between paying $11.99 per month or $84 per year.
4. Clarity Money
This free app is another one created by a big-time money company, Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
It has automated expense tracking to help you see how well you are spending (or how badly, depending on what kind of week you’re having).
Clarity Money will help you find and cancel any unwanted subscriptions. They will also help you set up automated savings so that you can not only get out of debt but build savings for a rainy day.
This tool lets you track your budget, savings, investments, and credit in one app.
Traditional tv and radio are out the window along with their annoying commercials. Yet, with the death of that entertainment era comes the birth of digital subscriptions galore.
It’s ok, though, because you can use Trim to help you cancel subscriptions you rarely use. Further, it will negotiate bills down to the best price possible by connecting to your bank and/or cards and finding these recurring charges.
This one service alone can save you hundreds every year, but it also provides expert advice to help you get debt-free.
Trim’s automated savings option helps you get a head start on your savings plan.
Getting a Trim account is free, but you have to pay extra for many of its services.
6. Personal Capital
Are you ready to quit "staying within your means," and make your money work for you?
If you have a little extra to invest, Personal Capital’s Robo-advisor will help you make wise investment decisions.
Sure, it still gives you a spending snapshot to let you know how your spending is looking, but it will also give you a net worth and portfolio breakdown.
When you’re getting closer to retirement age, you could use the extra help to secure your financial future.
Have you ever heard of an envelope system to budget your cash?
Well, Mvelopes is like cash style budgeting in the digital world.
This app will allow for a specific budget in each spending category. Instead of restricting all spending, this app will help you figure out how much you need to set aside for gas, groceries, and everything else you spend on.
other valuable tips:
However, this service isn’t free, but they give your three options in the form of price. You can choose to pay $6, $9.95, or $19/month depending on your account and how extensive you want your service to be.
Of course, if their money budgeting magic doesn’t bedazzle you — cancel your membership. You’ll get a full refund within their 60-day money-back guarantee.
In this digital age, you can enjoy services that weren’t available to your grandparents. To get financial advice, they would have to speak to an actual person (and pay a hefty fee for their services).
Can you imagine that?
Now, you can download an app and have the help of a team of financial advisors with the touch of a button, or two, or three. Budgeting can be simple with these apps, and you don’t have to struggle to stay within your budget.
Image Credit: best budgeting apps by twenty20.com
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