In order to successfully manage your finances, you must understand your cash flow. “How much is coming in?” and “Where is it going?” are the two most important questions you should be asking yourself.
Whether you are making a lot of money or just getting by, it’s very important to track your income and your expenses. Now, I know that can be difficult with your busy life. There are just not enough hours in a day!
Thanks to technology, there are many apps that help you keep an eye on your bank balance, track your spending, and analyze your budgeting habits. Some apps help you make better financial decisions, personalized to your bank accounts.
The best part of these apps is that you can access your finances at any time at any place. You can open it on your mobile device on the way to work in the morning, or in that little bit of free time once you get home.
Not everyone is born with good money management skills. We all need a helping hand to guide us and make the process of money management a lot easier. That is why we’ve brought to you a list of all the best money management tools you should consider for financial success.
1. The Money Manager
There are so many things that we do wrong when managing money. The biggest problem is that most individuals and small business owners have no idea where to start. The problem is so relatable that we haven’t seen anyone who didn’t have it (us included).
To solve this problem, we needed a tool that could simplify money management so anyone could do it. Keeping that in mind, we designed the Money Manager.
With the Money Manager, you can simply list down your income and expected expenses. Then add in your actual expenses. The tool will calculate your net income.
Net Income= (Total Income- Expenses)
P.S. there is one problem though. The first month you use the Money Manager, you will not feel so good. The results will be an eye-opener and will urge you to make healthy changes in your financial life.
2. YNAB (You Need A Budget)
YNAB is an easy-to-use budgeting software. A lot of beginners tend to appreciate the software’s familiar spreadsheet layout which makes it easy to understand. Making a budget can take just a few minutes. However, you have to manually link your accounts to YNAB every month, which takes a few minutes, but you won’t have to provide passwords and sensitive information that can be compromised.
Also, YNAB offers a 34-Day Free Trial for you to test out the software and decide if it’s for you or not.
If you’re looking for a free budget tool that you can link to your accounts, Mint is the way to go. The app also has a feature that reminds you when bills are due. In fact, you can even pay the bills from the app itself.
Budgeting is the stronger aspect of Mint and it helps you create several detailed budgets, according to different categories.
4. Personal Capital
Personal Capital is one of the best money management apps out there. It lets you track your budget while including information from your investment accounts. Having your investments and monthly budget in the same place gives you a clearer picture of your financial status. The interface and visuals are easy to see on the desktop, laptop, tablet, or even a mobile phone.
The app provides easy to read graphs of your investments which can help you manage your portfolio efficiently. One of the coolest features is that you can get professional help at any time if you feel it is getting difficult to manage by yourself.
Acorns helps you make money from the little bit of change you have left. You can start investing with virtually no effect. You just need to set it up, and you’re all set.
Acorns offers some features that can make your monthly transactions a lot easier. By setting up your recurring withdrawals, you can save plenty of time and let your app run your finances.
Are you looking for an app that has it all? An app that combines budgeting with accumulated savings? Look no further, empower is the app for you!
You can set weekly or monthly spending limits for different categories and Empower will notify you on how you are doing. There is also an AutoSave feature that would automatically move extra funds into savings after you’ve set a weekly savings target. Not to mention, you can earn interest on your AutoSave account when you open an Empower checking account. This helps you prepare for an emergency fund for future use where you can store money and save as much as possible.
Another great thing about Empower is that it will look for maximum savings in your spending patterns. It can help you cancel any subscriptions you don’t use any more. In addition, the app will also help to reduce your phone, cable, and internet bills to lower amounts through negotiations and finding cheaper packages for you.
7. Credit Cards
This is one tool we all use quite often but we don’t realize how much of an impact this money management tool may have. By charging everything on a credit card, you won’t need to keep track of your receipts or purchases and you can just pay it off at the end of the month. However, using credit cards requires a lot of precaution.
Your ability to pay back your credit cards determines your credit history. This credit history is later used to determine your interest rate for the mortgages or the loans you might take on a couple of years from now. Having a bad credit history gives you a higher interest rate.
Bad credit history can also be due to multiple credit cards. These days many brands have released their own credit cards which they encourage you to buy for loyalty rewards. However, you need to be very careful when doing this. Because having too many credit cards can confuse you and you may not be able to pay them all of and this can risk your credit history.
We always recommend using proper financial tools for effective money management. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money you have but rather what you choose to do with it.
8. 401K/ IRA
This might seem like an odd money management tool at first, but it’s extremely important for those that are trying to max out their retirement accounts. When you start reducing your monthly expenses, increase your contributions to your retirement account by any extra savings you might have.
9. Excel Spreadsheets
If all this information is extremely overwhelming, you can always start with the absolute basic budget planner: an excel spreadsheet.
There are no extra bells and whistles with a spreadsheet. You can organize your money with free templates on Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel and have different columns for each different budgeting category. You don’t need to make it fancy, just make sure you can understand your budget.
A huge advantage of a spreadsheet is that you have complete control. You can organize and track your expenses the way you want to. Furthermore, you don’t need to risk giving access to your financial data to any online platform.
However, I would like to add that this tool works better for those that have some experience with money management. It can get quite confusing and difficult to manage if you are a beginner just at the start of your career.
With our fast-paced schedules, it’s not easy managing a budget and preparing your financial plan. It can be very stressful taking out some time of the day to prepare for your next 10-20 years. But it’s very important!
With these tools, you can start planning for the future with just a few clicks. Start making the best of your money today! Good luck!