Welcome to 2017.
It’s time to manage your money, but where to start?
Take advantage of the many apps available to help you save, invest and budget this new year.
Surprisingly, nearly 42% of folks do not use any sort of technology to handle their finances, according to LendEDU.
“Frankly, we didn’t expect that 42% would say that they don’t use technology,” says Andrew Rombach, LendEDU’s research and content associate.
We’re talking tools as simple as Bank of America’s online banking site.
Even more: Nearly 20% of respondents said technology would be “the most powerful tool” in helping them maintain financial resolutions.
“Surprising” is how Rombach described the results.
Absolutely, especially considering these respondents are tied to LendEDU — an online marketplace for student loans and student loan refinancing.
5 Money Management Apps to Help Your Finances This Year
Until recently, I’d never used money management apps — outside of my banking app that automatically handled payments.
I was missing out. Many of these apps do the work for you and make personal finance a whole lot less terrifying and your resolutions a whole lot more achievable.
My phone is now plagued (in a good way) with financial management apps, including many of the ones listed below. It’s my hope these will help me — and now you — meet New Year’s financial resolutions.
1. For saving, try Digit or Qapital.
Digit is a savings app that analyzes how much money you have in your checking account and automatically sets aside an appropriate, affordable amount for you to save.
Our senior writer Susan Shain used the app to build her emergency fund. It’s automatic, so she didn’t have to think about it. She saved nearly $2,000 in under a year — without really trying.
If your income decreases, Digit adjusts accordingly. And it can tell if you’re in the dangerous overdraft territory and stops pulling out money.
Qapital — what I use — is similar. It’s an automated savings app that makes saving kinda, sorta fun. And also mindless.
First, you set a goal. For me, it was to save enough to take a train trip. I set “rules,” which, when triggered, transfer money into my Qapital account.
For example, if I meet my daily step goal, $2 is transferred in. Or if I make a purchase of $3.85, the leftover 15 cents trickles over. In five months, I stashed away $700 — without thinking.
2. For management, try Clarity Money.
This app is a one-stop shop for managing your mula.
Likely, you have a checking and savings account and probably at least one credit card account. Hopefully you have a retirement fund, too.
Clarity Money is a free iOS app that helps you see, organize and control your finances.
The way it works is simple. You just download the app, connect your existing accounts, and get ready to learn more about where your money’s disappearing to… and how to keep more of it, instead.
Clarity analyzes and uses your spending history to provide budgetary insights. It’ll show you exactly how much you spend in different categories, like bars and restaurants, as a percentage of your total expenses.
It also gives you the tools and information you need to start making better financial choices.
3. For investing, try Stash or Clink.
Think you don’t have enough money to start investing? Think again.
Stash is an easy-to-use app that breaks down investing in easy-to-understand terms. Set it up to automatically transfer a certain amount of money each week from your bank account into your “Stash.”
Our staff writer Jamie Cattanach sets hers to $5. She doesn’t even think about investing or the complicated jargon that comes with it. It’s super easy and only costs $1 a month.
Clink is another investment app that lets you invest in the stock market automatically. You can easily start investing with $1 a day (or more if you so choose).
If you want to check out other apps, here are eight more we actually use at The Penny Hoarder.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite money management app?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By checking out this featured content, you help us bring you more ways to save!
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.