What the Tech: money-saving apps

What the Tech

It’s nearing the end of January and people are beginning to struggle with those self-improvement New Year’s resolutions they made.

One of the most common resolutions is creating a budget.

The well-intentioned resolution is always facing the challenge of unexpected bills but if we’re being honest, all of us struggle with spending on a daily basis. Of course, smartphone apps can help with creating and sticking to a budget.

Here are some of my favorites:

Mvelopes helps people stick to a budget the way it’s been done for years. The envelope method. Talk-show host and money expert Dave Ramsey has made it a cornerstone of his guidelines to spending.

Connect your bank account to the Mvelope app so it can monitor how much you have and when you get paid. Then, create virtual envelopes for rent, phone, car, and house payments.

Fund those Mvelopes with exactly that amount. Create other Mvelopes for date nights or eating out or earmark some for vacation. When the money is gone from those Mvelopes, don’t spend any more.

Honeydue is a money app for couples. Both people download the app and link it to their checking and credit card accounts. The app keeps track of your what you both spend. When it comes to bills, just enter what they typically cost and when they’re due. Whether you pay by check or automatic draft, both people get a reminder and then a notification when the bill is paid.

You can also use the app as a budgeting tool. It’ll show you how you’re doing with your spending and if you have enough left over to set aside for date nights, or if you’ve already spent too much for the month.

Mint is a great app for keeping track of all of your money in bank accounts, credit cards, loans, retirement accounts, and spending. It even suggests how much you should invest for retirement, how much to save for emergencies, reminds you when a bill is about to be due and will build a budget after it learns your spending habits. It’s from highly respected money management company Intuit.

These apps have a good track record of protecting the bank accounts of their users. But as with any app or website you connect to a bank or credit card account, set up 2-factor authentication, and create a good password you don’t use anywhere else.

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