When it comes to managing money, everyone seems to struggle with something.
Perhaps your blind spot is organization—and you end up making late student loan payments simply because you can’t locate the bills on your desk. Or maybe you work crazy hours and don't have the time to scrounge up receipts and calculate how much you spent last month.
Faced with these issues, it can be easy to feel like your flaws will forever undermine your ability to handle your finances. But that’s where you’re wrong.
Get started with a free financial assessment.
Get started with a free financial assessment.
We’ve rounded up five online tools that can help bridge the gap in areas where your financial skills fall short. So whether you’re a procrastinator, beginner or anything in between, read on to find out how each of these apps can help empower you to (finally!) take control of your money.
If You’re Disorganized ...
If you need a map and compass to navigate the stash of cards and receipts in your wallet, it might be time to input a techy solution.
Google Wallet is a free app that virtually stores gift cards and loyalty programs you can redeem at checkout, both at brick-and-mortar stores and websites that accept contactless payments. Now there’s no excuse for letting gift cards or other offers expire—or having to hold up a line of customers while you rifle through your bag, looking for your credit card.
If You’re Forgetful ...
There are few things more frustrating—or embarrassing—than overdrafting your account because you neglected to check your balance.
That’s where the free app, Check, comes in: The program automatically lets you know when funds are running low or the due date for a bill is approaching. There’s pretty much nothing required of you once you download the app and connect your accounts—meaning you can devote your brain space to other things, like figuring out exactly how you might want to spend the money left in your bank account.
If You’re Working With a Tight Budget ...
No matter the size of your income, you can always work on setting and sticking to money goals. Few things feel better than the thrill of saving sufficiently for a much-anticipated vacation or finally paying off a credit card balance.
Budgt, a $1.99 iPhone app, is designed to help you do just that. Instead of creating monthly budgets, the app calculates a new, personalized budget every day, based on your fixed expenses (like rent) and how much you've already spent on extra purchases. It doesn't matter if you're working with just $20 a day—the app will show you how much you have left to spend before you hit your limit.
Keeping track of your money with this app can be a good way to develop healthy money habits for the future—especially when you start earning more.
If You’re Super Busy ...
Whether you’re keeping track of purchases for personal or professional purposes, it can be difficult to corral all your receipts—and even more tedious to fill out expense reports.
Consider using Expensify, a free app that lets you scan receipts and keep them in one place—and completes those spreadsheets for you. The app automatically creates snazzy charts and graphs that analyze your spending habits, so you can see where you might want to consider cutting back and where you may still have some wiggle room.
It’s a little like having a personal assistant in your pocket who makes sure your money tasks don’t turn into major time sucks.
If You’re Not Sure Where to Start ...
We couldn’t conclude this list without mentioning our very own, free LearnVest app, which lets you track all your financial accounts in one place, set up a budget, categorize your expenses—and get a complete snapshot of your whole money life.
Premium users also get access to Doc Vault, which lets you store important financial documents securely, as well as more robust tracking that lets you monitor your progress toward various financial goals over time. The app makes managing your money an exciting, interactive process—even for those just setting foot on the road to financial health.
*Additional reporting by Molly Triffin
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation.LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.