When it comes to managing money we all have our different approaches. From the organized person that plans everything detail out, to the person who’s savings plan is randomly chucking coins into a jar.
Most of us try to be organized, but with so many demands in life it is sometimes hard to keep track of finances.
Thankfully, as technology and the web have progressed, so have the options for easier financial management.
Nowadays, there are websites and apps for just about all areas of home finances, from paying your bills online to internet banking, technology is helping people regain control over their finances.
Top 5 Apps for Effective Budgeting
These are some tried and tested budgeting apps that are sure to help get finances back into a more manageable order.
- Mint – This free and user friendly budgeting app has held top place on numerous lists for some time now. It has a nice graphical interface and can help you track transactions live from your accounts, allowing you to both set targets and easily see if your budget is on target.
- YNAB (You Need A Budget) – Is another popular, subscription based budgeting app. Similar to Mint, it can import transactions from various accounts and organise them based on categories the user sets. It helps and encourages people to live and budget on the money that has been earned, rather than using credit cards etc. based on what should be coming in soon.
- BudgetPulse – This app is ideal for people that don’t like linking their financial accounts or signing into them via apps. This app instead focuses on simple budget planning based on what the user inputs.
- Prism – This free app isn’t so much about planning your spending, but making it easier to manage your expenses. It is a bill payment app that can give you alerts, pay automatically, or even schedule payments. It links into your chosen accounts and bills, making payments effortless and a little less painful.
- Pocket Guard – A great little app that syncs your spending (accounts) with your bills. You set the basics and it can then create a suggested budget for you. It includes a lot of features and recommendations to help you move towards saving more and even getting your savings to work harder.
All of the apps listed above can help control spending and debt and there are even many useful websites for learning about budgeting.
However, sometimes there is a need for some extra cash or to borrow a bit to get things into order.
Yes, ideally you will want to live within what you earn, but the initial transition for those using credit cards as ‘buffers’ can often be a difficult one.
An easier way to transition can sometimes be to borrow the money needed and include the repayments in the new budget. This helps to completely clear any overdrafts or credit cards, and by refinancing you commit to locking in easier to manage repayments.
Scheduling manageable repayments and lifestyle changes is the key to making a new budget work.
Once you clear any current debts and are truly living paycheck to paycheck, then you can start to save money and maybe even take a well deserved debt free vacation.