It can be hard to know how to manage your money properly. Wouldn’t it be great if you could make smart money decisions without having to think a whole lot about it? Without hardly having to do anything?
Wouldn’t it be just peachy if there was a tiny computer in your pocket that could pay attention to your spending habits and make smart decisions for you that not only kept more of your money in your (other) pocket, but PUT more money in there too?
Oh, wait, we’re in the 21st century… We DO have tiny computers in our pockets that can make helpful suggestions to us and make our lives better while we laze about! Hooray!
Let’s be real – most of us are not finance experts. We’ve heard advice about money from a lot of different places, and it can feel overwhelming to know how to be smart with our hard-earned cash. Luckily, there are apps out there that take the guesswork and effort out of the whole thing. They know how to manage money because that’s precisely what they were built to do!
Here are the 5 money apps I use every day that make smart financial choices a breeze for me.
1. Add to your savings easily with Acorns
I’ve been a happy user of Acorns for over a year. Acorns is an app that helps make saving and investing money something you can do without even thinking about it.
Link your bank cards to your account. Make your everyday purchases as usual. Acorns will round up each purchase to the nearest dollar and put the extra change in your investment account automatically.
For example, if you purchase a latte for $3.75, Acorns will round it up to $4 and invest the extra $0.25 for you.
Trust me, you won’t even notice these small amounts leaving your account with each of your normal transactions. But what a joy to open your Acorns app and see all that money adding up! It feels like free money!
Acorns will ask you some questions to determine your level of risk tolerance, and select a diversified portfolio for you. It’s obviously best to leave the money in there for the long term, but Acorns makes it easy to withdraw your money and transfer to your bank anytime you like.
Use my referral link to get $5 invested into your account when you sign up!
2. Treat yourself to a Netflix binge while Trim lowers your bills for you
Think of Trim as a little robot in your pocket whose sole desire in life is to save you money. Trim automatically searches your spending history and accounts to find ways it can keep more money in your pocket, from canceling subscriptions you forgot you had, to negotiating lower bills, to helping you lower interest rates on your debts, and even help you shop around for better deals on services you already pay for.
3. Import your receipts for rebates with Ibotta
Ibotta is the least automated of all of these apps, but I thought it was worth including as something you should incorporate into your routine.
This app offers special rebate deals every week on different grocery items, from milk and bananas to wine and toilet paper. You can choose the store you like to shop at, including retailers like Target, Safeway, Sam’s Club, and more.
Simply save the coupons for items you plan to buy, go shop for them, and upload your receipt. Ibotta will give you rebates on your items that you redeem for cash. Simple as that!
One down side to this app is that you have to wait until you’ve accrued at least $20 worth of rebates before you can transfer money to your bank, but I still think it’s well worth it to make a little extra money in the background every time you do the grocery shopping you would be doing anyway.
4. Deliver dollars to your bank account with Dosh
Dosh gives you cash back for purchases you would be making anyway. It’s basically free money. You link your bank card to their app, shop online or in retail stores, and watch your Dosh balance grow! It’s as easy as that! They use paypal to pay out your balance when you want it, and can appear in your account in as little as 24 hours. This one is definitely a no-brainer for how to manage your money better. It certainly helps to have a little more of it to go around!
5. Manage your money with Mint
Mint is a budgeting app created by Intuit. They make it easy to keep track of your income, set budget limits on different spending categories, and easily categorize all your purchases.
It categorizes your spending automatically, and in my experience only has to be corrected every now and then. The automation is pretty good, and your whole budget and financial snapshot is presented in a pretty rainbow wheel!
You can keep track of your debts, set savings goals, and even get reminders about upcoming bills so you don’t miss any payments. It’s a one stop shop app for everything budget and for keeping an eye on your money. If you want to manage your money like a pro, get Mint.
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Want more tips on how to save money? Check out my post: 10 Ways to Save Money Right Now.