5 life-changing apps that will help you save money, stick to a budget and get organized

Published March 22nd, 2017 - 03:48 GMT
'Mint' links up with your bank accounts and credit cards and breaks down your expenses into different categories. (Web/Charlie White)
'Mint' links up with your bank accounts and credit cards and breaks down your expenses into different categories. (Web/Charlie White)

Whether it’s keeping track of your expenses or getting reminders about your bills, there are apps for that. Here are some free apps that will help you fulfill your financial resolutions.

1. Stick to a budget

App: Wally

This easy-to-use app allows you to input your expenses and then organizes it into categories. It also uses GPS to see where you spend your money. The app’s InstaScan feature captures the relevant details from a photo of your receipt and populates your budget with the information.

“It’s an entry-level way for people to start a budget and they can track everything from groceries to income,” Taylor says. “What I like about it is you’re not giving any third party your personal information.

“I also like that I don’t have to do tons of data entry. I just take a picture of a receipt… If you buy a sweater, it will know that you bought it at the Gap; it will read the bottom line and it goes into the ‘clothing’ category.”

2. Get organized

App: Mint

If you don’t like data entry at all, Mint automatically pulls all of your financial information from the accounts that you add into one dashboard.

“It’s probably the most popular app. It’s free. It’s really intuitive in terms of linking up with your bank accounts, your investments and credit cards and it’ll break down your expenses into different categories,” says Robb Engen, a fee-only financial planner who blogs at Boomer & Echo. “You can set a budget within those categories and you can set an alert for when you go over that budget. You can set alerts for when bills are due.”

However, when using this financial aggregator, consider that you have to share your banking IDs and passwords with the service, he adds, which might put you in breach of your cardholder agreement and void your security guarantee.

3. Stop stockpiling your receipts

App: Receipts

If you’re still on a mission to declutter, start with the jumble of receipts in your purse, your car, your wallet, etc.

Receipts helps you file away your bills; just photograph the receipts or upload PDFs or images of receipts to the app. The accounting software also extracts the information from the receipt.

You can amend and add to the information — for example, indicate that it’s a business expense that falls into the advertising and promotion category — before storing it.

4. Avoid accounting headaches on group outings

App: Tricount

Imagine going on a ski trip for a friend’s bachelorette and the final bill needs to be split evenly. But Bonnie’s putting the hotel on her credit card, Joanna is paying for the spa day and Maria bought decorations for the hotel room. To avoid a mathematical nightmare, input all of the expenses into Tricount, including who paid for what, and the app will split the bill among everyone.

5. Lighten the wallet and organize loyalty cards

App: Stocard

If you’re tired of carrying all those loyalty and rewards cards everywhere you go, Stocard, which launched in May 2013, consolidates them into a single app. Just scan your loyalty card with your smartphone’s camera; the app creates a digital version of your card on your phone.

By Melissa Leong

 

Editor’s note: This article has been edited from the source material.

 


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