No doubt we’re in a strange time and when uncertainty looms we start to worry about our cash flow. In fact, more than half of B + C readers said in a recent online survey that they are worried about finances right now. “With unemployment numbers climbing and the certainty of the economy unknown, your gut reaction might be to avoid thinking too much about your budget or money in general, ” says Brittney Castro, Mint CFP and CEO + founder of Financially Wise. “But now, more than ever, is the time to make a plan.”
Whether you’re racked with student loans, living paycheck to paycheck or just at the starting line of retirement savings, now is the time to rid yourself of the fear, obligation and guilt (AKA FOG) that we often experience when it comes to $ and remind yourself that women, when we put our minds to it, rock everything we do. First step? “Acknowledging your feelings and fears when it comes to money. Revisit your money history. Ask yourself: what does money represent to you? What did it represent growing up? How are your feelings about money impacting your life and the choices you make? You have to recognize your “issues” before you can make a plan to move forward,” says Castro.
Then, educate yourself. Read books about money that teach and inspire you. A few of Castro’s favorites: The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles and A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Maikiel.
Then if you don’t have a budget, set one up and review it regularly, says Castro. That’s where apps can help. Here are 9 to help you navigate your financial present and future and make confident decisions about where your money goes and doesn’t. You got this.
Track your expenses *and* score personalized insights from this new finance-tracking app designed by a former Googler. Copilot uses machine learning so it’s actually learning more about you as you use it while you get smarter about how to spend, save and invest. Its fresh design and easy-to-create custom categories and budget-setting make this one a Brit fave.
Mint gives you the full picture of your finances by linking all of your accounts into one visual app. You’ll get reports on your spending, your budgeting, your net worth (visualizing this is the first step to changing it!) and more. Manage your day-to-day spending and save for the long haul.
You Need a Budget Free 34-day trial, $7/month
YNAB, for short, takes the stress out of climbing out of debt. You’ll create a monthly budget and categorize your deposits into bills, rent etc. so you can avoid the impulse buys that *add* to your debt.
Take a positive outlook on your finances and find what brings you joy to clear your finance clutter. Joy helps you by categorizing your purchases as “happy spends” and “sad spends” (so much of it is psychological!) and will connect you with a money coach. You’ll also score a free FDIC-insured savings account to make sure you’re on track to reach your finance goals.
Want to avoid the number one reason couples divorce? Twine is a great option if you’re married or in a relationship where you mix your money. You and your S.O. set up a joint profile where you link your goal accounts (like buying a home) and set up automatic transfers. You can choose to invest your money in a simple portfolio or save in cash.
Acorns invests the “loose” change out of your account by rounding up to the nearest $1 and giving you the option to transfer that change into an investment portfolio. You can also set up recurring withdrawals and for an extra $1 a month open a tax-advantaged retirement account.
Wally is a no-frills budgeting app but what’s cool is that it lets you save pictures of receipts so you can keep track of tax and business-related expenses and tells you how much money you have every time you log in, also what’s left in the budget until the end of the month.
Feeling buried in debt? Turn that ship around with this app that helps you visualize your debts washing away (ahem). You’ll first enter all of your debts and then you’ll be able to select the debt avalanche method (pay off debts with highest interest rates) or the debt snowball method (pay off your smallest debts first). Either way, you’ll start to watch your debts disappear along with the stress that came with them.
Ellevest Free to Ellevest clients
More than 70 percent of assets held by women are sitting in cash, earning little to nothing, according to Sallie Krawcheck, CEO of Ellevest. This is just one outcome of a gender investing gap that will leave women with a whole lot less at retirement than their male counterparts (like hundreds of thousands less). Ellevest aims to change that. The women-focused robo-advisor suggests how much you should contribute based on your financial profile, a gender-specific salary curve and your goal targets. And there’s an app for that (the annual fee for investment portfolio and robo-advisor is .25%).
Ready to start budgeting, saving and investing? Now set yourself up on a money date, manage it via one of these apps and make it a daily habit to check in on your money and finally get some.
What money-management apps are you into these days? Share with us @BritandCo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.