Tax time will be here soon – do you have your finances sorted out? Budgeting apps can keep you on track with spending and ease record-keeping for filing your return.
What’s a budgeting App?
If you don’t know what a budgeting app is, here’s a description according to Google, “A budgeting app is a software application that you may access from your computer, tablet or mobile device to track your finances, such as income, savings, debt payoff, or investing.
“Budgeting apps often will sync with your financial accounts to give you an overview in real-time when finances change. These apps may also organize spending history into categories to identify trends, making users aware of their habits over time, and helping them meet their budget goals.”
Budgeting on a Money Diet
Unfortunately following a budget is harder than following a diet for many people. When you’re faced with spending on something you really want, but don’t really need, you may be tempted to throw the budgeting app under the virtual bus…but don’t.
Instead, check out some FREE apps that will help you actually stick to your budget.
- Mint This is an oldie but goodie. You can feel secure that it won’t be hacked because it was created by Intuit, the same company that created QuickBooks and TurboTax. It syncs with your bank account and can be linked to your credit cards, brokerage accounts and any other accounts you may have. It categorizes spending, alerts you to unusual spending and keeps track of fees. It lets you know when you’ve gone over budget, and keeps you current on your credit score. It tracks spending by category and includes a bill pay function which helps you avoid missed payments.
- PocketGuard Unlike other apps that simply track spending, PocketGuard actually wants to help you spend less. Like other apps, it links to all your accounts and gives you an overall picture of your finances. It’s easier to set up than other apps – which makes it senior-friendly. It not only tracks your income, savings and bills, it looks for ways you can save and find better deals on expenses such as phone, cable and internet.
- Goodbudget The basic idea of this app is putting your money into virtual envelopes, which mimics a real life approach. It works well for couples, who can share the app and see where their money is at any given time. It also helps them save for big ticket items. When your Social Security or pension or paycheck arrives, you can put money into different envelopes, and see how much is left over. The visual aspect helps you to not overspend.
Need more info?
Join one of Senior Planet’s many talks and lectures on money and finance, from basic online banking to selling on eBay. Check out our free online finance classes and take control of your financial life!
Looking for more info specifically on budget apps? Check out more options—including paid options—by checking out these articles from the top financial sites:
How about you?
Are you using a budgeting app right now? How is it working for you? Let us know in the comments!
Erica Manfred’s articles and humorous essays have appeared in print and online publications including the Washington Post, Atlantic, Salon, Village Voice, and the New York Times. A self proclaimed Geezer Geek, now in her seventies, she specializes in writing about aging. She’s the author of four books, including her memoir, I’m Old So Why Aren’t I Wise; Snarky Senior in the Sunshine State. You can subscribe to her newsletter at SnarkySenior.com or visit her website at EricaManfred.com.