When it comes to financial planning, many of us live on the edge and struggle to make ends meet. Sticking to a monthly budget and staying out of the red can be difficult. Still, it’s best to take a glass half full approach to money and finances. And luckily, technology is here to help.
If you’re tired of going through the monthly panic around paying your bills, consider seeking help from your smartphone. Not only are there several apps that can help you track your monthly expenses, but there are also apps that can help you earn money through surveys and even watching TV.
So stop stressing… these apps will put some cash back in your pockets!
The Best Apps for Saving Money
We all know how efficient a smartphone is at getting us to spend money. One click and we can catch a ride on Uber, find a hotel room listing on Expedia and order Chinese takeout. Smartphones encourage instant gratification – music, games, products and services – we can get anything we want at any time.
But your phone can also help you from burning a hole in your bank account. The smartphone has revolutionized personal finance by making banking easy and encouraging smart spending. Here are the best apps for saving money:
Envelope budgeting is when you divide cash into different pots of money for different things. Goodbudget, which was previously named Easy Envelope Budget Aid, uses this method.
Goodbudget allows you to create digital envelopes – one for car payments, groceries, credit card bills, student loans and so on. When you get your paycheck, you digitally fill each envelope. In other words, you’ll never get caught off guard by a bill or sudden expense.
Bank balances and envelopes can be synced between different devices and people, making household budget tracking easier. Goodbudget is a free app. There’s also a “Plus” version for $5 a month that offers more features.
The Wally app has gotten rave reviews. According to its website, the free app is the #1 Finance App in 22 countries and has a 4.2 out of 5 star ratings globally. Described as a simple, seamless and intuitive budgeting tool, Wally gives you a “360-degree view of your money, tracking what comes in, what goes out, and what you have saved and what you have budgeted.” Wally’s other features include the ability to photograph your receipts and a notification system that reminds you of upcoming payments.
Daily Budget (Available for iOS)
Daily Budget is a minimal and streamlined money saving app. In fact, it’s about as basic as using pen and paper to manage your finances. And that’s a good thing, especially if you’re not a tech-geek.
Think of Daily Budget as a giant digital calculator. The app calculates a daily budget based on your income and expenses. It asks you how much of your income you want to put towards savings. Daily Budget then makes those savings goals more realistic by breaking down the number to a percentage per day and month. Based on how much you want to save, the app gives you a daily budget number to hit.
There are several money saving apps on the market today. It all depends on what exactly you want the app to do. Do you want to up your savings game, track expenses, invest or create a personalized budget? Here are three additional money saving apps to consider:
The Best Apps for Earning Money
Completing consumer surveys, scanning groceries, taking pictures of your receipts, engaging in healthy activities and surfing the Internet… what do all of these activities have in common? With mobile apps you can do these tasks (and many more) and earn money.
You’re not going to become a millionaire by downloading mobile apps, but you can earn a little extra money every month. And a little extra comes in handy, whether you want to save it for a rainy day, put it towards the phone bill or splurge on something special. Here are the best apps for earning money:
Swagbucks allows you to earn $5 to $25 gift cards for taking consumer surveys, watching videos, shopping online, searching the Web and playing games. In other words, Swagbucks pays you to play on your phone. Does it get any better than that? Swagbucks gift cards are redeemed at popular stores such as Target, Amazon and Walmart. It’s the internet’s most popular rewards program and has paid out over $145 million in cash and gift cards. Even better, Swagbucks is free to join.
Yes, you can actually earn money by scanning the barcodes on the back of items you purchase at grocery stores. All you need to do is fill out an application to become a Nielsen Consumer Panel family. Nielsen is the same company that tracks TV ratings, so being a data collecting organization, it only makes sense that they’d be interested in tracking purchasing trends in different parts of the country. Every time you send data to Nielsen, you’ll earn gift points for different types of merchandise. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to participate in the panel’s many sweepstakes, which include cash and vacation prizes.
AchieveMint (Available for iOS)
Need an incentive to work out? AchieveMint is a health app that earns you money for completing healthy activities. How does it work? All you have to do is synch AchieveMint to a popular workout app such as Fitbit or MyFitnessPal. You then choose what fitness data you want to share with AchieveMint.
For example, you can earn points for hitting your step goals with Fitbit, tweeting something healthy or by simply walking into a health food store and posting about it. One thousand points equals $1, and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
Depending on how much time you have on your hands and how savvy you are with technology, there are numerous apps that will help you earn money. Explore, see what’s right for you and always be aware of possible scams. Here are three additional money making apps to consider:
- Poshmark (Available for iOS and Android)
- Field Agent App (Available for iOS and Android)
- QuickThoughts (Available for iOS and Android)
Our financial lives are complicated. Keeping track of cash, credit, savings and when bills are due can be a difficult task. Not everyone is a born accountant. Luckily, your phone can help you crunch the numbers, organize and track finances and accounts and stay in the black. It can even help you earn a little extra money along the way!