We all know that the key to financial freedom is to be in control of your finances. Budgeting, saving, paying off debt, and managing your income are vital components of a financial freedom strategic plan. Nevertheless, it can be a challenge to begin or implement a successful money management program. If you are just starting out in life, the mechanics of budgeting and mapping out a financial plan may be unfamiliar to you. It can seem overwhelming and tempting to put off until later. But even if you do have experience or the knowledge, financial management requires continuous attention, and it could be that you simply do not have the extra time in your life. The good news is that in today’s world of high technology, there are apps for just about everything, including helping you manage your money. Apps for your digital device can be like your own personal financial manager, except this manager is with you 24-7. Financial freedom is at your fingertips!
Here is a peek at some of the latest apps that will free your mind and help you save money.
- Digit. Digit frees your mind. The app utilizes a unique algorithm to determine when you have spare money and then automatically makes a transfer from your account to a federally insured Digit account. No need for panic, it only transfers modest amounts, such as $10 to $50, every few days, when the algorithm says you have enough to cover your expenses and that you don’t need this money. If you should find that you do need the money, you can easily transfer it back to your checking account. For those who lack the discipline to save, or just do not have the time to keep track of their income/expense status, Digit could be the perfect solution.
- Qapital. If you prefer to have a bit more control over your digital financial manager, Qapital might be a better choice. It works the same way as Digit, but allows you to set the parameters and you can make adjustments or cancellations anytime you want. With Qapital, you sync the app with your credit card and bank accounts, input your savings and or debt reduction goals, set a weekly fixed savings goal, and then Qapital makes the transfers to your savings account.
- Penny. If you prefer an app that seems more like a live financial counselor, the Penny app could be good for you. Penny is much more interactive. It keeps track of your spending, and sends you texts, using a chatbot platform, to alert you to certain spending habits that could be blocking your way to financial freedom. For instance it might text you to ask if you realize you spent $8 every day this week at Starbucks for a total of $56. The more you use the app, the chattier it becomes, but it does not touch your money. You still have the job of putting money into your savings account. Therefore, while you might like the conversation with Penny, if your problem with saving is lack of discipline, this app might not be the best for you.
- Acorns. This app is for those of you ready to leap to the next level and jump into investments. Acorns connects to your credit and debit card accounts, rounds up to the dollar each transaction you make, and invests that money into special investment portfolios. Savings can be small, between $30-35 a month, which is great for those of you just starting out or nervous about investing in the market. It requires little effort on your part, and the risk is low.
- Simple. This app is for those of you who are sick of banks altogether. Whereas as with the previous apps, everything was tied to your existing bank account, Simple offers an alternative, FDIC insured account. There are no fees on checking or savings accounts, no minimum deposit required to open an account, and you can use a network of designated ATMs with no transaction fees. You input your savings goal and timeline, and Penny automatically deducts the money from your account and transfers it to a special account where it sits until you have met your goal.