Saving & Spending

Budgeting apps that actually work

This may be the nerdiest of all confessions: I love a good budgeting session.

Long before I knew what I was doing with money, there were few things I enjoyed more than sitting down with pen and paper and constructing a personal budget. Having a budget – whatever budgeting method you choose – is essential if you want to manage your money and meet your savings goals. 

It was Christmas come early when I realized that there are apps to help with budgeting. I’ve been doing it the same way for so long, I wasn’t sure how I would adapt. And yet I was eager to test-drive a few.

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Here are three very different budgeting apps that may take some of the sting out of organizing your finances:

Mint

Mint is one of the earliest budgeting apps and has evolved to include just about everything you could possibly want. It comes to us from Intuit, the folks who brought us TurboTax and Quicken, and so it covers all your financial bases.

While I like that you can connect the app to all your bank accounts, as well as your credit cards and some utility companies, I also understand that some people may be hesitant to do this. I’d recommend at least linking it to the checking account you normally use to pay bills. The process may sound intimidating, but the app walks you through each step and makes it easy.

Creating categories lets you look back at the end of the month and see where the bulk of your money is going. Another neat feature is that you can manually track your spending, so even if you don’t connect your accounts, you’ll still have a record of what you’ve paid for. The Mint app allows you to take care of multiple financial chores, including paying your bills. And if you prefer not to pay them through the app, it’ll email you a reminder of what’s due.

The Motley Fool owns and recommends MasterCard and Visa, and recommends American Express. We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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Source

neallesh@yahoo.co.uk

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