The Best Apps to Help Manage Your Finances
Between monthly rent, insurance, taxes, and other expenses,  it’s often hard to track where all your money goes. A spontaneous shopping trip, extravagant vacation, or even a visit to the grocery store can put you in the hole. With so many money-spending temptations and expenses out there, here are ten of the best apps to help you budget your finances, invest your money, and file taxes.   Checking Credit Scores: Credit Karma This credit tracking app is the ideal option for someone new to owning a credit card.  Credit Karma not only keeps track of your credit score but it also easily breaks down every expense or financial decision into understandable categories. In other words, if you experience a drastic decrease in your score, the app will provide personalized tips and recommendations. It’s the perfect tool to track your spending habits and better understand how to practice good financial decision making. Credit Karma will typically update your credit score weekly and even send alerts if there’s an important change in your score. Most importantly, it’s completely free. Mint If you’re looking for a straightforward credit monitoring app that also offers budgeting assistance, checkout Mint by Intuit, the maker of tax assistance programs like TurboTax. This application allows consumers to organize bills, balances, and even their credit scores under one easy to use application. Thankfully, Mint is completely free and provides on-the-go, automatic updates on bank account balances, and credit card statements. Most importantly, the application will provide money management tips by analyzing your accounts and spending habits. However, one of Mint’s best features is its credit monitoring function. The app will provide you with tips on how to improve your credit score and frequently update with credit reports. Mint is an ideal option for disorganized individuals, looking for an easy way to store every aspect of their financial life in one place.   Budgeting: PocketGuard If you’re a chronic overspender, PocketGuard is another great option to help you out. Like other budgeting apps, PocketGuard links to your bank accounts, credit cards, retirement accounts, and any other financial necessity to track your monthly spending habits. The best part is that PocketGuard will crunch all the numbers for you, meaning there’s no need to sit down with a calculator or breakout an accountant to figure out your budget based on your income and earnings. PocketGuard is also completely personable and arranges expenses into categories that you choose. It also budgets into easy to understand and customizable pie charts. The app will also offer tips on how to save on monthly internet, cable, and phone bills. The app might even help negotiate pricey bills or offer cheaper alternatives. YNAB YNAB, otherwise known as You Need a Budget, is a budgeting app that makes you think about the importance of every dollar and where it’s going. The app essentially asks you to change your mindset toward cash and give “a job for every dollar.” Although the program costs $6.99 a month, the first month is free, and it’s well worth your money. As with other apps, you can sync YNAB with all your bank accounts, and the app will automatically update with any purchases or expenses. Afterward, you’ll be able to create individualized expense categories like credit card payments, debt payments, utility bills, and extracurricular activities, and add in dollar amount budgets. The app has an easy to use interface, and once you sync all your accounts and purchases it will easily notify you if you’ve overspent. One other differentiating feature about YNAB is that it offers free online classes with budgeting tips. Despite the cost, YNAB is the ideal app for someone who can’t live without an organization. Wally If you enjoy staying organized and using a calendar, Wally is a smart option for you. This application allows users to budget their money within individualized categories like home, groceries, clothing, and entertainment, and track their budgeting progress from anywhere. Like other applications, you can sync your loans, savings, checking, and credit card accounts to get insight into your spending habits. Another great feature is that the app automatically updates your account balance and creates a calendar for you to track any upcoming transactions or expenses. If you’re married or share a joint account with someone, Wally allows you to sync all your accounts in one place or even create group budgets to share with roommates. Wally is an ideal option for families, couples, and people who struggle to set calendars and payment reminders. Paymo If you’re a freelancer managing multiple projects, consider checking out Paymo, a money managing app that allows you to keep track of tasks and how long you spend on a given project. More importantly, the app allows you to track expenses you incur on a project and bill clients directly from the platform, so there’s no need to send an invoice email. Although Paymo comes with an $8.95 fee per user, it’s an ideal platform for the busy worker juggling multiple projects, and the perfect tracker for keeping everything in one, organized manner. The platform also integrates Google Apps and Slack so you can easily attach a link from your Google Drive directly into the platform or convert a chat message into a task.   Investing: Acorns Acorns is one of the best financial planning applications out there, even though it comes with a $1 or $3 monthly fee. Although there are tons of micro-investing apps out there, including Stash, Acorns is perhaps the most popular and most highly rated, and it’s completely understandable why. Through Acorns, you’ll set up a micro-investing account, which allows you to invest spare change into a stock portfolio of ETFs -- otherwise known as an Exchange Traded Fund, which will essentially replicate the return on a selected range of stocks --  which Acorns curates just for you. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions about your life, and Acorns will do all the dirty work and investing for you.  The application will also help you set up and invest in retirement funds such as the commonly used Individual Retirement Account. Acorns is a great option for those who want to save money, and also plan for the future. Robinhood If you’re looking for a free investing app, check out Robinhood, an investment app that allows you to build your own stock portfolio with as little as $1. The company was also one of the first services to offer commission-free investments. The app allows you to invest your cash in unlimited stocks, ETFs, and even cryptocurrencies. It also offers to invest tips in simple language to make investing in the stock market accessible to everyone. Once you’ve set up a portfolio, you can create notifications and receive constant updates on your assets.   Transferring Money:  Venmo Venmo is probably one of the most well-known money transfer apps out there, and it’s pretty clear why. It’s easy to use and allows users to sync cards directly to the app to transfer money and make payments. For those using a debit card, the app is completely free, although credit cards are charged a 3% fee, and instant money transfers come to 1.5%. However, the app also allows users to transfer money for free to their bank accounts typically within 1 to 2 business days. The app is widely used by millennials, college students, and even baby boomers, and makes splitting costs with roommates or friends simple. TransferWise Like Venmo, TransferWise is another easy money transferring app to consider. The app allows you to sign up with a Google account or even a Facebook profile, making convenience one of its best features. TransferWise is extremely open and clear about fees and there’s no exchange rate markup. In addition, all rates are guaranteed for at least 24 hours, making it a good option for someone looking to transfer money abroad. From the United States, you can transfer funds to over 70 countries using TransferWise. Between these tens apps, there are options for virtually any financial need. With a little bit of patience, you should be well on your way to saving money and living stress-free.     Resources:
Try These Websites to Start Earning Money From Home
Amid an uncertain economy, many unemployed individuals are turning to the gig economy to fill their empty pockets. Many have resorted to the likes DoorDash and Grubhub, delivering food to customers amid store and restaurant closures nationwide. However, for those less comfortable venturing out during the pandemic -- or frankly those without a car -- here’s five money-making trends to hop on from the comfort of your home.   Upwork Upwork has been connecting freelancers with gig work since 2015. The website is quick and simple to use and allows freelancer workers to create a profile, indicate what type of work they can provide, and then simply bid on projects. Freelancers offer companies proposals, in which they’ll indicate why they want to work on the project, how much they want to be paid, and how long it will take them to complete the project. Unfortunately, Upwork does take a cut from freelancer pay which ranges between 20% and 5%, depending on how much business you do with a client. The options are endless, and Upwork has opportunities for writers, graphic designers, coders, and everything in between.   Etsy For anyone with a craft soul, Etsy is the place to go. The website offers a platform for handy craftsmen to sell their creations and for vintage collectors to market their products. Making an account and setting up a virtual store is free, but listing a product comes at a small fee. Amid COVID-19, many individuals have turned to Etsy to sell hand-sewn masks. Home decor, clothing, and handmade jewelry are among other popular items on the website. Aside from the listing fee, Etsy does charge a 5% transaction fee and a 3% plus $0.25 processing fee. Additionally, there’s a 15% fee if one of your products sells thanks to one of the many ads that Etsy advertises.   Poshmark For the shopaholic, selling clothing on Poshmark is a great way to get rid of unnecessary clutter. The social marketplace platform allows users to buy or sell used and new clothing and accessories. For many students, in particular, Poshmark has been the ideal platform for a small side hustle, and to make a little extra cash for outings. Selling clothing on Poshmark can easily turn into a part-time job; the platform is super easy to use. Sellers simply take a photo of the product, write a description, set a price, and post. Unfortunately, like other e-commerce websites, Poshmark does take a $2.95 flat fee from any sale under $15 and 20% from anything above. H   eBay This notorious e-commerce giant is a great platform for auctioning off old memorabilia, gadgets, and everything in between. Since the 1990s, eBay has accumulated a following in over 20 countries, offering a platform for individuals to sell toys, technology, and even cars. Sellers can post up to 50 items to sell per month, and most additional listings will cost you $0.35. As the seller, you can set the price, but buyers can offer a counter-bid. eBay does incorporate some additional fees,  including a final value fee of typically 10% or lower, upgrade fees, and additional costs for listings in real estate or motor vehicle categories. While decluttering your house in quarantine, eBay is the perfect place to list those unwanted gadgets or collectibles.   Bonanza This lesser-known Seattle-based platform is an excellent online marketplace for those looking to sell out of the ordinary collectibles. From designer watches to adult coloring books, Bonanza has it all, and it’s easy to use. Bonanza allows you to sync listings from the likes of eBay and Amazon. Like other platforms, listing an item is free. Once you sell the product, Bonanza charges you 3.5% of the combined sale and shipping price for any item under $500. Sell anything above that threshold and you’ll pay 3.5% on the initial $500 and 1.5% for anything over that amount.   During the ongoing quarantine and work from home routine, there’s no better time to get started on your e-commerce business. Getting started is simple, easy, and some extra spending money is necessary amid this period of economic uncertainty.