The smartphone has put at everyone’s fingertips an incredible number of apps that make life better. No more waiting to get to a computer to take care of personal business, check on an account balance, or get involved in investing. All you have to do is make sure you’re on a secure wireless connection and get into your finance apps. Following are four apps that help you put money in your pocket in different ways.
Acorns is literally a small change investment app. It lets you invest the small amounts of your change from purchases into a diversified portfolio that you can leave in or take out as you please. Your money goes into many types of investments, some of which pay dividends. Make the round-ups automatic or do it manually and deposit change here and there. As with all investments, the more you put in, the more your return, although it’s possible to lose money, especially in the short term.
Just want to put your money somewhere and forget about it? No problem with Acorns. The app tracks your money, and investments are automated. It’s very user friendly and the graphics look great on a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 with its large, high-quality screen for optimal viewing. Acorns may not make you wealthy, but it helps you get into investing without needing thousands of dollars up front.
Gas prices are always fluctuating, and it’s enough to make you nuts as you find out the hard way that you paid too much at one gas station. There’s nothing worse than passing a nearby gas station that’s significantly cheaper than the one where you just bought gas. While it’s true that a penny’s difference won’t save much in either the short or long run, five cents or more is worth your time, and Gas Buddy helps you save that money. The app works by using GPS to locate gas stations in your geographical area and lists their prices. All you need to decide is whether you have enough gas to make it to the cheapest station.
While saving a few cents per gallon isn’t a whole lot of money, it does add up over time. Saving five dollars per week on gas translates to $260 over a year. That’s money you don’t have to go out and find.
You Need a Budget
This app works by forcing you to keep track of your spending instead of automatically pulling information from your accounts. You Need a Budget makes you pull the information manually and organize it into categories. This may sound inconvenient, but it’s actually a clever way of teaching yourself budgeting discipline. It puts you up close and personal to your spending so you can see where you need to cut back if you want to save money. No more spending freely and not keeping an eye on things with You Need a Budget. Perhaps the only drawback to the app is that it has a monthly fee.
Mint works like You Need a Budget, but it’s more hands-off. You enter all of your financial accounts into the app and it pulls information from those accounts into the app. Everything shows up at a glance so you don’t have to work in order to figure out what your current balance is. When you spend money from a bank account or a credit card, Mint tracks it. If you forget what you spent on what card, just pull up the app, tap on the accounts, and you can see where you did what.
This type of money tracking works by helping you visualize where you’re spending your money. It lets you make the choice of whether to adjust your spending. Ultimately it works by letting you see how much you have and whether you should hold off on a purchase until later or not make it at all.
These apps give you real-time money management and won’t let you forget what you’ve spent at any given time. They help you decide whether you should reach for your wallet to make a purchase and maybe use the change to make an investment.