Here’s a general rule of thumb among financial advisors: 30% of your family’s income should go to housing; 20% should go to the savings account; and 25% should go to transportation and food. That seems simple enough, right?
Of course, anyone who’s ever argued with their partner about money knows that it’s not quite that simple!
If you’re struggling to manage your household finances and it’s making you SO. STRESSED. OUT… then try to remember that you don’t have to resort to complicated spreadsheets. These apps can help take the guesswork (and the paperwork) out of balancing your budget!
A clever name for a much-needed app, Honeydue is meant to alleviate arguments that come up when you share finances. It allows you to see who has paid what and when, ensuring that everyone’s on the same page.
While most experts recommend having at least enough savings to cover six months of living expenses, Eugene Park, co-founder of Honeydue, says that 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means that people often have to prioritize which bills to pay when, and they often want payment reminders to ensure they won’t be subject to a late fee. That feature was added to Honeydue as a result of the extensive research the creators conducted prior to the app’s launch.
The creators hope to promote financial literacy and collaboration, two areas that are lacking in many other financial apps. If you want to stop those petty money arguments and make sure nothing slips under the radar, downloading this app might be well worth it.
Mint is a more well-known budgeting app geared towards individual tracking. Since 2006, the company has worked to give users a more complete idea of their spending. Along with the charts and graphs that show exactly how you’re spending your money and where you could be cutting back, the app allows you to set bill payment reminders, create monthly budgets, and actually take care of paying all your bills through the app itself. So instead of sifting through your emails to pay your utility bill or having to navigate to a different site to take care of an invoice, you have a one-stop shop for all of that.
This one is a personal favorite, and it makes saving money for your rainy day fund so easy. You may have the ability to put away more money than you realize. If you’re usually tempted to spend a bit too much of what’s in your checking account, Digit may be a great option for you. The service automatically takes out small amounts of money from your checking account to deposit into your savings, which means you will save money without even realizing it. Digit actually analyzes your income and spending habits so that it won’t take out more than you can afford. You can try out Digit for free for the first 100 days, but after that, you’ll have to pay $3 a month to save. But really, this app can help you save a ton of money while you sleep.
We may understand that those iced coffees add up, in theory, but a lot of Americans have trouble figuring out exactly what they can cut out to save a good chunk of change. The Clarity Money app, launched last year, uses artificial intelligence and data science to help users make smarter financial moves. Basically, it analyzes spending habits and makes suggestions on how you can save better. For instance, it may recommend that you cancel unnecessary subscriptions, find ways to lower certain bills, or come up with better credit card solutions. Clarity Money recently announced a partnership with Acorns, an investment app, to allow users to get more out of both services.
As you consider these personal finance apps, don’t forget to consider going paperless altogether. Studies show that half of customers will pay an electronic bill before the paper version would have even arrived in the mailbox, and going paperless can make it so much easier to prioritize, pay, and plan.
Ultimately, if you’re going to use your smartphone for virtually everything else as it is, you might as well use it for better money management, too, right? Not only will it make family expense tracking more convenient, but it’s much more environmentally friendly than physical spreadsheets and paper invoice filing.
Plus, it means that monthly smartphone bill will hurt just a little less knowing that your phone is helping you save money too!