As foundational planning educators, our firm teaches a four-pillar approach to create great financial health. Those pillars are:
- Debt Elimination
- Estate Planning
- Guaranteed Retirement
- Long-Term Care
Considering you wouldn’t begin building a house with a crumbly, cracked foundation, you shouldn’t begin planning for your financial future without investing in the proper foundation.
Because most people spend 2/3 of their monthly paychecks paying down compounded interest and taxes, our planners often begin with pillar I (debt elimination) if it is applicable. One of the first truths clients learn is that if you track your money, you control it. But if you procrastinate on identifying how much you earn and how much you spend on a monthly and annual basis, it can be very difficult to get ahead.
For this reason, on the heels of our first or second meeting, I’ll often suggest free applications that can both track and control your spending. All the apps I recommend are free (some include paid features). Personally, I use a combination of money management apps through my bank and Mint. But the goal here is to find what works for you.
Here are ten free apps that can help:
- Mint: This app connects to your bank accounts and automatically categorizes your transactions. It also has budgeting features, alerts for bills and fees, and credit score monitoring. Learn more here.
- PocketGuard: This app analyzes your spending habits and creates a personalized budget. It also alerts you when bills are due and can help you find ways to save money. Learn more here.
- Personal Capital: This app helps you track your investments, retirement accounts, and net worth. It also provides budgeting tools and alerts for unusual account activity. Learn more here.
- Goodbudget: This app uses an envelope budgeting system, where you allocate your income into different categories. It also allows for multiple users, so couples or families can budget together. Learn more here.
- Wally: This app allows you to manually input and categorize your expenses. It also has a feature to track and split expenses with friends. Learn more here.
- Clarity Money: This app helps you track subscriptions and recurring charges, and suggests ways to save money by canceling unnecessary expenses. Learn more here.
- Honeydue: This app is designed for couples to track their finances together. It allows for shared accounts and spending tracking, as well as bill reminders. Learn more here.
- Money Manager: This app allows you to track your income and expenses, set budgets, and view your spending habits in graphs and charts. Learn more here.
- Spendee: This app provides budgeting tools and expense tracking, and allows for multiple currencies for international travelers. Learn more here.
- Fudget: This app is a simple budgeting tool that allows you to manually input income and expenses. It also has a feature to carry over unused funds to the next month. Learn more here.
Is there a specific app you use and love? Please let our team know – we’re always considering how to better recommendations made to clients.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out.