Finding the ideal type of investment to place your savings, with the balance of yield, risk, and liquidity that better works for you, is extremely important. However, not even the best investment will generate interest from nothing. It may seem obvious, but a lot of people forget this: to grow your savings you need to have some money saved, and saving money is not easy, especially if you start from a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. Thankfully, nowadays, many easy-to-use tools can help you organize your finances and build your savings. If you require this type of assistance, from simple budgeting to decreasing debt, this article might help you. It will give you some of the best online – and often free – tools to organize and automate your savings process.
There are many reasons why saving money is a wise habit that you should have. For starters, saving money is vital because it protects you in the case of an unexpected financial crisis. Furthermore, building your savings can allow you to make major purchases, avoid debt, reduce financial burden, leave a financial legacy, and gain a better sense of financial independence. Considering all these positive factors, it becomes clear that saving money is extremely important if you wish to enjoy greater security in your life, which will allow you to take risks and try new things.
Now that the importance of saving money became clear, it is time to see which tools can assist you in this mission. All these platforms are available online to be used on your phone, tablet, or computer, and most of them are free. Some have paid premium versions, while others charge a little to be used. Regardless, there are options for all the pockets, including the empty ones. So here are the best savings tools:
PocketGuard is a free budget app. It links your checking, credit, and savings accounts to track your regular bills and income. The app subtracts upcoming payments, savings contributions, and pre-budgeted funds from the expected income to determine how much is available for your daily spending. This app offers automated categorization of your expenditures. But you can also build personalized categories and set spending caps for them. On top of that, PocketGuard allows you to export your data so you can analyze it in your spreadsheets.
Mint is another great free app to monitor your finances. You first need to connect the app to your different accounts. Then, the platform tracks and categorizes your transactions. If the app identifies that you made a suspicious transaction, passed your budget, or paid ATM fees, it sends you notifications alerting you of it. In addition, Mint is an all-in-one place to take control of your bills, it even notifies you about upcoming payments.
YNAB requires you to be a devoted user. This app uses the zero-based budgeting system, which demands you to have a plan for every single dollar you earn. To have access to its many features, you will have to pay a fee of $84 a year or $11.99 a month. They do offer a free trial of 34 days, or if you are a student, 12 months. YNAB allows you to connect your bank accounts, set targets, make contributions to your savings account, and personalize your spending categories. You will also get free seminars, as well as app user guides and money management tips.
EveryDollar is a budgeting tool that allows you to keep track of your expenses and facilitates your buying plans. Like the previous tool, this app is built for zero-based budgeting, so expenses equal income. This app has both a free and premium paid version. In the free version, you will have to manually enter your transactions for them to be accounted for in your budget. Thus, the free version is quite limited and one of the other free apps would do a better job than this one. If you pay for the premium features, however, you can connect the app to your bank accounts to automate the process. On top of that, the upgraded version gives you access to advising content and other resources. The premium version of EveryDollar is included on the Ramsey+ subscription, which costs $129.99 per year after a 14-day free trial.
Digit is a budgeting tool that “learns” your spending habits. When you give this app access to your bank accounts, it analyses all your data to take automated conclusions in order to optimize your savings. Digit takes into consideration your upcoming expenses (including credit card transactions), your planned purchases (based on your spending history), and the minimum balance you need in your checking account to automatically send money to your savings. Thus, if you trust the decision-making of this app, you don’t have to do anything besides following its instructions on spending. It’s a fully automated budgeting app. After a 30-day free trial, Digit costs a monthly fee of $2.99.
GoodBudget is a shared savings tool that revolves around the concept of envelope budgeting, in which you divide your monthly income into different spending categories called envelopes. This app also allows multiple devices to access the same account, making it a great tool for partners and families to build shared budgets. Different from most savings tools, GoodBudget does not connect to your bank accounts. You will have to add account balances, cash amounts, and debts manually. Once this step is done, you can categorize your money into different envelopes. The free version of this app gives you one account, limited envelopes, and can be accessed by two devices. The paid option of GoodBudget offers unlimited accounts and envelopes, as well as access to up to five devices for $7 per month or $60 annually.
Honeydue combines your and your partner's financial data, like bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments, in only one place. However, it also gives you control of how much information you share with your partner. The app categorizes expenditures automatically, but you can also create personalized categories. You and your significant other can set monthly limits for these categories, and Honeydue will send a notification when any of you approaches them. Honeydue also provides upcoming bills alerts and allows you to chat and share emojis.
Personal Capital is mainly a financial planning tool. However, its free app has tools that can help you keep track of your expenses. Checking, deposits, and credit card accounts can all be connected and tracked through the app. On top of that, you can also link IRA, 401(k)s, mortgages, and loans to this tool in order to have better monitoring of your finances. By listing recent purchases by segment, the app offers a spending snapshot.
Many tools can assist you in building your savings, thus there is no excuse to not organize your game plan to save money. With so many different approaches and formats, there is a platform to help save money for everyone. You will be able to make more efficient financial decisions with the assistance of one of these apps. Visualizing, monitoring, organizing, and strategizing your finances will make it way easier to save money at the end of the month. The bottom line is, saving money is already a hard task, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use a tool to make it simpler.