You work hard for a living. Whether you have a lucrative 9-5 office job, a general labor job during third shift or you work several freelancing gigs that give you flexibility and freedom, your money is well earned. And you most certainly want to make sure you invest and use it wisely.
But what if the only thing you are good at is your profession – and maybe scoring a perfect game in your Thursday night bowling league? What if you don’t feel qualified enough to balance your income? Or the thought of budgeting has you wishing you were having a root canal while getting stung by a jellyfish? Don’t you worry. There’s this wonderful thing called a smartphone that can eliminate all of your anxiety.
Gone are the days in which you have to locate a computer, take a seat, twiddle your thumbs while you wait for the machine to power on, and then launch the appropriate software in order to organize your finances. All of this can be done from your phone while you are on the go. Although, I wouldn’t recommend twiddling your thumbs while holding your phone. It probably won’t end well.
Not only are you able to track your expenses and save for that vacation to the Bahamas while out and about, but you can also accomplish this stress-free with financial applications – better known as apps. There are a plethora of apps programmed to assist with your financial endeavors but they most certainly aren’t all the same. Whichever app you choose, make sure you use it wisely and understand that it serves as an advisor, not your mother. It’s not going to do everything for you.
There are many apps that brag about how easy it is to use their services. Although it may not be very difficult to learn, effort is still required in order to maneuver around the software and digest any new terminology. Navigating through the different screens and menus is not going to become second nature immediately. It takes time and diligence to input your information and make sure it’s all accurate. But having access to manage and control your finances through the power of your fingertips is well worth the time investment.
Financial applications aside from your banking account software are considered third-party businesses. It’s always wise to be extra cautious when inputting account numbers, usernames, and passwords into a third-party app. Make sure you do plenty of research regarding how strong any apps security parameters are. It can not be stressed enough how vital it is that your personal and financial information is under lock and key especially with the advancement in technology that internet hackers have access to.
Although it’s helpful to share your plans and financial goals with friends and loved ones in order for them to assist you in managing your money, it is not recommended. Keep all information away from social media. It is also recommended that you don’t “log-in” via your Facebook or any other social media account. Always be cautious when discussing or passing along financial information.
There are three well-established and very intuitive apps that offer basic features at a very low entry point – FREE!
Mint is a free app that is perfect for those who are new to financial applications and who loathe thinking about money. It is a very straightforward piece of software that is easy to learn.
Nerdwallet touts itself as a fun way to manage your money. With laid back terminology and encouraging prompts, it helps you forget you were even budgeting your expenses. It offers a little more than Mint but nothing that’s remarkably more beneficial.
Personal Capital is the big brother of the three apps listed. It is used by those who want a more robust service that really gets into the weeds of financial flexibility and investment. It’s a great goal to shoot for but a bit much if you are just starting out.
Feel free to check these apps out along with any others you may find in your search. You may discover the perfect one that helps you eliminate the anxiety that so often accompanies financial management. Good luck!