In the digital age, saving money is easier than ever. There are countless budget apps designed to streamline your saving process and put the money aside for you, all without forcing you to spend a minute going over your finances on your own.
So why is it that 60 percent of Americans still don’t have $1,000 set aside for an emergency?
KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic are calling on their listeners to complete the $1,000 Challenge and get that emergency fund set aside. And to help, they’ve put together a list of the some of the best budget apps that’ll get you there.
Acorns automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and puts the spare change into an investment account that earns interest. If you buy a meal for $8.25, for example, it’ll automatically deposit $0.75 into your account to help you save.
KSL’s Dave Noriega, who has already used the app to set aside an emergency fund worth several thousands of dollars, swears by it. “I love these round-ups,” he says. “It’s easy! I don’t even notice the money’s gone.”
Qapital lets you set up your own rules that will make money automatically transfer into your savings account. For example, you could tell the app to transfer $5 into your savings every time you purchase a cup of coffee.
The app also makes it easy to organize that money by letting you label accounts with names like “vacation,” “new car,” or “emergency fund” and a savings goal for each one.
“I upped the ante,” KSL’s Debbie Dujanovic told Noriega, comparing her use of Qapital to his use of Acorns. “Every time I buy something, it rounds up to the nearest two dollars. And on top of that, I do two dollars a day.”
Digit does the budgeting for you. You tell it your salary and your goals, and its algorithms automatically calculate an appropriate amount of money for you to invest each day and transfers it into your savings account.
The app doesn’t just transfer the same amount each day. Instead, it follows how much you’ve been spending and figures out what you can safely put aside so that you don’t have to think about it.
Chime is a full-on bank working through a smartphone app. They offer a Visa Debit Card, a Spending Account, and a Savings Account to all of their customers, without service fees, minimum balances, or overdrafts.
5. You Need A Budget
YNAB (You Need A Budget) is meant to help you learn how to keep your finances in order. It synchronizes all of your bank accounts and uses the information to help you set goals and meet them.
The app runs on four rules: give every dollar a job, embrace your true expenses, roll with the punches, and age your money. Users who follow those rules, the creators say, save more than $6,000 in the first year alone.
Mint focuses on tracking your budget. It brings together your bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments so that you can look at everything in a single place.
The app makes it easy to see how much you’ve spent each money, how your spending breaks down, and lets you know whether you’re on track to stick to your budget or if you’re about to go overboard.
Pocketguard synchronizes your bank accounts to let you know how much you can safely spend each day to make sure you don’t run out of money before your bills come due.
The app also looks at how you’re spending your money and gives tips on ways you can cut down your budget, such as switching to cheaper wireless providers and getting a higher interest rate for your savings.
Goodbudget is modeled on the “envelopes” system of saving. It lets you set a monthly budget for groceries, for eating out, and for anything else you might need to keep in check, then helps you make sure you don’t go over.
The $1,000 Challenge
Join the $1,000 Challenge Facebook group to see other brilliant ideas on how to get your budget in check and to be a part of a tribe that’ll encourage you every step along the way.
And tune into Dave & Dujanovic every day from 9 a.m to noon on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM / 1160 AM for financial tips and tricks Monday through Thursday.
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