Budget Yourself to A Better Financial Situation

Budget Yourself to A Better Financial Situation

You know you make enough to have a little something extra at the end of every month. Yet somehow or other that extra money evaporates away into – who knows what!

 

Some people are organized and disciplined enough to create and stuck to a budget using no more than pen and paper. Or a spread sheet on their computer. Others of us need a little more help. That’s where budgeting apps come in. We’ve sourced a few for you to check out:

 

Mint

Mint is the go-to app for anyone new to budgeting. The app brings all of a user’s bills and accounts together. Including loans, credit accounts, bank accounts and creates budgets tailored to the user.

 

Mint features reminders for upcoming bills and warnings when funds are low.  It also provides access to unlimited free credit scores – along with tips to improve it. By classifying the budget into categories like “Shopping” and “Entertainment” users can determine if it’s possible to save by cutting back in specific areas of their lives.

 

YNAP

 

According the website of YNAP or You Need a Budget, the app will help teach you how to manage your money and get ahead. Their motto is, “Give every dollar a job.” The app is all about prioritizing the allotment of funds, then creating a plan to meet those priorities and following the plan. It’s especially great for helping people reach specific financial goals.

 

PocketGuard

 

The idea behind PocketGuard is to help you track your spending by linking credit cards, bank accounts, investments and loans in one place to see the big picture. By updating and categorizing your transactions as they happen, the app enables you to understand where your money is going and discover opportunities to save. PocketGaurd helps you build a personalized budget based on your income, bills and goals.

 

Albert

Once you’ve connected all your financial accounts to the app, Albert builds a unique budget based on your income, spending habits and goals and automates your finances. It notifies you when you are overpaying and helps you cut costs.

 

Users can text The Albert Genius anytime. (A team of human financial experts) The geniuses alert you to savings you’re missing, identify bills you’re overpaying, help you pay down debt faster and custom-tailor a financial plan for you. The app analyzes your income and spending every day and sets aside small amounts of money you can save safely.

 

Wally

Comparing income to expenses, , Wally helps users understand where their money goes and set and achieve goals by keeping track of daily details. To do that Wally gives users a 360 view of their money, what goes in, what goes out what has been saved. The app is free and available for both iPhone and android users.

 

Goodbudget

For people who want to try envelope budgeting without a paper envelope, Goodbudget is the answer. Each month users earmark their money for specific purposes and distribute it into virtual envelopes like groceries, accommodation, utilities etc.

 

Throughout the month they transfer money from the envelope to its designated purpose. It helps the user see exactly where their money is going every month. The app can be shared with partners across different platforms so it’s great for couples who want to pool resources toward designated expenses.

Make The Most of Your Vacation Time With The Least Amount of Money

Make The Most of Your Vacation Time With The Least Amount of Money

All of us have dream vacations we’d one day like to take. Mine include Rome with all those stunning fountains, Egypt and her mystical pyramids, the utterly unique Galapagos islands. I cannot currently afford any of those vacations. In the meantime, does that mean I need to settle for staycations with my limited means,? No way! With a little planning and alternative thinking it’s possible to take fun, interesting vacations on a restricted budget.

 

Sometimes the when is as important as the where

Set your alarms everyone, because according to Skyscanner the best time to book a flight is 5 am! Further to that, the best time to book flights for domestic trips is 2 – 3 weeks in advance. The best time to book international journeys is 5 – 6 months in advance. The least expensive month to book those flights is January (with an average round trip flight of about $500). February comes next then leapfrog all the way over to August. While you’re planning, plan to book your domestic flight on a Tuesday and your international flight on a Wednesday to enjoy the most savings.

 

Accommodation alternatives

Last year I went to Costa Rica with my daughter – which is why I’m on a limited vacation allowance now! Following a few convincing words from my daughter, one of the things we did to save money was stay in a hostel. Old enough to have a twenty-four-year-old daughter, I’d never stayed in a hostel before, thinking they were for backpackers and twenty-four year olds. To be sure there were many of those, but to my surprise there were also all kinds of people my own age. Some traveling with their own kids, some on their own. Although we stayed in a room with 5 other people there were options for semi-private and private rooms. The hostel was spacious and clean and very friendly. It cost us about $25 a night and was an experience I would definitely repeat.

 

If hostels are absolutely not your thing you can still score significant savings through sites like Airbnb and HomeAway.

 

There’s also Glamping – which you can think of as luxury camping or glamorous camping across locations around the globe. Or Canopy and Stars a collection of unique, creative places to stay in the great and grand outdoors.

 

Transportation

You could take a taxi when you travel and pump your money into someone else’s pocket or you could get friendly with the bus and subway schedules in the area. Or if distances aren’t too daunting you could put your legs to work either as locomotion on their own or as peddle manipulators.

 

If you do need to rent a car follow these tips from tripsavvy and:

Book early

Comparison shop

Reserve the smallest car possible

Compare daily and weekly rates

Use non-airport facilities

Ask for a discount

 

BYOB

By carrying your own water bottle and filing it up as you go, not only are you helping save the world from more plastic refuse you’re also saving significant amounts of money. Speaking of water, choose nature’s thirst quencher as your beverage of choice and put the savings toward other aspects of your vacation. Extra night in the hostel anyone?

 

Enjoy the freebees

No matter where you travel there are all kinds of things you can do for free. In the article about free things to do on vacation from Wise Bread they mention that many museums around the world offer free admission, and for the ones that don’t they often have a day when admission is free. Plan in advance and explore world treasures without paying a cent.

 

Walking tours are also a great way to see any city and often those are offered for free.

 

One other thing, don’t forget about Google. Type free things to do in X and go to town!

 

Become your own tour guide

Get yourself a tour book before you go and familiarize yourself with your destination then become your own tour guide. For instance, when I finally do get to Rome I could book a 60 euro tour to see the coliseum or I could prepare in advance and get in with 12 euros and create my own experience.

 

Need help budgeting?

Need help budgeting?

Now that you’ve landed a sweet job and you’re getting paid, all that money may start burning a hole in your pocket. Of course you want to spend it. But if you want to make sure you still have some cash by the time your next paycheck appears, you’re going to want to learn about budgeting.

There’s rent, groceries, a phone bill, the cost of public transit or a car, and maybe school debt on top of all that. Before you know it, there seems to be nothing left. Keeping track of your cash can be a chore, but having an App to help you out can take the stress out of money management. Below are our Top Five Budgeting Apps.

Mint -Free

iTunes, Android

As a free app, it’s hard to describe Mint as anything other than great. It connects to your bank account. Don’t worry, Mint doesn’t access your money, it just reads the data. One of the best things about Mint is that it looks at your transactions and automatically categorizes them into things like Entertainment, Food/Groceries, Bills etc. It then puts this information into easy to read charts so you can see how much you’re spending and where.

Mint also allows you to set goals for spending and saving and charts where you are with each of those goals. Saving up for a new laptop? Choose the amount it’ll cost, and when you want have it by and Mint will allot the right amount each month!

PocketGuard – Free

Android IOS

This back account tracking and budget management app shows you how much you have in your accounts along with how much you can afford to spend each day. It connects to your bank card accounts through an encrypted, read-only connection, while automatically sorting your purchases, subscriptions and bill payments to provide you with an estimate of how much you can spend safely without going into the red.

 

Budgt – $0.99

iTunes.

One of the concerns you may have with both of the previous options is that they hooks up with your bank account. This means that they do a bunch of the work for you, detecting your earnings and spending habits. But we understand if you’re hesitant. If you’d rather not have an app connected to your accounts, BUDGT is a great option.

BUDGT has a lot of the same features as the previous app including options for savings, reminders about spending and options where you can set it up to allow more spending on specific days, like weekends. BUDGT is a great option if you don’t mind doing the work of inputting all your own data.

 

Wally – Free

IOS and Android

Wally is great for the organized types.  It helps you compare your income to your expenses, understand where your money goes and set and achieve goals. Rather than logging in your expenses, with Wally you can take a photo of your receipts. With Wally you can create and view expenses while keeping track of how much you’re spending to help you stay within your savings goals.

Your Bank’s App

Having your banking at your fingertips can be really helpful when it comes to paying bills, knowing how much money you have and moving money around in a pinch.

While every bank’s app is different, if your bank has an app, it usually offers a number of helpful features. Most apps now have the ability to deposit a check just by taking a picture of it. This can be really helpful if an ATM isn’t near by and you want to have that money right away.

Pick a Budgeting App

While a budget might be the last thing you’re thinking about now that you have a steady flow of cash, keeping and eye on your finances is essential if you don’t want to spend it all in once place. These are our favorite apps, but there are lots out there. If you have a favorite app we haven’t mentioned, we’d love to hear about it.

Three Great Budgeting Apps

Having money is great. It’s the whole reason we bother getting jobs. But often we end up wasting money on frivolous spur of the moment purchases rather than accumulating enough for the things we actually want. That’s where budgeting comes in. Here are three top budgeting apps to help you make the most of your hard earned dollars.

Tip Tuesday: Budget With $5 Bills

Here’s something to try out if you want to start budgeting: for every $5 bill you receive, save it. At the end of every month, count how much money you’ve saved up from just those bills alone. Five bucks doesn’t seem like much but you’ll be surprised how fast things add up.

Hopefully this tip will motivate you to put some money aside while working in the summer or at you full-time job.