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How To Manage Your Personal Finances With These Helpful Apps And Websites

Keeping your monthly finances in check (no pun) isn't always as easy as it sounds. With bills varying monthly, surprise expenses popping up at the worst possible moment, and tabs on groceries that seem to get bigger with each season, asking a little help from your phone or desktop isn't so absurd.

These are some of our favorite mobile apps and software that make it easy for you to manage your monthly finances.

mint

Of course everyone has heard of mint by now. It's fast, easy to learn, easy to use, and the all-round best choice for beginners who want to use a range of tools to help them manage their monthly finances more effectively.

You can set budgets for everything from entertainment purchases like movies, music, and theater shows to everyday items like medical rewards, prescriptions, and grocery bills. All of this flows into a monthly report that shows how much you are spending on what. You will also receive helpful tips to help you get a complete picture of your shopping habits each month.

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All that being said, the settings you get with Mint are still relatively limited. Because of this, there are a number of other apps that can round off your toolbelt, even though Mint is essentially the gold standard for mobile financial management.

Banking apps

If you're a member of one of the big banks (from some bigger credit unions, the app that corresponds to your personal financial institution can be a perfect financial assistant to help you figure out how much you've spent on groceries in a week to help organize your taxes and prepare for the annual bag expiry.

Bank of America, Tracking, Citibank, Wells Fargo, all have apps to help you keep a close eye on your spending, from transactions on that day to general summaries of how your spending has changed from month to month

Other features like texting when your balance reaches a certain limit and identity theft protection comes as standard. However, if you really want to be in control of your finances, there are apps that can predict what you're going to buy before you even get to the store.

Digit

Digit is amazing for people like me who do anyway. Their best intentions never seem to have enough money in their savings account that doesn't necessarily have to be checked back in before the next paycheck comes in.

Digit will automatically scan your week-to-week, month-to-month habits and send cash to your savings that will reflect those patterns accordingly. That way, you can never try to save outside of your budget, and the app can help you get a better understanding of how much you are actually using and how much you might have left to earn interest on an account Page.

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Digit costs money, but it's somewhat unique - the fees are only debited from your savings account after you've saved a certain amount. Otherwise, you can use the rest of the software 100 percent free of charge.

Credit karma

But what's the use of saving money if you don't have a down payment to look forward to?

While there are dozens of different ways that your balance can be checked these days. Few offer the level of customization and simplicity that you find with credit karma. Outside of the standard credit reporting features, Credit Karma also analyzes how much money you are spending every 30 days, how much you are saving, and compiles a collection of loan offers that best fits your budget.

This type of personalized loan analysis used to be done for hours at local banks. Now the whole process has been tweaked to fit right in your pocket.

BillGuard

BillGuard isn't just great because it helps keep your bills in check. However, by analyzing your monthly expense reports over a longer period of time, you can react quickly and effectively if your identity is stolen and a criminal gets into a shopping frenzy with your stolen data.

Using predictive algorithms and crowdsourcing data, BillGuard is one of the best tools to detect identity theft early on and stop it quickly. When something unusual is detected, you will receive either a text, email, or call notification letting you know that someone you don't or don't know is browsing your accounts.

You need a budget

Fast, tight, and to the point, You Need a Budget is a great app that mimics many of the features you'll find in Mint, but extends it to your desktop for easy mouse and UI interactions.

This is a job that used to be done by programs like Quicken, but when a ton of free options showed up, Intuit realized that it was in mobile solutions that the real money could be made for itself and its many customers.

Need a budget but also has a mobile app, the features on this page are a little more limited than the features in Mint. Also note that the mobile version is just a companion app. Therefore, the main client must be installed on a desktop before you can activate your account on a phone or tablet.


Managing your money is hard and thinking about how much you need to save at the end of each paycheck is made even more difficult by these apps, desktop programs, and digital financial assistants that neither of us have to worry about anymore.

Photo credit: Flickr / IntelFreePress, Mint.com, iTunes App Store, Digit Press Kit, Blog by Credit Karm, BillGuard, YouNeedaBudget