How Your Cell Phone Can Help With Budgeting

Did you know that the average cell phone bill is over $80 per month? That’s one expensive social media machine! But what if your phone could do more than just cost you money? What if it could actually save you money? With powerful budgeting apps right at your fingertips, your phone could actually put more back in your pocket than you might think. Plus, it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, difficult process, either. Using mobile budgeting apps can help you track your spending, manage your money, and keep you on financial track.

Budgeting with Banking Apps

There has come a time in most of our lives where we go to make a purchase and secretly wonder if we have enough in our account to pay for it. You don’t have to wonder any longer, with free mobile banking apps available from most financial institutions. All you have to do is grab your phone, open your banking app, enter your password and see how much you have available in a few seconds. By making it a part of your daily routine, you can avoid expensive overdraft fees and better determine what you can and cannot afford. There’s more to these banking apps than just checking your balance, though. Here’s what else your banking app might be able to do:

  • Offer in-store features in the app. Make check deposits using your phone’s camera, transfer balances between your checking and savings, and even pay bills right from your mobile banking app. These features can make saving and spending money smarter and more efficient.
  • Manage your finances differently. More and more banking apps are offering users the ability to set goals, create spending alters, set up spending categories, and offer graphs and charts that help us understand our money situation better. That’s full control of your finances, from a single app.
  • Monitor and manage credit scores. While not available in every mobile banking app, some institutions are providing access to your actual credit scores and changes to your score right from the app. This makes the process of improving your credit so much simple – and cheaper – because you don’t have to buy access to your score.

Budgeting with Money Management Apps

Money management doesn’t have to just be done from your mobile banking app. If your bank’s features aren’t doing it for you, you can turn to budgeting apps that offer more robust capabilities. Whether you choose a free or paid version, each of these mobile budgeting apps offer a wide range of features to help you manage debt, save money, and track your spending.

Mint Personal Finance App
The best aspect of Mint is that you can connect all your different bank accounts in one place to track it all. For example, if you have a savings account at a credit union and a checking account at another bank, you can view both within Mint. Label your types of spending and you’ll get detailed reports on where your money is going – allowing you to adjust as needed.

Prism Bill Payment Tracker
If it feels like each month you’re struggling to keep track of all of your different bills, then Prism is the perfect app for you. Check your account balances, pay directly from the app, and even schedule future payments. You’ll get notified of upcoming and paid bills, too. Plus, it’s free, so that’s one less bill to manage.

Albert Personal Assistant
Budgeting can be complicated, which is probably why a lot of us don’t do it enough. With Albert, though, you can create and stick to a plan. That’s because they create the budget for you, based on your habits, bills, and income; they’ll even set aside a portion of your money for savings. For a donation-based fee, you can even get access to real people for advice on a range of financial topics. What a guy!

Budgeting with Investment Apps

Your mobile phone can do even more than budgeting, though. You can make money, too! By using investment apps, you can easily handle your own stocks and other investments, choosing which companies, how much to invest, when to trade, and so on. There’s an app for every level of investment experience, too. For beginners, apps like Stash will show you the ropes and teach you the terms, perfect for just starting out. If you are a freelancer who doesn’t have access to a company 401k, then a retirement investing app like Vault is the place to go, allowing you to open an IRA, Roth, and even variations of IRAs designed for the self-employed. And for those who think they don’t have enough to invest, you should check out Clink, a savings-based micro-investing app that allows you to invest in much smaller increments.

Of course, this should not be used as investment advice; make sure to seek out professional opinions prior to investing!

Other Ways to Manage Money Using Your Phone

Did you know your phone offers a wide-range of tools to manage your money, beyond budgeting apps? Here are a few ways you can use default apps to track your finances:

Apps to Create Lists. One way we tend to overspend is by going to the store without a list in hand. Use your phone’s notepad to jot down the items you need, or use the individual store apps to create your shopping list. Not only will you get an idea of costs before you get there, but store apps often contain coupons for additional savings.

Apps to Calculate. A stock application on every phone is the calculator. If you know your area’s sales tax rates, you can calculate the cost of your items before you even hit the checkout. Or, you can download a sales tax calculator that tells you percentages by city, state, and zip code.

Curate Digital Coupons. We mentioned previously that downloading a store’s app can save you money, but what if you shop at a lot of different places? Downloading every store app may not be realistic. That’s where digital coupon apps come in. Check out this list of 9 coupon apps that could start saving you money immediately.

There’s so much technology available right at our fingertips – and we don’t have to be financial gurus to use them. Turn your phone into a powerful budgeting tool with just a few downloads of banking apps, budgeting apps, and investment apps – and more. For more articles on money management and personal loans, visit the LendNation blog today!