Did you know that almost 70 percent of Americans made a New Year’s resolution about finance last year? Many people say they want to save more money.
Whether you want to pay down debt, save more money, or just keep better tabs on your spending, a budget could be the right solution.
If you’re wondering how to make a budget and stick to it next year, then technology may be able to help. Here are seven ideas for using mobile apps to help you stay on top of your budget this year.
Check out for more on personal finance tips.
1. Basic Apps for How to Make a Budget
There are plenty of budgeting apps out there, like Wally and more. They can help you set up a traditional budget.
To use them, you’ll download the app and enter information about your income and expenses. You can decide what to do with amounts leftover.
Some apps, like Mvelopes, mimic the envelope method of cash budgeting. In the past, you’d take cash and separate it into different envelopes. Each envelope represented a different expense.
If there was any cash left over after, you could use that to fund purchases, savings, or extra debt payments.
If you’re not too tech-savvy or you don’t want to learn a new program, then a simple spreadsheet app can help you create a basic budget. It’s easy to refer to, since it lives on your phone.
2. Use an App to Keep Track of Spending
If you’re unsure of where your money is going, then it might help to use an app to track your spending. An app like this can also help you stay on-budget.
Some apps will let you add your budget. Then they’ll warn you if you come close to spending the budget amount. They’ll also alert you if you go over your budget.
Sometimes, overspending can’t be helped. For example, you’ll likely go over your electricity budget in December, thanks to all the extra lights. An app can help you keep a more careful eye on how much you’re over.
In other cases, the app can help you keep tabs on spending at the grocery store or the coffee shop. In turn, you can make better choices to stay on budget.
3. Keep Track of Debts Too
If you have debit card loans or credit card debt, you may also want to keep an eye on these commitments. You can use an app to keep track of payments, as well as how much you owe.
This can help you in a few ways. First, it can help you make your payments on time. That can help improve your credit score.
It also helps you see how much you owe and how long it will take you to pay it off. If you have some extra cash kicking around one month, you might decide to make an extra payment or pay off a debt early.
If you have revolving credit, like a line of credit or a credit card, then the app can also help you keep track of usage. You may want to keep your use below a certain amount, so you can make sure you’re not carrying a balance.
4. Try Zero-Based Budgeting
Some apps let you use what’s known as zero-based budgeting. Instead of adding up all your monthly commitments and subtracting that from your income, you’ll assign every dollar a “job.”
That job might be paying for groceries or your loan payment. It might also be money ear-marked for savings or investments.
By assigning every dollar a job, you have less temptation to use leftover funds for frivolous things at the end of the month. This can help keep you on the straight-and-narrow when it comes to meeting your financial goals.
Great examples of apps that use zero-based budgeting are You Need a Budget (YNAB) and EveryDollar.
5. Try an Investment App to Help You Earn More
There are also plenty of personal finance apps out there, which you may want to check out. If you’re planning to put more money into savings, then you might want to think about investing.
An investment app can help you here. It lets you keep track of your investments, as well as your contributions. That can make it easier to see how well you’re meeting savings goals or retirement fund goals.
Investment apps aren’t budgeting apps themselves, but they can give insight into how well your budget is working. If you’re always contributing less than your monthly goal, then it might be time to revisit the budget. Is there any way you can reduce other costs to free up more funds so you can stay on track with savings?
6. Use an App Tied to Your Bank Account
Financial technology has been big news in the last few years, and plenty of institutions have finally created apps. You may be able to get an app from your bank, which will give you access to your accounts.
This can help you keep better track of cash inflows and outflows. It may also help you pay for things.
Some apps come connected to bank accounts. Simple is one example. By combining the budget with the accounts, you’ll be able to manage both with more ease.
7. Get an App with Personal Finance Management Tips
Finally, there are plenty of apps out there that will help you learn about financial management. They may provide a space for budgeting or help you track spending as well.
Some apps are meant to fill the need for credit counseling or similar services. With them in hand, you can apply what you learn to your budget. Other apps may offer investment tips or information on the best loans and credit cards.
Some may also be able to connect you with financial advisors or counselors. When it comes to managing your finances, the right advice can go a long way.
Make Your Financial Future Brighter
If you were wondering how to make a budget, you now know how technology can help. The right apps can help you not only make a budget but stick to it too.
If you’re looking for great personal finance tips and insights, then take a look at more of our how-to guides. If you need a loan or a credit card, then you can start your search here.