There’s no denying that the cost of living in Denver is high, and budgeting is difficult and often stressful. Luckily, we live in the height of the information age, and our smartphones can help us do just about anything. Below you’ll find several apps to help you budget and invest your money this year.
With Albert, you can get a pretty good idea of what your financial health looks like now and take steps to improve and plan for the future. By connecting to your accounts, including bank, credit cards, and loans, Albert will assess your health based on a series of criteria and will give you an overall score.
Based on the score, the app will give you suggestions on how to improve through “missions” that challenge you to do different tasks, like assessing which subscriptions you actually use. Albert also features an in-app savings account that will pull a specified amount from your bank each week and funnel it into funds that you’ve prioritized, i.e. “rainy day fund” or “Hawaiian vacation.”
To help with budgeting, Albert tracks how much you make, your bills and what you should have left. It also monitors how much you spend each week and where you’re spending often to help cut unnecessary loss. The app is free, but does charge for its “Genius” service, which provides additional features. You can name your price for it, and it’s just pulled from the same account as your savings.
You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget is a subscription-based app that helps you budget by sticking to four principles: give every dollar a job, embrace your true expenses, roll with the budget, and age your money.
With these rules, You Need a Budget can help you create a plan of where your money will go, actually stick with it, and adjust your allocations as needed. Much like Albert, it connects to your bank accounts to help you put your money where it needs to go and to help show where you have some extra in case you need to make a last minute change. You can set goals for savings or paying off debt in-app, and it shows statistics in real time across platforms so you can easily share information with a partner.
A subscription goes for $6.99 a month, but you can get 34 days free by going to their website, and students can receive a year free by providing their student credentials.
Mint by Intuit
Mint connects to your bank accounts to track your spending and help you create a budget, much like the others. Unlike the other two, it searches across financial institutions to find deals on credit cards and different kinds of accounts to help save you even more. Mint also brings all of your bills into one place so you can easily keep track of due dates and make payments without having to jump across multiple apps or websites. You can set reminders to let you know when bills are coming due or if your account is starting to run low.
Need to know your credit score? You can see it right in Mint, with no credit card required, and they’ll explain what it means, too. Tracking your investment portfolio is also available within the app, and it will provide tips to help grow your investments. Mint is free, making it more accessible if you’re on a budget.
With Personal Capital, you can import your portfolio directly into the app and track your net worth. The net worth analysis includes mortgages, IRAs, home equity, credit cards, and more. It also analyzes fees on mutual funds, retirement accounts, and investments to make sure you’re not being overcharged. Personal Capital combines all of this analysis and tracking with the ability to speak to a financial advisor, so any questions that may come up don’t go unanswered.
Personal Capital is free but has options to pay if you want extra features.
The concept behind Acorns is simple: connect your credit/debit card, and your purchases will be rounded up so the spare change goes into your account. Buy a coffee for $2.78, and the extra $0.22 will go directly into your Acorns account. Even better, you can link multiple cards to maximize how much is going your account.
You can choose how often you invest, setting up recurring investments, or doing them individually. Your dollars are spread across 7000 bonds and stocks to help returns and reduce risk. With your Acorns account, you get financial advice from a Nobel Prize winning economist and a magazine subscription to help keep you educated on your finances. An in-app IRA program will also be rolling out later this year, and you can get on the waiting list now.
Acorns is $1 a month, and the fee is pulled directly from your account.
With SigFig, when you invest with at least $2000, you get access to free portfolio management and analysis for your customized portfolio. You also get unlimited access to financial advisors and customer support. Don’t want to move your accounts? No problem. SigFig can manage your TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, or Fidelity accounts for you. The app constantly works to lower your taxes as well.
Your first $10,000 is managed for free, with only a 0.25 percent annual fee past the initial $10,000, as opposed to the average 1.3 percent.