Reviews

Top 5 Money-Saving Apps in 2020 that You Should Try

03/16/2020
By Soji James, CPT, CSCS

Your Bank’s App

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Pros

This one may sound obvious, but many people are still not banking on their phones. If you haven’t already downloaded the app from your bank, go do it right now. Your bank wants your business, so chances are they have an app and a lot of customizable tools to help you manage your money better. You may not need another third-party app if your bank is already offering a similar function. And if that function is embedded in your banking software, then going through your bank will reduce clutter and improve your relationship with your bank.

Cons

Some banks have better apps than others, and unless you are willing to switch banks, you’re stuck with whatever your bank has to offer. No app is going to fix everything for everyone, so once you understand your bank’s offerings, you may still have unmet needs that require third-party apps.

Bottom Line

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Regardless of where you bank, they want you to have as much money as possible (so you can deposit it with them). Download the app made by your bank and get familiar with all the features. If you have never done this, you will be surprised how much your bank wants to help you get ahead in life. If your bank does not have a good app, is it is a warning sign you might be with an exploitative bank. Do your research and make sure you are with the best bank for your needs. Many people just go with the bank their parents showed them, and they rarely change banks throughout their lives. Where you bank is a big deal, so don’t let circumstances determine your institution. Stay on top of what your bank has to offer and what the competition is offering. If you can find a better bank, switch! The apps offered by each bank may be your biggest clue.

YNAB (You Need A Budget)

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Pros

This is the best debt-management tool I have found. There are many money management apps, and YNAB is my favorite overall. If your spending habits are out of control, YNAB will help you get back on track. Not only does YNAB help you organize and understand your spending habits, it gives you tips on money management along the way. If you just got a wake-up call about your spending habits, YNAB is a good place to start before going to a professional accountant or counselor.

Cons

It’s expensive. If you already have a budget system, you may not benefit from YNAB. But if you don’t know where your money is going, this could be an essential app.

Bottom Line

YNAB is one of the apps for tracking expenses that is straightforward and easy to use. As you get better at managing your finances and getting out of debt, you’ll learn how to spend more responsibly on items that will pay for themselves over time, like the hydro flask water bottle. If you have tried to get out of debt and failed, YNAB may be your answer.

Mint App

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Pros

It’s free. Professionally made by Intuit, the people who made QuickBooks and TurboTax, this app is an all-in-one budgeting tool that can help you get smart about your money. Banks, credit cards, and monthly bills can be connected and organized in one place. Reminders keep you on top of your obligations. It includes a free, real-time credit score. It’s the best of the free apps to save money. When you need more help, it’s connected directly to the people at Intuit who have solutions for all your financial needs.

Cons

This app has lots of features that, if you don’t understand them, could be too much for you. It’s a powerful tool that some people may find overpowered.

Bottom Line

This should be your first budgeting app. If it works well for you, it will also be your last. If you feel like you’re getting on top of your finances, there’s no need to pay for something else.

Robinhood App

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Pros

You can use Robin Hood for trading stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrencies. Best of all, it’s totally free—there are no commissions and no fees.

Cons

It exposes you to a lot of risk without the aid of a professional advisor. Beginners should be cautious. The cryptocurrency trading function is not available in all areas.

Bottom Line

This is the best investment app for cryptocurrencies. If you are comfortable investing on your own, this app is a must-have.

Acorns App

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Pros

How does investment work without a broker? Acorns can show you a comprehensive, end-to-end process. The app is flexible, fast, and powerfully built for people who want to make the most of their money.

Cons

This is not a money investment for beginners. You need to be careful with powerful apps like these and treat them with respect, or the results you get may be different from what you intend.

Bottom Line

This app is for people who have money to invest and are confident enough in their abilities to make bold moves.

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Money Management Apps can Change Your Life

No matter how good you get with your money, it’s important to remember that not everyone in the world has good intentions. Falling for fitness scams is a common way to lose control of your finances. If you’re on top of your exercise routine and using apps for fitness and a budget tracker, you won’t be as tempted by scammers with pushy sales tactics. You’ll reflexively say, “I don’t have room for that in my budget right now. Let me think about it and add it to the list for next month.” Then you have the breathing room to carefully think about offers that may just be too good to be true.

Get On Top Of Your Finances By Having Money Management Apps (Image source: Pexels)

While you’re on the road to financial wellness, you may have overlooked one of the most powerful and underused tools: your stove. Healthy meal prep is not only a great way to get in shape, but it’s also probably the area where you can save the most money. Eating out is unhealthy and it can be very expensive. It’s a double-whammy. Spend some time learning how to cook using healthy ingredients. Once you are comfortable with your cooking skills, you can build social activities around cooking with family and friends. You’ll build stronger, happier relationships while you save money you can use to empower your life in other areas.

If you’re on the go like me, you’ll be relieved to discover most of these apps are compatible with the apple watch series 4 and other wearable devices. But if you don’t know where you are going, it’s a lot harder to get organized and find your best path. The wellness wheel can help you there. Once you find your personal answer to the question of what is life’s purpose, that is when the rest of these tools will be their most effective.

Which of these apps will help you gain more control over your economic life? Try one or more of them today and find out how fast you can improve your financial wellness.

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