Top 5 Budgeting Apps
In today’s increasingly technological world, there are few of us who are without our smartphones for significant periods of time. They’ve become an essential tool that we simply can’t live without, most of the time—not only for frivolous reasons like Candy Crush (although we must admit we’re kind of hooked ourselves), but also as a way to keep track of work, to keep in touch with friends and family, and to learn about things in general. There’s no getting away from the fact that the innovation of the smartphone has totally revolutionized the way we live our lives, not least in highly developed countries like Canada but all over the world as well.
Similarly, it’s impossible to avoid needing to keep track of your finances. Whether it’s because you’re trying to work out a budget for the first time, or whether it’s as a way to keep track of student loans and other debts, nobody should be ignorant of their financial affairs: that’s a recipe for trouble.
Credit repair is a process not all of us will have to undertake, but for plenty of us our credit scores aren’t quite as good as we’d like them to be, and we have to get going with credit repair, which is a collection of techniques designed to make your credit score more healthy than it was before.
While it’s not always a pleasant way to spend the time, energy spent working towards managing your finances is always going to stand to you, whether that’s because you become financially independent that much quicker, or just because you need to work hard to ensure your credit score doesn’t slip below the level you’d like it to be at. Even if you don’t need to perform credit repair, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get away from debt.
How Apps Can Help
Fortunately, there’s a way to combine these two factors nowadays. That way—in truth, there are a whole bunch of them—is the humble budgeting app. Developers have copped on to the gap in the market for a way to keep your budget organized and on your person at all times, in the form of smartphone apps designed specifically to keep your ducks in a line. They can work towards your goal of credit repair, or they can just be a way to keep everything neat and tidy. Put simply, they’re fantastic.
But where is one to start when it comes to budgeting apps? There are hundreds available on either of the main two app stores, not to mention the platforms like Windows phones and BlackBerries, and all of them come with more promises than you can count about how much they’ll be able to affect your life for the better and how much you need their app right this minute. We’re fully aware of the problem of market over-saturation, especially when it comes to this particular niche, and that’s why we’ve decided to make life simpler for you any way we can.
We’ve come up with a list of the top 5 budgeting apps currently available when it comes to managing your finances and performing credit repair. Although we don’t have the last word on which app will be the best for you—only you can decide that for yourself, since you’re the only one who knows the ins and outs of your specific situation—we can guarantee than any of these apps in the list is likely to make everything much easier for you than it would be otherwise.
But that’s enough preamble: let’s dive into the list of the top 5 budgeting apps available on the market today.
1: You Need A Budget (YNAB)
Quite apart from the terrific name (after all, don’t we all need a budget?) this app, which is available on both iPhone and Android, tackles the problem of handling debt and finances in a unique way. According to the schema under which the app operates, every buck you type into the system has a ‘job’ to do.
That job can be for paying back your debts, for covering essential living expenses, for accounting for nights spent out with friends and family, or even for investment. It doesn’t matter: in YNAB, every dollar counts the same and there’s not a single one that isn’t working in some way towards your goals.
What makes this app even more attractive is that it doesn’t work off of money you don’t have. Rather, it forces you to re-evaluate the way you live inside the money you already have. There’s even a built-in accountability partner which helps to gently nudge you back on track if you stray (because we all stray from time to time). When it comes to credit repair specifically, it’s hard to beat an app that guarantees you won’t be able to live outside your means as long as you’re following its guidelines. YNAB is top of our list for a reason: it does something no other finance app manages to do, and we love it for that.
Acorns is a genius concept, and after trying it out ourselves we were so sure it had to be included on this list that it almost beat YNAB moo the top spot. The concept is simple, but in practice it works out to be so wide-ranging and successful that we can’t believe there’s anybody who doesn’t have this app already. For credit repair especially, this is a must-have.
Essentially, what you do is connect your card to the app, be that a debit or a credit card. Every time you make a purchase, Acorns rounds up the amount to the next highest dollar and invests the difference into a portfolio of low-risk stock exchange options. The technical name for them is exchange-traded funds, and you can pick which you’d like invested.
Rather than keeping the difference sitting in your bank account (because who notices a cent here or there?), Acorns puts it to work and grows your fund completely painlessly. Users say they don’t even notice what’s going on, until they check their account at the end of the year and find an extra few hundred dollars lying around. If you’ve been put off investing because you thought you didn’t have enough money, Acorns is the perfect way to get started.
Acquired by PayPal in 2013, Venmo (which is a name we’re surely all familiar with at this point) is unique in that it allows users to share and like payments and purchases through a social feed, to quote the company’s own official website. If you’d like somebody to pay you, all you have to do is send them your personal QR code so that they can add you as what’s called a recipient in the software.
This is an excellent idea when it comes to keeping track of your finances, and especially if you’re interested in getting going with credit repair, because it keeps you accountable to your friends and family by making public every transaction you undergo. Far from feeling invasive, it instead works to create a network of support around you, which is exactly what you need in the trying time you’re currently in if credit repair is a priority.
It’s available on all major app stores, and is especially popular with the millennial generation, who have taken to it like ducks to water. That alone is enough to justify its versatility. We really recommend giving it a go, not least because of how fun it makes keeping on top of your financial life.
Unlike YNAB, Mint works to manage your finances in a more extensive way. It’s an all-in-one unit that you can use to make a budget, keep track of your spending, and ensure that all of your finances are kept in order, irrespective of the kind of life you’re living.
Especially good for those of us practicing credit repair techniques, Mint is one of the best options around because you can connect all of your bank and credit card accounts—in addition to your monthly bills—so that all of your finances are kept in a single place. As well as letting you know when bills are due and how much you owe on each payment (which should be a great relief to all of us working on credit repair), the app also includes a feature to set up warnings if you’re getting close to budget limits that you’ve set for yourself.
It also, believe it or not, shows you your real-time credit score, completely for free. As a single app for supporting you during your credit repair journey, it really is hard to beat this elegant, straightforward option.
Designed less for budgeting in general and more for specifically keeping track of your expenses, Wally is a clean, easy-to-use app that’s available on every major store. The first step to any credit repair plan worth its salt is to come up with a complete plan of expenditure, which is often the most painful part of the whole process.
Wally makes that bit much easier than it could ever be otherwise. Instead of manually entering them (which can get exhausting, not to mention stressful) all you have to do is take a photo of your receipt and it logs all of the relevant data for you. What’s more, it even tracks geographical location data (assuming you enable it in the settings) so that when it comes time to add up all the pluses and minuses, you know exactly where and when you spent each amount.
It’s easy to mistype expense figures on smartphone apps, which is why Wally’s photographic innovation is so welcome. You can even use it in conjunction with other apps like YNAB or Acorns as an expenses tracking tool, so that between a few of the apps on this list you’ll be able to build yourself a financial companion that’s custom-built to suit your precise needs.
So there you have it: our top five budgeting apps available on the market today, with an emphasis on their value for credit repair. We know how tricky this time can be, which is why we spent a lot of time scouring the web for the very best options; and while we can’t guarantee that these apps are going to be all you’ll ever need for credit repair (only you can make that judgement) we can promise that none of them is going to make your life any harder. They’ll only make things easier for you, and if you’re the kind of person who’s never without their phone, you need to get a few of these as soon as possible so you can get your credit repair process underway.
By the way, if you’ve been struggling to get approved for a car loan because of your credit score, consider getting in touch with us here at autoloan.ca. We consider every application we receive for a loan, independent of score.