I’ve been forced to face some hard truths lately, and one of them is the fact that I am clueless about keeping on top of my family’s budget. You’d think I’d be better at it; after all, my husband and I are both self-employed with semi-irregular incomes clearly if anyone needs to stay on top of budgeting, it’s us.
We’ve gotten into a pretty typical paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, and we’re now attempting to break that bad habit. So I’ve been seeking out sound financial advice from friends that are doing it better, and I got a great tidbit from a commentor on my blog: basically, the goal is to earn enough so that 50% of our income goes to regular expenses, 25% to less regular expenses and entertainment, and 25% to savings.
So, with that goal in mind, I set out to find some tools to help us get a handle on our spending. Here are 7 great money management apps I’m going to give a try and all but one are free!
Let’s get started! 1 of 9
Daily Cost 2 of 9
I think this is going to be my "starter" app. It's offers a really clean and simple way to track daily spending. And I think the #1 thing I need to know going forward is how bad my spending habits are. Hold me. I'm very afraid.
EEBA (Easy Envelope Budgeting) 3 of 9
This cool app allows you to put your money into digital "envelopes" so you will be less likely to spend your grocery budget on a new curling iron. What, just me?
Learn more about EEBA here. Free for iOS and Droid.
Shoeboxed 4 of 9
I love this app! You can simply shoot photos of your receipts and "shoebox" them on your phone. Easy for organizing later. Or returning things, like those six t-shirts you got your daughter at Old Navy that are too small. Why does this child keep growing?
Learn more about Shoeboxed here. Free for iOS and Droid.
SmartyPig 5 of 9
What I love about this app is how it makes it easy to set up a plan for more expensive purchases, like a new computer or phone. Because BOY does my husband need a laptop replacement. He's holding on to his flip phone, though. You'll pry it out of his cold, dead, slow texting hands.
Learn more about SmartyPig here. Free for iOS and Droid.
Check 6 of 9
MY NEW BEST FRIEND. This app helps track when all your bills are due, and sends you reminders when they are. LOVE. Because one of the worst of my living paycheck-to-paycheck habits is tossing bills into a big, ignored stack until the pay comes in. On a side note, if you call up people and tell them you'll be late on a bill, did you know they are really nice? Not like I know from experience, or anything. Ahem.
Learn more about Check here. Free for iOS and Droid.
Mint 7 of 9
Boy, this is the number one app everyone suggests to me. But I'll admit it: it's a lot to set up at first, and is somewhat daunting. I hope to eventually "graduate" to Mint. You know, when I turn 25 years old and have some financial emotional maturity (*cough* I'm really 45 *cough*).
Learn more about Mint here. Free for iOS and Droid.
Expensify 8 of 9
This handy app is awesome for collecting and organizing business expenses kinda crucial if you run a business, yes? Instead I just comb through checking account statements with a highlighter. In other news, my accountant hates me.
Learn more about Expensify here. Free for iOS and Droid.
Ready for Zero 9 of 9
Ooooh, this is cool! This app helps you outline and follow a plan for paying down your debt. Great if you want less debt. I don't have debt; I have "bankruptcy" and "pay the executor each month to pay off your debts" instead. *Whistles innocently*
Learn more about Ready for Zero here. Free for iOS.
(Also, I'm clearly bad at math. There are eight apps! Whoohoo!)