This situation has happened to many of us far too often: one minute you’ve got your paycheck for the month, and the next thing you know, you’re in the red again. It’s difficult to resist the call of the material goods you crave. Couple that with our monthly needs (electricity, water, shelter/rent), and the occasional emergency expense (flat tire, house repairs, etc), and some people do indeed end up living from paycheck-to-paycheck, with barely the chance to save up for the long term. This, by far, is incredibly unadvisable especially in these difficult times.
There’s an app for that
As with many other things, the solution is correct financial management. People need to stay on top of what they are spending and what they are spending it on in order to learn where to cut down. There has to be a demarcation line between “needs” and “wants”, as well as an awareness of saving long-term, for the future. So whether you’re still living with your parents or you’ve got your own apartment uptown, you need to balance the books, and there are apps that can allow you to do that right from your business phone or smartphone:
– Mint is an app available in the iOS that allows you to compile your financial accounts, automatically categorize transactions according to what they have been spent on (household needs, groceries, food, etc). This will allow you to find out where you’ve been spending too much. And at the same time, Mint can allow you to set a budget and create savings goals, motivating you to reach goals or show how much more you need for certain big payments (your own house, or car).
– Buxfer is an app that puts together all the data from checking, savings, and credit card accounts. It then categorizes your expenses for you. You would then be able to freely monitor how much you’re spending on these accounts and compare to see which ones you’re spending on most. It’ll even set a limit for you that will remind you when to stop, and keep your spending in check. Particularly useful if you’re prone to buying things on the credit card—go overboard and you might be paying off a debt for the rest of your life.
– Available for both iOS and Android, iReconcile is a paid app that is designed to “keep your finance in check”. It helps you manage your everyday financial transactions through a checkbook register, eliminating the need to keep a list of items purchased as well as the amount of money spent each time. Balances appear automatically when you spend, and comes with an online backup feature so you don’t lose your data. It will also allow you to setup budgets for yourself and create financial reports, so you know how much you have spent after a set period of time. This can be set up to be daily, weekly, or monthly, so you are always aware of where your money has been going.