What if you could see, track and record all of your spending— right in the palm of your hand? It might be just what you need to stay on budget— avoid overspending— and have money left over at the end of the month? The woods are full of smartphone budgeting apps— so which one is best for you? We're going to look at 3 smartphone budgeting apps— Mvelopes, Mint and EveryDollar.
Mvelopes by Finicity.
If you’re used to budgeting with cash - and that often means putting the actual dollars in envelopes marked for each spending category - you’ll probably like Mvelopes because it’s based on that system. When an envelope for a given category is empty, your budget for that category is spent for the month. But Mvelopes also works if you use credit and debit cards, though it’s a bit more challenging. Mvelopes is a great check on impulse spending because it lets you know in real time whether you have enough in the right envelope for whatever you're thinking of buying. Mvelopes allows you to connect to unlimited financial accounts and use envelope budgeting to track your spending. Mvelopes basic costs $4 month or $40 a year.
Mint is owned by Intuit - makers of Quickbooks and TurboTax. It allows you to track and manage your money from a long list of banks, credit card issuers and other financial institutions.
Mint is big on budgeting. It automatically categorizes transactions from linked credit and debit cards. Mint also tracks them against the budget you've set up and gives you alerts when you go over budget. Mint will give you an accurate picture of your overall cash flow, including some handy reports, to see where your money goes each month. Mint is free!
EveryDollar is Dave Ramsey's app. It’s based on a zero-sum budget meaning the software is designed to "give every dollar a job." All spending is accounted for and it lets you know exactly where your money's going. EveryDollar comes with eight spending categories and you can create custom categories. You can also set up savings accounts in EveryDollar.
It uses nice graphic displays to show whether your spending is on track or if you're heading for trouble. EveryDollar has a free version and a $99 paid version that has more features and there’s a free 15-day trial for the paid version.
You always see in real time your current balance compared to your savings goal. (EveryDollar doesn’t allow you to use American Express accounts
All three of these apps offer a web interface, and an app for both the Apple and Android.
Next, Rob and Steve tackle listener questions at 800-525-7000 and via email to Questions@MoneyWiseLive.org on a variety of topics:
- What are the three credit reporting bureaus and how do you get in touch with each of them?
- If you have a 60 year old friend who has a lot of credit card debt, is a reverse mortgage a good idea?
- If your wife is about to retire, should she take Social Security out at 62 or wait for full retirement age?
- If you're switching jobs and have $25,000 in your first employer's 401(k), what are the options as far as moving it to the new employer's 401(k)?
- What percentage of your salary should be set aside for retirement and emergency savings?
- If you want to help your goddaughter but not enable her with financial help for school, what should you do?
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