5 Easy Steps How to Use Best Budgeting Apps
It feels like there’s an app for everything now. From loan applications to financial management, new apps spring up every day to give users access to general and specialized financial services. With a single mobile application, you can now pay your bills, make transfers, and manage your overall finances.
Although these apps are available, some people still find it challenging to reduce their spending or save more. They live from paycheck to paycheck and are unable to live up to their regular financial resolutions. If you’re in this category, you may feel out of control regarding your finances, and you’re not alone.
As the world grapples with economic fluctuations, political instability, and climate change, the reality of modern-day finances demands some personal effort and discipline to stay ahead of the curve. If staying ahead is your goal, then budgeting should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Thankfully enough, there are some amazing budgeting apps to help you start. In this article, we outline steps on how you can use these apps to meet your financial goals. While you could also use paper and pen to get your cash flow in order, a budgeting app offers a more convenient way to set up your budget, track your spending, and meet your saving goals.
What Are Budgeting Apps?
Budgeting applications for your smartphone or tablet can help you keep track of your expenditures on a daily basis. An app can help you keep track of your personal money in one simple location, even if you’re on the road. This should give you a general idea of how much money you make, how much money you spend, what you spend it on, and where you might need to make adjustments. You may also download loan applications to make it easier to satisfy your payback obligations if you have an ongoing loan.
How Do I Use Budgeting Apps?
Are you ready to get your finances under control? Follow these steps.
1. Choose a budgeting app.
This may seem like a minor decision in your money management decisions, but the budgeting app you choose to go with could make a big difference in your financial health. Start your budgeting journey by choosing the right budgeting app to download.
Consider your financial needs and goals before you make a decision from the many apps online. This will help guide you to identify the right budgeting apps that could be most helpful for you. Some of the apps are free, but others require a subscription. Check that it’s worth the investment (if it’s a paid app) and that they have the features you need, customer service support, and the security features and privacy settings you are okay with.
2. Register your bank account.
Now is the time to connect your account to your new budgeting app. In some apps, you will input your bank account details and transactions manually. However, most budgeting apps automatically save you the stress and link your bank accounts, mortgage information, loans, and credit cards for easy access. The app will then take over and monitor your transactions from there.
Apps like Personal Capital, PocketGuard, Mint, and Honeydue will send you regular reports of your transactions to give holistic insights into your financial picture. You can then customize the apps according to your plans.
3. Set your budgeting goals.
What do you want the budgeting app to do for you? Are you looking to clear your loan debt, or do you want to save for a new house? Do you want to control your spending? Whatever you want a budget for, you need to set your budgeting goals.
Take Mint, for example. Under the “Create Budget” option, you can select from a list of spending categories that apply to you. The app will then suggest a monthly limit based on your income and expenses history. All of these will be reflected on a simple line paragraph to show your financial perspectives in the short and long term.
Your budget goals will optimize your income and guide your spending. Nevertheless, you’ll have to make some adjustments to accommodate your new routine. If you want to learn to shop well while on a budget, our guide can help.
4. Stick to your budget.
Budgeting apps work. They help users to develop and sustain new spending habits while working to reach their financial goals. However, for the budgeting app to work, you need to stick to your budget. This is why budgeting habits matter.
You must get your priorities right and evaluate your financial goals. Your goals won’t just materialize with a budgeting app. Make conscious efforts to get your finances in order, and your budgeting will help you along the way. However, it needs you to do some work too.
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How Can You Stick To Your Budget?
One way you can stick to your budget is to “budget to zero.” Budgeting to zero implies that your income minus your spending equals zero when you establish your budget. When you budget to zero, every dollar you make is put to work, whether it’s in savings or a loan payment. You don’t provide yourself with a buffer or additional padding. This is a novel approach to gaining ultimate financial control. Spending every dollar you make is not the same as budgeting to zero. It also doesn’t mean you’re locked into your categories for the month. On the contrary, putting your savings into your budget and keeping that budget flexible so it can vary with the curve balls life throws at you is a terrific way to start a savings program.
How Can Budgeting Apps Help Me Get a Loan in the Future?
Budgeting applications can help you improve your credit score by promoting healthy spending habits and assisting you in sticking to your financial responsibilities. Lenders consider you a low-risk consumer as a result of this. You can demonstrate to lenders that you’re a responsible borrower by using budgeting and loan applications. If you are someone who has been authorized for modest loans on a regular basis and is always able to fulfill the repayments on time, this is very beneficial in raising your credit score. Increasing your credit score can also help you get a loan for a home, a credit card, or even a cell phone contract.
There is no greater time to rein in spending than now. If you are looking to hit your money targets and stay ahead of financial uncertainties, get a budgeting app. Register your bank account, set your goals, stick to the plan, and you’ll be on your way to good financial health in no time. Start now.
Amanda is a senior financial copywriter at AdvanceSOS. She has more than six years of journalism experience, mostly in the finance sector. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Drew University.