This year, I promised myself that I would get serious about my credit, savings and budgeting. But as a single mom, that relies on my income alone, I didn’t see how I could ever have a life outside of living paycheck to paycheck.
Whenever I’m incorporating a change in my life, instead of focusing on several goals, I focus on one goal at a time. The best thing for me to do was to create and stick to a budget. The last time I actually had a budget, was almost 8 years ago when I was saving up to buy my first house. I was very young and immature because, to be honest, I hated having a budget. To me, the word budget was a bad word. But at that time, I needed that budget. I needed to get real with where my money was going and to make adjustments. If you are like me, and has a lot going on all the time, you can let an app budget for you. There are a number of apps on the market, but these are the ones that I use.
1. The Mint App.
I like the Mint app because it allows me to link all of my accounts. It will allow you to even link your 401k. Any accounts that you use for purchases, withdraws or deposits, it will show you where your money is going and categorize it for you. This is where reality hit me and I realized that those daily coffee runs and eating out, were quickly adding up and eating up my pockets. What is even better is the app is free.
2. The Digit App.
This is by far my favorite savings app, even though it is not perfect. I love the digit app because it allows you to create goals for yourself. When I first started my digit account, I set an emergency account. According to an article on CNN.com, only 41% of Americans would be able to cover a $1000.00 with their savings. Now, I typically do not feed into statistics but this was me. I did not have anything saved up except what was in my 401k account.
The way the digit works is it allows you to link one of your bank accounts. The app analyzes your spending and automatically moves money from your checking to a digit saving where it sees you can afford it. This again was one less thing for me to do. You have full control over the amount that it takes at a time. You can say that you do not want more than $10.00 at a time to come out of your account. You can also ask that the app not take out anything if your checking balance falls below a certain amount. Digit also offers a credit card reduction program that allows you to make payments from your digit savings directly to your credit cards.
The app even allows you to have more than one goal going at a time. I like to use Digit to save for house projects, emergency fund, and vacation, but your options are endless.
Now when I mentioned that I love this app even though it is not perfect what I meant was the only thing that I wish I could do is link multiple accounts at a time. As of right now, you can only link one account to the digit app.
To start saving with me and earn cash just for joining, here is my Digit Referral.
3. Every Dollar
For me, I have my budget to include saving, giving, and spending. The Every Dollar app takes a look at all of the money you have coming in, and will also categorize those budgets as well. Every Dollar is known for creating monthly budgets to help you achieve your monthly goals.
All of the apps that are featured have helped me become more intentional about my spending and my saving. Once you see a snapshot of where your money is going, then you can alter and make adjustments where you see necessary. Maybe the old way of using a pen and paper to save and budget still works for you and if that is the case, you are still headed in the right direction of financial freedom.
But let me know which apps you use, or what are the ways you save and budget?