Money

5 Apps That Help You Save Extra Money

December 6th 2015

By:
Diana Crandall

The phrase “personal finance” is enough to make anyone groan. It’s a necessary evil, one of those things we all have to be aware of, but many of us dread trying to organize.

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Especially during the holiday season, when we're all strapped for cash. Here are a few free apps that can help you sift through your wallet (and even start some investments for you).

1. You Need a Budget (YNAB)

If you’re just starting out and have literally no idea where to begin, YNAB markets itself as detailed, but easy to use. It has four simple rules:

  1. Give every dollar a job
  2. Save for a rainy day
  3. Roll with the punches
  4. Live on last month’s income

This app is for iOS and Android, but actually hooks up to your desktop so you can link between the two. You’ll need to download a trial of YNAB for your computer, and if you really like the app, you can decide to buy it at the end for $60.

2. Unsplurge

Unsplurge helps you set a savings goal to work toward. You enter an amount and upload a photo, and then it tracks your progress.

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It has a little bit of public shaming involved in it, though. In its "social" area called "The Town," the app works to keep you motivated (read: accountable) by showing you what other people’s savings goals are. Don’t let Margaret out-save you!

This is totally free and works for iOS.

3. SavingStar

SavingStar is a digital coupon app, and actually lets you link to your individual store loyalty cards.

That’s actually how you get the rewards—you can scroll through and decide which coupons you want to use, and then the reward is applied to your loyalty card to use in-store.

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This app is free, and available for iOS and Android.

4. Acorns

Acorns is great for people who want to try their hand at investing, but don’t necessarily understand the financial jargon that goes along with it. Basically, the app links with your checking or credit card account and then “rounds-up” each transaction you make to the nearest dollar.

It then creates an investment portfolio for you based on your net worth, annual salary, and your risk tolerance. Once you've chosen an investment portfolio, it invests the "rounded-up" funds.

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This app is available for iOS and Android.

5. DebtTracker

If you’re in mad student loan debt like millions of Americans, DebtTracker works to serve as a payoff plan that helps you keep track of who you owe what to. It also sends reminders of when payments are due.

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This is free and available for Google Play users.