The Internet is great for many things – random, Netflix binging and, yes, free personal finance tools. That’s right – all of the tools we are about to tell you about are completely free! Pretty epic.
In this post we’re going to learn about the best free tools you can use to allocate your money (also known as budgeting!).
If you only take one thing away from this post, please know that the majority of millennials don’t have a budget. That’s a very bad thing. The good news is that the first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one.
You want to have a budget. You want to know exactly how much you’re spending on rent, food, clothes, and, of course, the fun stuff, too. Weekly, monthly, or bi-annually, create a budget by starting with how much money you have and working backwards to figure out how much you can afford to be spending - this is called living within your means.
Here are our favorite 4 online resources for budgeting and managing your finances appropriately:
Mint.com is by far the most popular budgeting tool. Like their home page says: they’ll help you be good with your money. It’s that simple. Ever get frustrated that all of your credit cards are aggregating on separate platforms with separate balances? Mint.com pulls all of your bank account balances and credit card balances into one easy-to-use platform.
Three words: free credit score. And, fast. This isn’t for budgeting directly, but having a good credit score will save you money when it comes time to make a big purchase.
There’s more than one company that ranks your credit score, and you want to access all of your scores. See all of your credit scores (yes, plural – remember that) using this free online platform. We’ll get into more depth on how to improve your credit score in a later post.
Digit automates your savings before you ever get a chance to spend the money you earn. It’s an app that takes a look at your bank account levels and keeps track of how much money you are spending. Every few days, it takes a small amount of money out of your account and saves it for you in a separate account.
Automagically, it determines how much you can reasonably save on a given day of week. By taking out $2-$10 every week (or every day if you want to save more aggressively!) it stores money in a safe place, out of sight and out of mind. By using Digit over time, you can save for that new couch in your new apartment without even realizing it.
Our favorite feature is that Digit sends you an update every day (via text) on how much money you have and how much you’ve saved. You can even reply to these texts to get a breakdown of every recent purchase.
Of course, we think our platform is pretty great too! We’re strong believers that your money should not be spent paying off your credit card debt at an unnecessarily high interest rate. The good thing is that if you have a budget, you probably won’t (or shouldn’t) rack up debt. Nonetheless, Backed can help you achieve your budgeting goals by having a low, fixed interest rate on any money you already owe on a credit card. More importantly, you can take advantage of having your parents as backers, which will lower your interest rate even more!
You can check out Backedinc.com to see how we can help you manage your money better to make room for life’s unavoidable purchases.
Remember, you don’t want to rely on your parents to keep financing you. Otherwise, you’ll remain dependent on them forever and never reach financial independence.
Get that budget going!