The Best Financial Apps

Post Holidays is the best time to reevaluate your budget, spending, and financial wellbeing. The new year brings new beginnings, and our finances and budgets always need a refocus to get back on track. Here are a few apps available for your smartphone that can make the process a bit easier.

Acorns is a great way to build up some savings. It rounds up the purchases you make to the nearest dollar and saves the difference. With as little as five dollars, you’re able to invest and building a small nest egg from there. They also have platforms that help you save for retirement or college. The app also supplies you with an educational aspect that enables you to learn about personal financing too!

Mint has been the go-to for budgeting apps for some time. This app automatically updates and categorizes transactions; it creates a real-time picture of your spending. You can add personalized categories, track bills, split ATM transactions into what you bought, and set budgets. This app will also send you alerts when you’re getting close to reaching your budget. The app also provides a free credit score so that you can see your financial picture as a whole.

YNAB or You Need A Budget, is said to be a great budgeting tool. This app does come at a bit of a price, at $83.99 a year or $6.99 a month, but you do receive an initial 34-day free trial.  This app imports your transactions from your current bank accounts and from there you can categorize your funds into an envelope-based system, helping you keep track of spending, giving you a platform to see your financial life in one spot.

PocketGuard is a great app to help you know how much they have for spending. It shows you how much money is available after accounting for bills, expenses, and savings contributions. Users of this app can view how much money is left to spend on other things between paychecks. It also gives you the option to go more in-depth on your spending and track where your extra cash is going.

Spendee is a well-received app that allows you to connect bank accounts as well as cryptocurrencies and E-wallets and inputs your cash expenses manually to give you a full view of how your financial life stands each month. This app gives you updates, set budgets, and lets you see how much you’re able to spend per day without going over your budget. There is a shared-wallet option for couples and families. A shared wallet lets you include information from every user’s connected accounts and provides you with an overall view to see how you can meet your financial goals as a team. Save for significant expenses, like a vacation or tuition costs. All of your financial summary information is provided in graphics and charts, making things easy to read and help you visualize exactly where you are financially.

When our finances are in the right place, it seems the rest of life is manageable. Knowing that we are covered financially and prepared for a rainy day is such a great feeling. Budgeting can be challenging and confusing, but with a few useful apps and some self-control, the process can be made a lot easier.

Smartphone Myths Debunked

Smartphones have been around now for a while, and there have come to be “rules” that smartphone users live and swear by that are, in fact, myths. Here are a few of the more popular myths surrounding smartphones and why they should be debunked.

Charging- There are a couple of different myths when it comes to charging our devices, maybe even a few you swear by as a smartphone user. Two of the most prominent include overcharging your device and only charging when the battery goes completely dead, both of which no longer hold much weight. Older devices with older generations of lithium-ion batteries could run hot causing them to overheat and, in some cases, explode, but newer phones, chargers, and batteries have been redesigned with this in mind to help prevent overheating. Though it is never a good idea to leave your device on the charger excessively as some degradation does exist, it isn’t sufficient enough to be noticeable.

Only using the provided charger- Though your device’s manual highly recommends you use the charger provided, it is okay to use a different USB charger. Of course, you probably do not want to use a charger that doesn’t exactly fit or seems a little sketchy, but other than that it is okay to use an off-brand charger that fits properly to your device. There can be a discrepancy in charging times between different chargers, but using one that did not come with your phone is okay and should not affect your device.

Anything running in Background- We’ve all read, heard or believed that “anything running in the background is going to kill your battery life!” In actuality, once you leave an app, setting, or window, they freeze and take up very little energy and do not continue to suck the life out of your battery, on the contrary opening all the screens and apps to close them does cost you some power. If you’re a little particular, like me, you will probably continue to do this anyways. Let’s face it; some habits are hard to break. Either way, apps or anything running in the background isn’t sucking up as much power as we’ve been led to believe.

TIP: One of the most significant battery drainers could be your screen, to keep your battery life on point try turning down the brightness on your screen by accessing your display settings in your tools. Also, avoiding large video files or steaming while trying to conserve battery is a good idea.

More Expensive = Better Performance- Buying the most expensive device with all the bells and whistles and the best accessories will not necessarily make your phone perform better. Factors such as build quality, application compatibility, and user knowledge can influence how your device performs overall. Not knowing how to utilize those advanced functions as a user, incompatibility between your device and apps or accessories, infractions within the manufacturing process all affect the overall abilities of our phones. The amount of money spent will not determine the overall usability of your device.

These are just a few of the myths associated with Smartphones, and some truth to debunk these tales. It’s not hard to imagine why many of them came to be in the first place. If you’re like me, you hate and rarely read the many user manuals included with our various purchases. Sometimes it’s easier to make an assumption ourselves or listen to someone else’s regarding how things work and why specific issues arise. It’s always good to question things and conduct a little research instead!