In the age of technology, new solutions have disrupted everything from transportation (Uber) and entertainment (Netflix) to hospitality (Airbnb) and cloud computing (Amazon Web Services).
New solutions have also transformed the way we can manage our finances. In fact, a number of new apps and platforms have emerged in recent years with the hope of making our lives easier.
It’s never too early to start planning for retirement. That said, if you haven’t begun putting together a financial plan for your golden years, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. According to a recent Fidelity survey, 82 percent of Americans haven’t started planning for their retirement.
One of the main reasons for that is because retirement planning is complex. In fact, 56 percent of Americans aren’t sure how much money they need to set aside to live comfortably when they call it a career, a recent Northwestern Mutual study revealed.
One way to kick-start your retirement planning journey and begin to understand how much money you need to set aside to live the retirement lifestyle you’ve worked so hard for is by partnering with a financial advisor you trust.
Beyond that, you can also start using a number of innovative new budgeting apps designed to give you better control of your finances.
Budgeting apps deliver transparency into your finances and investments with the added benefit of being readily available on your phone or computer. Further, by having access to granular insight into your spending patterns, you may be able to better determine your retirement lifestyle. Once you’ve figured that out, you can start working hard to get there.
What’s more, budgeting apps help you organize your money and know where it goes. For example, you might figure out that you’re spending way too much money eating out every month. Then you can think about that and perhaps decide to rein in your restaurant expenses—only going out once a month.
Budgeting apps may also make it easier to talk about money with your significant other. You’re both in it together and can share status updates, holding each other accountable with respect to spending habits.
Of course, apps can save you time compared to keeping track of your spending by hand. For example, certain apps will automatically categorize your expenses—saving you from having to figure out how much money you’re spending on clothes each month.
Leading financial and budgeting apps may also bring efficiency to your finances by consolidating all of your information in one place. That way, you don’t have to hop from account to account and platform to platform to figure out where your finances stand at any given point in time.
Last but not least, modern apps are updated on a regular basis. As such, you’ll always have access to the latest bells and whistles—and security mechanisms, too.
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of budgeting apps, it’s time to explore some of the ones we’re personally fans of.
That said, a bit of a caveat: Everyone’s financial situation is different. Although some budgeting apps are great for specific individuals, the same apps won’t be that helpful to others. You know your financial aspirations better than anyone else. So do your due diligence and research your options, and you’ll find the apps that work best for you.
Without further ado, here are some apps you may want to investigate.
We may be a bit biased, but we’re pretty proud of our app called Personal Finance Website. The tool lets you quickly see your net worth, securely store documents, check out your portfolio, look at your spending habits, and more—all without any advertisements.
Mint is a budgeting app from Intuit that helps you manage your finances in one place.
IRS2Go is an app from the Internal Revenue Service that helps you check your refund status, pay your taxes, find tax preparation help, and more.
Most banks—whether they’re national or regional chains—have their own apps. All of them have similar functionality. They let you deposit checks, transfer money between accounts, pay bills, and more. They can also alert you when your balance is low.
Head over to your bank’s website and do a little research. Odds are that you’ll turn up an app—one that might make your life easier.
The same holds true for investing platforms such as Fidelity, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade. They all have apps that you can use to keep your fingers on the pulse of your investment accounts while buying and selling securities and options.
Venmo is a PayPal subsidiary that allows you to send money to your friends and family via your smartphone, which is much easier than tracking down the nearest ATM.
Acorns is an app that helps users invest their spare change. The app is a great tool for helping millennials and other first-time investors get comfortable buying and selling stocks.
Although the right apps can give you better control over your finances—and, over time, help you work toward your retirement goals—there is no such thing as a budgeting app for couples that works for every pair.
Everyone is unique. Spend some time researching your options to figure out which tools make the most sense for your situation. A few extra tools in your tool belt can go a long way toward helping you plan for retirement and invest accordingly.
The EP Wealth Advisors financial planning process starts with the relationship between you and your financial advisor. How do you value a financial coach? Developing a partnership that ensures we understand your goals lets us help you prioritize and organize your financial decisions—so you can achieve peace of mind and live your life.
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