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9 Apps to Help You Take Control of Your Financials (Part 1)

The personal finance landscape can be treacherous, but you don’t have to go it alone. A wide selection of resources are available to help keep you organized so you can avoid those pitfalls that might leave you scrambling to pay your bills, mortgages and loans on time. Because your smartphone and computer travel with you everywhere, we’ve collected a number of effective apps and web services that aren’t only free: they provide critical insights on your personal spending habits, expense patterns, trends, upcoming bills and more when they matter most.

At New Beginnings, we believe strongly in actionable information that empowers individuals and clients looking to control their spending habits, improve their credit rating and securing a future by acting now. These 4 apps, part of our 2-part article, might just give you the insight you need to further augment your financial goals.

Wally
If you’re having difficulties sticking to a budget and want to ‘gamify’ your spending (who doesn’t want to make budgeting more fun?), Wally might just be the app for you. Available on both iOS and Android, Wally allows you to turn your everyday spending, from your morning coffee to your next stop for gas, into a more wholesome, enjoyable experience. Wally lets you not only put in the time of transactions you’ve recently made, but also tracks their location, too; using this information, you can remind yourself that over the span of a given month, you’re more likely to spend money in selection locations buying specific items. If you’re not comfortable giving your information away to vendors, Wally can act as a secure tool that moves where you do, so your expenses can always be tracked.
epost Bill management can be overwhelming. Paying your bills on time won’t only make your more creditable to a variety of vendors, it’ll also become a habit you’ll keep with you your entire life, further discouraging you from pushing these important dates off. epost, from Canada Post, can assist with your multiple bills by allowing you to more easily act on what bills need to be paid at what time through a basic, easy-to-understand interface. Bills that are epost compatible will also save you money, as you can choose to receive them instead of paper statements, which aren’t as ecologically sustainable as e-bills and can often get lost in the clutter. Check your online banking interface for access to epost, as it should be available to most major financial institutions.

Mint
The proper management of your financials comes down to information and insight on your money, loans and spending habits. Mint is all about communication, letting you know where your money went each money, divided by gas, restaurants, electronics, investments and many other custom tags. It connects directly to your bank accounts and credit cards (while remaining completely secure), keeping you accountable for every single one of your expenses, loans and even mortgages. Mint doesn’t let you slip through the cracks very easily, and for good reason: one of the leading contributors to debt or financial difficulties is lack of actionable information, which Mint does well. You can download Mint for multiple mobile  platforms, like Android and iOS, in addition to using the web version at www.Mint.com.

Mint Bills
If you’ve already immersed yourself in the Intuit ecosystem, looking into Mint Bills might be a no-brainer for those looking to stay up-to-date on their bills. Unlike epost, Mint Bills doesn’t give you a detailed rundown of your statement, however it does give you fair warning for when you should expect your bills and even allows you to pay directly from the app to a connected bank account or credit card. It has push notifications to Android Wear smartwatches, so be sure to pick this app up if you’ve bought into the Android ecosystem.

9 Apps to Help You Take Control of Your Financials (Part 2)

This post is a continuation of our previous post on some great financial apps that will save you time, keep you on schedule and help you keep track of your money and financials.

SavedPlus
One of the most important lessons parents instill in their children continues to be to save for the future. It can be difficult to trim even a few percentage points each month to keep in an account, but it is extremely likely you’ll be able to part with a few dollars each month to invest in a more secure future. SavedPlus helps get you started by trimming a percent of your deposits or purchases, subtracting it from your account and moving it into your savings account automatically. It’s available on iOS and Android, but hasn’t quite made the leap to all banking institutions in Canada.

StockTouch
Smart investments are ever crucial, and despite the financial struggles within the last decade, historical data has proven useful in numerous projections and provide insight on similar cases. Robust apps like StockTouch for iOS allow you access to historical data grouped by industry, giving you a wealth of information that may not be directly actionable, but will change the way you trade in the future with powerful visuals and representations. Whole sectors of information are available at a single touch, helping you gain a better grasp of companies, industry and the market.

BillGuard
Fraud is still a widespread problem in 2015; even if you’ve never had a single hint of fraud through your family or friends, you should still investigate your options and become proactive. An early warning system such as BillGuard can ensure you catch unauthorized charges to your account before they become a larger problem if, they are in fact, cases of fraud. Available on most mobile platforms, you can track your expenses like other personal finance tracking apps, however it does run through a third-party vendor. Push alerts let you know if you’ve had any unusual charges to your credit card or bank accounts, rounding out your suite of financial app toolkit.

FlexScore
FlexScore can assign you a score based on how much debt you’ve acquired, what your spending habits have been over the last month in addition to your contributions for the future. You can even match this with your friends (if you choose) and see who’s in a better state of health. The big takeaway from FlexScore is that it gives you advice on what might be best to do in the immediate future, such as paying off a specific type of debt or saving for the future instead of spend what’s left at the end of the month. Although the data from the app is extremely insightful, it isn’t available in a mobile app for those always on the run. You can find it on the web at www.Flexscore.com.

RetailMeNot
Much of your personal, everyday expenses amount to a sizeable amount portion of your income. It could be those new jeans you bought on impulse or that new phone you’ve been saving up for over the last few months; regardless of the expense, you’re likely to find better deals on sites and app services like RetailMeNot. RetailMeNot gives you access to a massive amount of sales on a wide variety of items from clothes to wine. It makes it easy to find a deal and guides you to an online store where you can see exactly how much you’ll be saving. Online shopping is often much cheaper than traditional retail locations, so RetailMeNot helps shave off even more from your impulse purchases. Again, it’s about saving money and having actionable insights to improve your financial outlook, so every bit counts.

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