“Spend less, save more.”
It’s the third most popular new year’s resolution behind getting organized and losing weight, according to a Journal of Clinical Psychology study on resolutions.
While I can’t help much with resolutions one and two (though it is helpful to apply the same principles to thinning your waistline as thinning your budget), the third one is my specialty.
When I was in college, I studied abroad in London, where I had to be pretty careful with my money. My parents challenged me to keep a log of everywhere my money went, and I did–but it was tough, and that little black book got beat up in my travels.
Nowadays, of course, you can do a lot more with your phone and a free app. No need to keep track of a weathered and worn little ledger. So embrace them. Here’s a few apps that can help you achieve your save more, spend less bliss.
Earmark: I’m sure you’ve been given the following advice: Save money by cutting back on that daily cup of coffee or pack your lunch from home. But how often do you really see that money saved go toward your savings? Well, the Earmark app can help with that. Every time you say “no” to a frivolous purchase, Earmark automatically sets that money aside for a long-term goal, making those mental savings real savings. (iOS, Android; free)
Mint Bills: A free app that stays on top of your bills and money, ensuring that you never miss a bill or incur overdraft fees. If you’re trying to build your credit, this is the app for you. You can schedule all your bills so you’re never late, and nothing falls through the cracks. (iOS, Android; free)
Acorns: Want to invest but don’t have the cash? Use your spare change. Acorns invests the spare change automatically from your everyday purchases into a diversified portfolio. (iOS, Android; free)
Activehours: CNN called this app “payday advances without the pesky loan sharking.” It allows you to access your earned pay at any time, not just on pay day. Get paid when you want for the hours you worked and avoid overdraft fees. So far it’s free, but the company asks you to pay what you think it’s worth. (iOS, Android; free)
Wallaby: Have a credit card with rewards you always forget to use? Wallaby combines all of your credit cards onto one card, then decides which of your credit card accounts to route your transactions to based on the greatest rewards benefit. (iOS, Android, web; free)