5 Financial Programs To Get Your Money In Order
When it comes to personal finance, we all need help sometimes. But rather than using a pencil and paper to make sense of your budget, why not utilize some helpful apps and programs? Not only will there be less of a chance of you making a calculation error, you’ll also have some colorful charts and graphs to look at, which, in all seriousness, can help you make more informed decisions. If you don’t already have these five programs, check them out to get your money in order.
You Need a Budget
If you’re a total beginner when it comes to tracking your finances, or you’re just feeling overwhelmed by the thought of managing your money, you should look into You Need a Budget. YNAB holds your hand through creating a budget and making sure your money goes toward the important stuff. It runs on your computer, but you can also go mobile with apps for your phone or tablet. Heads up: this is a paid program, but YNAB is aware of the irony of paying money for a service when money is tight. Thankfully, they provide a month-long trial, so if you haven’t turned around your budget by then, you’re free to get out.
If money’s a little tight and you’re looking for something a little less involved, Mint might be the best finance-tracking option for you. It’s completely online and hooks up to your bank and other financial institutions you have accounts with and indeed provides you with the pretty pie charts that you don’t get with YNAB. Best of all, though, Mint is free, so there’s no reason not to check it out. The downside to Mint is that it takes a little more effort to get up and going.
OK, this may sound silly – after all, we all have Excel, or at least one of the free alternatives, such as Google Sheets, and they’re not known for being financial programs. But, the beauty of a basic spreadsheet program is that, with a little time and effort, you can customize how you track your finances. You can build a basic budget sheet, or if you’re willing to get more advanced, even something like a loan calculator, all to suit your own needs and interests. If you don’t know where to start, consider looking up templates online or checking out tutorials on YouTube.
For most Americans, mid-April is almost certainly not the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Two words: tax season. Yes, you have to do them, and yes, they’re a pain. So, make things a little easier on yourself by getting some help with TurboTax. While you’ll have to pay some money for this service, you get a lot of benefits from using this program to help you file. TurboTax finds the right forms for you to fill out, keeps a database of tax deductions you could eligible for, and even tracks your tax returns.
Once you’ve got some money in the bank, you may want to start investing. But if you’re interested in investing in stocks, good luck to you. Due to the knowledge involved in buying stocks and possible expensive transfer fees, there’s a high barrier of entry for getting started in stock trading. That’s why Robinhood exists. An app for both the iPhone and Android phones, Robinhood simplifies stock investing by providing easy-to-read data, and by linking up to your bank account, it’s quick and easy.
Remember that simply using a program to keep track of your money isn’t going to be the only thing you need to do to get ahead in your finances. You aren’t going to become a millionaire overnight with these programs, but you’ll certainly start heading in the right direction.