Tech, Now + Beyond

These 5 apps will help if you’re bad with money – but want to change things

So you know when you can actually afford that trip.

I personally am not very money-minded.

I’ve always struggled with math and numbers, thus the idea of taking the time to plan my current and future expenses has always been a scary one. But, as I’ve gotten older and have had to begin focusing more on saving and making money, I have found a fun way to do so through the use of different apps. While money isn’t my thing, technology definitely is, and so I have been able to better manage my own expenses, invest money in the future, and just learn how to handle money in an enjoyable way. Here are five money managing apps that I have used and love.

1. Robinhood

Robinhood is a great way for those who are beginners to the stock market to begin to try out and explore all that it entails. It has a clean user face with no bells and whistles, making it easier to use. It’s also very different than other stock trading apps because you can trade your stocks for free. If someone is new to the stock market, or if they are on a budget, they are able to easily trade stocks without any fee. This app introduced me to stocks, and I highly recommend it for others who are dipping their toes into the market.

2. Mint

If you’ve ever wanted to start managing your money better but you didn’t know where to start, then Mint is the perfect app for you. This app allows all of your spendings and earnings to be viewed and managed in one place. You can see what you’re spending most on, where you need to save more, and you can even place limits on your spending that will send alerts to you as different limits are reached. As someone who just recently began paying bills and such, it’s been great to have an app that so easily allows me to better budget my money, and to help me look at what areas I need to either improve in or if I could maybe spend more.

3. Trade Hero

Buying and trading stocks can seem daunting, but Trade Hero is a great way to get some practice in before actually entering the stock market. With Trade Hero, you are able to trade virtual money in a fun game-like atmosphere. There are even trading competitions amongst other users of the app. Once you feel like you know how to best trade you can begin using actual money and stocks. This is another great app for beginners to the stock market that will let you get your feet in the door of stock trading.

4. Acorns

Acorns is a new and innovative way to invest money. Instead of choosing how much you’ll invest where, this app will take the extra change rounding up to the dollar from different purchases you make, and invest that change for you. If you don’t know how to invest (much like myself) but want to begin saving for the future, this app is a perfect way to set aside a little bit of money at a time with little to no effort or thought.

5. PocketGuard

Though very similar to Mint, PocketGuard is another great app for managing and budgeting money, but with some other different features. One thing that makes PocketGuard stand out is its ability to let you lower your bills without leaving the app. The app will find ways for you to save on those bills as long as you’re not already paying the lowest price possible. If you’re on a budget, this is a great way to continue saving money while also managing your other expenses.

In my opinion, the app that helped me the most was Acorns. I always wanted to invest money prior but was concerned about setting aside a significant part of my paycheck to invest. I love having micro investments being done for me, so I can save money and still invest. The worst app for me was TradeHero. Though I like doing being able to practice, having an app that makes money more of a game just wasn’t for me.

Money will never be something I understand perfectly, but with apps like the ones I’ve tried, I have been able to better manage and invest my money, thus preparing myself for the future.