Managing money is a skill, not an inherent talent. While some may be more mathematically or organizationally inclined and find finances easier, the concepts are not bestowed upon us at birth. Classrooms introduce money concepts early and, hopefully, the lessons are solidified at home by parents; however, financial literacy and its practical applications are lifelong endeavors.
Luckily, in this era of technological advancement, there’s an app (or 10) for that. Teens and young adults who have come to age relying on technology are at an advantage when it comes to becoming financially savvy and independent. Always within arms’ reach, smartphones can become supplemental teachers and enforcers of money management.
Below are 10 recommended money management, financial literacy or budgeting apps geared toward blossoming financial geniuses.
The checkbook ledger for the digital age, Toshl Finance helps young adults set monthly budgets and track expenses. Expenses are logged and categorized by the user. While the app requires more maintenance than Mint, it has the added benefit of instilling financial responsibility into the money matters equation.
Left To Spend
Similar to Toshl Finance, the Left To Spend app is budgeting in its simplest state. While the app is not as fancy or connected as others on this list, its simplicity is what sets it apart. Users establish a spending limit and subtract expenditures.
Debt Payoff Planner
Just as the name implies, Debt Payoff Planner aids users in establishing a sure-fire method of managing debt. The app allows tracking customization by highest debt, balance or interest. Another neat feature of this app is that it can project when the debts will be paid off given the particulars of the repayment plan and interest rates.
Acclaimed by PCMag as Editors’ Choice for personal finance smartphone app, Mint has been touted for its usefulness by many acclaimed personal finance advisors and companies alike. By connecting any personal accounts, loans and credit cards, Mint allows easy access and tracking at your fingertips.
Winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Designed as a game, Savings Spree teaches through play, introducing the concept that small purchases throughout the day, week or month add up and that the reverse is true as well – that even small savings, made consistently, can become substantial over time. One of the most appealing aspects of this app is its subtle focus on risk and reward all in the name of educational entertainment.
This progress-tracking app is ideal for pre-teens and teens beginning to learn the real-life applications of financial literacy. SmartyPig lets users input money goals and then update the goals as benchmarks are met. Unlike other tracking apps, Smarty Pig allows other users who have the app to contribute toward friends and family members’ specific goals.
Much like SmartyPig, iAllowance is a money-tracking app. What sets it apart from the SmartyPig, though, is that it is geared to the more mature teen. Additionally, iAllowance is unique in the joint aspect of the app, creating a platform for parents/guardians and teens to work together on money management habits and applications.
Using a money-management app can be a wonderful supplement to a typical financial routine. Choosing the most useful one is a personal preference, based upon your particular needs and the level of involvement most helpful.