Millennials get a pretty bad rap when it comes to managing personal finances. After all, avocado toast ain’t cheap, and those Starbucks frappuccinos really do add up, apparently. But to be fair, most millennials are more budget conscious than they get credit for. That’s mainly because they can’t really afford not to be with things like student debt, credit cards, car loans, and rent hanging over their heads. According to Business Insider, these factors have caused millennials to rack up 22% more debt than any other previous generation.
Millennials aren’t keen on following traditional financial advice offered to them by the echoes of previous generations either. A study performed by Goldman Sachs reported that 60% of 18-25 year olds are renting, instead of buying, homes and apartments. Millennials are also delaying major life decisions like marriage, childbirth, and car ownership. What’s the reason behind this generational change in lifestyle preferences? Well, modern innovations have no-doubt shaken up the priorities of up-and-coming generations, but one of the other unavoidable reasons is that millennials want to wait until they are out of debt or on their financial feet again to embark on these important milestones.
Basically, it is more important than ever for millennials to make wise financial decisions now so that they don’t continue to struggle financially later in life. Luckily, managing finances has been simplified thanks to some handy, practical apps that do the majority of the work for you. Here are some of the best personal finance apps that are designed to help with various areas of money management.
Mint: All-In-One Financial Management
This app earns first place across the board for assisting millennials with making smart money moves. It is a wonderful, free resource designed to assist with budgeting, tracking your spending, and making smart money choices. Its user-friendly interface makes the app incredibly easy for users to jump right in and get started. It connects all of your bank accounts, credit cards, and tracks all your monthly spending, bills, income, and cash flow in one convenient app.
You can set budgets, create reminders for bills to pay, and even opt to receive notifications from the app when you are approaching the limits of your set budgets. It also shows what you owe, what you can afford to pay for, and even displays your real-time credit score. This is a great app to see exactly how much money you have across multiple accounts at any given time, as it effectively integrates all of your personal finance information and makes it easy to check and track. Basically this app sets you up to take total control of your financial life and all money-related matters. It’s available for free on both iOS and Android.
Acorns: The App That Invests Your Spare Change For You
This genius app basically turns your spare change into investments. For any purchases you make with a linked checking account, debit card, or credit card, Acorns rounds up to the nearest dollar and invests that change into a portfolio of six different exchange-traded funds. These funds involve bonds, stocks, and other securities.
The app charges a monthly fee of $1 for any accounts less than $5,000 and 0.25% for accounts exceeding $5,000. The app is free for students who sign up using their .edu email accounts.
Digit: Start Saving Money the Easy Way
Saving money seems to be an unattainable goal for most millennials who find that the majority of their paychecks are all used up after paying rent, making car payments, student loan payments, and budgeting for groceries.
That’s where Digit comes in and saves the day. This app works cleverly to make saving money as passive as it can be by analyzing your income and spending patterns, dipping into your checking account, and putting a few dollars into a savings account every few days. App users report saving between $12-$17 every 2-3 days (this number depends on income, spending, and other personalized financial factors).
The app offers users a free 100-day trial period, and after that charges $2.99 per month.
Venmo: Sending and Receiving
This handy app is similar to PayPal, but it’s an upgrade in so many ways. Money can be sent and received through users instantly, and is published on a social feed that is public to each user’s Venmo followers list. It is already a popular app for millennials, and is gaining popularity each year.
The app can be connected to a bank account or credit card, where money can be transferred to or from. It is free to use and up to $2,999 can be sent per week.
Splitwise: Keep Track of Finances When Spending as a Group
Splitting expenses can be a headache and a challenge to keep track of who owes who. This easy-to-use app is designed to keep track of and settle even the most confusing split payments between groups. All of the members of the group need to create their own profiles, and then their profiles are all integrated into a “group” that’s visible to everyone through the app. Each member can add expenses and all other members of the group are notified. The app keeps immaculate track of who owes who how much down to the last penny.
NerdWallet: Expert Info and Helpful Tools
NerdWallet is a free online resource that helps users find the best savings, checking accounts, and credit cards. It also offers expert financial advice, spending insights, cash back tips, and a plethora of useful tools for making good financial decisions. It can help users to understand and improve their personal credit scores via helpful tools offered throughout the site. The site basically acts as an all-in-one resource for anyone with a finance related question or seeking some form of money-related advice.
Isn’t Modern Technology the Best?
With the help of these apps, managing money becomes an attainable part of everyday life. Figure out what areas of your personal finance life could use some improvement, and play around with these apps until you find the right one for your money-management needs.