Life / Money

Three apps to put a balanced budget at your fingertips

Getting started in personal finance is often as simple as keeping track of where your money is going in and where it is coming out.

Unfortunately, when most of us get home from our jobs, commutes, workouts and whatever else life throws our way, the last thing we want to do is sift through bank statements and utility bills.

The most painless way I’ve found to stay on top of my finances is to make things as automated as possible, and then simply track it all using my smartphone.

See if these three apps make your life easier when it comes to managing your finances:

Mint

Mint is the most commonly used personal finance app and is widely reported as being the market leader for good reason. Mint is excellent at tracking your spending and helping you budget, but where it truly separates itself from the pack is its automatic importing feature. By linking up your investments, credit cards, savings and chequing accounts with your Mint profile, you can import all of your relevant information into one place without even thinking about it.

You Need A Budget

The cloud platform You Need a Budget (YNAB) is Mint’s chief competitor. While the app doesn’t have Mint’s automatic importation feature, supporters feel that the focus on planning your financial future more than makes up for it. YNAB isn’t free (unless you’re a post-secondary student), but during seasonal sales you can snag a licence for well under the normal one-time price of $60. Purchasing YNAB also gives you access to financial literacy classes and tutorials.

Wave

If you’re a small business owner or freelance contractor, this is the app for you. I use Wave to keep track of both my personal and business transactions because it’s simple and custom-made for small business owners. My favourite feature is the ability to scan receipts on my smartphone, which are then automatically imported into my Wave account where they are fully searchable at a later time. Say goodbye to your shoebox full of random receipts come tax time!