Budgeting tools to help you save money in 2021
It's a new year, new you, right? And while that may mean different things to different people---some look to improve their physical or mental health, or even find a new job---for 30% of you, it means living more economically. Now, getting into a better financial position is no new resolution, nor was it by any means an easy one to maintain in 2020, but now you get to start fresh, and hopefully fare better this time around with the help of these tools:
Budgeting App: PocketGuard
If you've moved on to the 21st century and adopted mobile banking, then you already know that free budgeting tools is something that comes pretty standard with most banking apps. However, that gets a little messy once you add in multiple accounts, cards, or even loans that live outside of your primary bank. That's when a more comprehensive budgeting app comes in. PocketGuard is free to download and use, can link all your accounts in one place, keep track of your spending and saving, and even give you suggestions on where you can lower your monthly bills (if there is a better deal on your internet package, for example). The easiest way to save a little more this year? Knowing what you're currently spending every month, and finding the places where you can optimize!
Subscription Manager: Truebill
Speaking of optimizing monthly expenses, one of the sneakiest expenses you can have is a monthly subscription. It starts off with one---maybe Netflix---and quickly snowballs into a music streaming service subscription, another media service subscription because The Office left Netflix, a subscription for a premium service of your fitness tracking app, etc etc. It all seems like just $8 here and $10 there, but without you even knowing it, is actually taking a hit on your monthly budget. For that, there are specific apps that will link up your accounts and keep track of all monthly subscriptions for you. TrueBill will help in painting a realistic picture of how much you're spending on subscriptions, how much you've already spent, and how much you can save by cancelling any of them. It even makes it easy to manage/cancel any subscriptions right from the app, so you don't have to fumble and look for each individual app's cancellation portal.
If you don't like the idea of linking up your banking accounts to an app, you can also download Billy on Android and manage your subscriptions manually by entering them into the fields given. The only caveat being that you can add up to 2 subscriptions before being prompted to pay a $1 one-time fee to unlock more fields.
Project Manager: HomeZada
If there's anything that 2020 taught us, it's that we probably all could stand to spruce up a few things around the house. If you spent any time on social media last year, then you know that DIY home projects and renovations were all the rage. And it's not surprising, considering we've never had to spend so much time at home, and did the best we could to make it a more enjoyable and relaxing environment to be in. So if you're still continuing on that home renovation crusade, or are suddenly inspired to try it yourself, a budgeting app through the lens of project management is a must. HomeZada not only lets you create lists of products that you'd need to purchase and set a budget for each (comparing their real-world prices to it), but it also lets you track your receipts/invoices, upload before and after pictures, and set up a list of tasks you can share with your contractor (if applicable) to stay on schedule.
Improving your financial situation is probably one of the most dreaded resolutions. But like with anything else, the key is in organization, and simply knowing what your current financial situation looks like. And when in doubt, remember that most monthly bills (barring rent and utilities) can often be improved, or in some cases, even completely eliminated. TextNow's phone service with unlimited talking and texting starts at $0/month, nationwide. And if you have any questions about the service, feel free to drop them in the comments below!