As Millennials, we are good at many things such as crowd funding, entrepreneurship, and innovation. But maybe one thing we’re not so great at is budgeting.
“We need to take the initiative to educate ourselves, be mindful of our spending habits, take control of our own spending. Now is the time!” – says Natalie Bell, director of operations at Magical Credit bad credit lending company.
Staying on a budget is a challenge for everyone from any generation. But for tech savvy Millennials, we need our budgeting systems to be easy to use, smart, and personalized. Luckily there are apps out there that almost accomplish this like Mint, PocketGuard and EveryDollar. But everyone knows how difficult staying on a budget can be, so in addition to tech options, there are also some common-sense tips and tricks that I will share with you now:
Apps for Budgeting:
Most people let alone Millennials out there have a smart phone on them at all times. And these days, no one really wants to walk into a bank when they can do virtually every transaction imaginable online. Financial apps are an asset to not only anybody who appreciates online banking, but people who like having everything in one place. One of the best things about financial apps are that they can track what you spend your money on and some even display the data as an easy to read chart. This allows you to know if you can spend your money on some clothes or if you should wait until next month for that next big splurge. Honestly, once you download a budgeting app, you’ll be tempted to check it all the time, much like your texts or messages.
Let’s see how 3 of the most popular financial apps measure up:
Mint, by Intuit:
Mint is ranked as the #1 personal finance app in the US. This app tracks your spending, bills, long and short term loans. All incoming and outgoing money is tracked and categorized across platforms like your personal account, credit card account, brokerage account and retirement savings account. For those of you with bad credit score, it will prevent any more damage with a credit score report delivered right to you. The great thing about Mint is its to the minute notifications really keep you on top of your budgeting game, it can even become addictive after a while. There’s a reason why Mint is so popular, it’s because it’s so reliable, offers a a
lot of different information and on top of that…it’s free!Download on AppStore Download on Google Play
If you’re looking for a simpler financial app, this one is the one for you. Wally focuses on the basics of budgeting, tracking your expenses and balancing your income. This app will help you begin to understand where your money is going and maybe ways in which you can become a smarter spender. If you’re into saving, Wally will help you achieve financial goals in addition to staying on top of your bills. There’s nothing fancy about Wally, but does budgeting really need to be fancy? No. Wally gives you all the fundamental tools you need.Download on AppStore Download on Google Play
If the above two apps don’t quite cut it, PocketGuard, the super smart financial app might do the trick. PocketGuard focuses on budgeting yes, but it also recommends strategies which will help you save money down the line. This app’s smart technology studies your budget, debts, bills and income and provides information on how you can budget smarter. It will even recommend deals on your cellphone, auto or insurance plans. This app features lots of colourful charts and graphs that are easy to read and understand, and it only costs 3.99 per month and 34.99 per year. PocketGuard is really about you, the spender and it creates a budget based around your unique needs and habits.Download on AppStore Download on Google Play
If apps aren’t your thing, these nifty tips will help any budgeting woes:
Sometimes you don’t need an app to tell you what you should and shouldn’t spend money on. There are always things in your life that you just don’t need, say a subscription to a fancy magazine app you never read, or a chenille scarf when chenille was so last year. Take stock of what you spend money on, and think: Do I really need this. If you can think of 3 solid reasons why you absolutely need this thing, then go ahead and buy it. But if you feel lukewarm about it, or if you know you can wait before you buy it, then maybe you don’t really need it. Also, go through your app subscriptions, magazine subscriptions and see if you actually use half of what you’re subscribed to.
Buy “Experiences” over “Things”
It’s a pretty well-known fact that Millennials value experiences over things. What else are we gonna post on Instagram? Taking that trip to Ecuador over buying a brand-new Tesla is always a better idea. And these days, Millennials have found ways to stream all the shows and download all the books they want without ever setting foot in a store. In the long run, travelling is something you’ll cherish and remember, as opposed to things which eventually break and just get old.
How Much are you Eating out?
Millennials are notorious for eating out. Now there are apps that even bring your food right to your door! But just how much are you ordering out? Take out and eat in restaurant food can reach astronomical prices compared to cooking at home. There are tons of recipe videos out there which only require a few ingredients. Why not give them a try, you could be cooking your way to a lighter waistline and a lighter wallet!
There you have it.
So as you can see budgeting is not just for Baby Boomers, there are tons of ways for Millennials to budget and save their way to financial freedom. Budgeting isn’t something everyone naturally thinks about on a day to day basis, but with the use of smartphone apps and a few tips and tricks, budgeting can be easy. You can even try to curb that short-term loan or even beat that bad credit score!