Although the lowest point of the COVID-19 crash occurred in March 2020, the Statista Research Department notes that the subsequent recovery across the globe has remained uneven. The MSCI World Index has even dipped -31.3% in the first quarter of 2020. Some markets have rebounded, while many remain below their pre-coronavirus peak, due to factors like COVID-19 case rates, vaccination rates, and levels of fiscal stimulus spending in each country. This period remains to be one of financial uncertainty, prompting a renewed focus on personal accounting and money management.
While financial literacy is ideal, some digital tools can help people make better financial decisions. Personal finance software and apps are great tools for mastering the basics. Petal Card highlights the importance of practicing responsible spending habits, such as having a budget that tracks your income and spending, paying your bills on time, and minimizing your debt. Personal finance technologies allow you to become more efficient at managing money while helping you discover new ways to meet long-term financial goals such as investment portfolio management.
Here are four personal accounting apps to try:
Mint is a free, online budget planner from Intuit, the makers of finance software like Quickbooks and TurboTax — which we reviewed in a previous article. TurboTax is reliable software that automates accounting and tax-related tasks for small businesses. It has clean, easy-to-use design sensibilities, which can be seen on Mint as well.
Mint is a popular tool for personal budgeting and expense tracking, as it pulls data from your bank, credit card, loans, pension, and other sources to analyze your spending. By consolidating all your information into one clear dashboard, it allows you to pinpoint areas to cut back on and even suggests a monthly spending limit.
Credit Card Manager
Credit Card Manager, unlike similar browser-based apps, works completely offline so it doesn’t share your data with anyone. The downside is that you will have to enter your data manually, which can be a chore if you have multiple credit cards. You’d need to input due dates, bank names, transactions, and any fees you’re aware of, but you can also maximize the app for a better credit score. Credit Card Manager will remind you to pay your bills, check your outstanding balance, and take advantage of interest-free periods so you can pay the bill that’s due first.
Your credit score can drop for a number of reasons, including incurring a pattern of late or missed payments. If you don’t pay on time regularly, your lender may take action and report your error to the major credit bureaus. You can set your Credit Card Manager app to notify you a few days ahead of payment, so you can make the payment on time.
You Need A Budget (YNAB) is an accounting app for people who want to take their budgeting game up a notch. As Teresa Ghilarducci writes, people who don’t budget are more likely to fall into debt and financial anxiety. However, budgeting can also be tedious; it takes effort and psychological steel, which is why YNAB is a good tool for it. Once you link the YNAB app to your bank account, it can help you create your budget and manage day-to-day expenses.
Moreover, YNAB is useful because it provides users with tutorials on financial topics, which allows you to overcome bad financial habits. It assigns every dollar you’re projected to earn to either spending or saving, so it’s ideal for people who are reliant on each paycheck.
To be financially healthy, you need to consider your retirement and savings plan. Like Business Insider recommends, cut back on big expenses, impulse purchases, and dinners out — and put that extra money into investments for your future. Personal Capital is a comprehensive accounting tool that helps you do exactly that.
Once you link your accounts in one place, the Personal Capital software can keep tabs on your investments, estimate your net worth, and craft more detailed goals to improve your portfolio performance over time. Plus, it comes with an advisor analysis that crafts a personal finance plan and uncovers hidden fees for you, so it’s especially value-adding for serious investors.