If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent a lot of your life avoiding thinking about money.
Saving isn’t glamorous, in the way that spending is. It can be so challenging in a world filled with temptations to spend everywhere to make the decision to save for your future. The easier thing to do is to avoid, spend and then cross your fingers that everything is swell in your bank account. And boy is it stressful when it’s not.
What if you could exchange that stress for empowerment? We have to stop hiding from what’s going in and out of our accounts eventually, right? From adding to our savings, to keeping track of our spending, to investing, it’s time to start dabbling in the world of money management and feeling like we do have control of our finances.
I’m all about finding ways to integrate financial freedom in a way that feels empowering, instead of limiting. We’ve all got a lot going on in our lives and adding more stress by focusing too much energy on money isn’t helpful.
Here are some of the best apps for giving you financial independence, and empowering you to save and invest in your future self. Whether you’re ready to deep dive or dabble, here are the best apps for money management.
If you’re a woman wanting to start investing, but always felt like it was a thing that men do, Ellevest was made for you. They’re an investing platform built by women, for women. Ellevest breaks all the investing stereotypes, and created a platform for you to invest based on the goals you have.
We long-ago partnered with Ellevest as affiliates, because we deeply believe in their values of helping women become empowered and take control of their finances. When you’re looking into investing platforms, you want to look for fiduciaries, like Ellevest, who are required to have your best interest in mind.
You can invest whatever amount you’re comfortable with to start. If you want to dip your toes in and feel what it’s like to be empowered with your finances, you can do just that with Ellevest. Let’s close that investment gap, ladies.
Cost: Annual fee is 0.25% of the total amount you invest. No minimum balance. Free emergency fund.
Qapital is a personal finance app that is “designed to motivate users to save money through a gamification of their spending behavior.” You create automatic saving rules, so that when you take a specific action, the app responds. For example, they have a “Round-Up Rule” that helps you save money by rounding up on your purchases. Say you spent $14.59 on lunch, they’ll automatically round that up to $15 and put .41 into savings. They say Qapital users save an average of $44 a month with just this rule. They also have “The Spend Less Rule” that seems like a fun challenge––if you normally spend $70 on groceries, and you challenge yourself to spend $60, it’ll automatically save you $10.
Cost: The app ranges from $3-$12 per month.
Digit helps you save money, create savings goals and pay off your debt –– without having to think about it 24/7. Once you get everything set up, Digit does it for you. Their algorithms make it easy for you to save automatically. The app automatically saves you money or pays off your credit card debt.
The overdraft fee is on them if accidentally they save too much. Keep as little as you want in the account –– no minimum. Digit keeps track of your spending habits. If you’re afraid of money management, but you know it would be good for you –– this app might be a solid fit for you. It’s a way to do better with money, without having it on your mind all the time, which can feel overwhelming.
Cost: Digit is free for the first 30 days, then $2.99/month.
Albert does the work for you when it comes to analyzing both your income and spending habits to start saving in small increments for you. You can feel safe in knowing that you still have money for spending, but it helps you increase your savings monthly –– without having to pay much attention to it.
This is probably the best for beginners, who are scared to dive deep into money management but want to start building up the courage to have a solid savings account.
Cost: Free for some features.
YNAB’s goal is to “teach you how to manage your money and get ahead—for good.” I’ve seen in described as a next-level budgeting app. It’s probably more for the intermediate person who wants a more robust platform. If you’re an all-or-nothing type of person, and want to get deep in the savings game, start here. They have a ton of educational content to help you get started. You can try it for free for the first 34 days.
Cost: Free for first 34 days. $84 per year.
*We’re Ellevest affiliate partners, because we deeply believe in their brand & mission.
**The prices are accurate at the time of publishing, July 2019.