One of the most difficult parts of life is managing our finances. Most of us do a pretty good job of not spending more than we earn, though there are times when that is not particularly easy to do.
No matter what the income level is, it's never a bad idea to gain a better grasp of our money situation. Financial advisers can be very helpful, but their expertise comes at a cost. Do we really want to spend money in order to better see how we can save some?
Ideally, we could find a program or app that is easy to use and filled with features that will help us get a real handle on things and, maybe, lead to smarter decisions with our money.
Money management made easy
One app that fits the bill is called Mint. From Intuit, Mint is billed as a way to "effortlessly manage your finances in one place" by combining budgeting, bill payment and credit score tips.
But how, exactly, does Mint do it?
For budgeting, you input savings goals as well as other information, like your annual income, mortgage rate, property tax and annual insurance. Mint will then tell you how much you could save by cutting back spending in certain areas while showing you where your spending pace will leave you over the course of the year. Within this feature, you can plan for one-time expenses as well those that happen on a monthly basis.
Saving money is indeed great, but the reality of life is that we all have bills that must be paid. The concept works against our efforts to save, but Mint helps in that area, too. Just input what bills you must pay, and when you must pay them by, and Mint will send alerts when one is coming due. That means no more late fees and penalties.
You can schedule payments through the app and, perhaps best of all, you will not have to go to various sites in order to do all of this since you could do it all from the app itself.
Mint can also check your credit score and provide tips to help improve it.
In short, Mint will:
- Improve your budgeting by looking at your expenses -- recurring and one-time -- against your annual income, and providing ways to save where you can.
- Manage your bills with ease, as you will get alerts to remind you when some are due and have the ability to pay them through the app.
- Get a look at your credit score and learn ways you can improve it.
The Mint app is free and can be downloaded for both iOS and Android. To get it, click on the appropriate link below.