Experian recently asked 24 personal finance bloggers to share their favorite money-saving apps. The bloggers’ responses included apps for budgeting and price comparisons, as well as a few non-apps (two bloggers expressed appreciation for pencil and paper). In all, Experian compiled a list of 18 tools that can help people manage their budgets and save money.
My favorite app on the list is the Mint.com app. I appreciate having all of my financial accounts gathered in one place; it makes reviewing my financial situation at any time much simpler. Being able to see how much I’m spending in certain categories is also very helpful; my wife and I enjoy dining out, and a quick check on the Mint.com app lets us know when we’re spending too much money eating at restaurants instead of home.
Though not an app, I was happy to see that spreadsheets made the list. I use Excel at the beginning of each month to give me an idea of what my cash flow will be like that month. It’s pretty simple: I start with my checking balance on the first of the month, then add income and subtract monthly payments in chronological order. After each item, I calculate my balance. This gives me a good idea of when I’ll have the most financial flexibility throughout the month to make purchases and payments for irregular costs such as groceries, gas, as well as unplanned expenses like car repairs.
Have you used any of the apps or tools on Experian’s list? What are your favorites?