This is the year. This is the year that I finally get my family’s finances under control. It’s been spinning out of it ever since we had twins—talk about a surprise! All of a sudden, we had jumped from a family of 3 to a family of 5, only our incomes had stayed about the same. Needless to say, our money stress shot through the roof.
We’re not alone. According to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, for many Canadians, money worries are the greatest source of stress, even more than work, personal health and relationships.
Managing your expenses, finding new ways to save and working with your partner toward shared money goals can all go a long way to to helping you feel more financially confident, and less stressed about your bottom line. (For tips on how to talk to your partner, click here, or consider bringing on a financial advisor if you don’t already have one to help get you both on the same page.)
Fortunately, nowadays there’s a whole range of products to help you get a handle on money. Whether it’s getting out of debt, budgeting or saving that’s your top priority, there are tons of new financial apps out there to help you achieve your money goals. They're free to download and easy to use, too!
Here are the top apps you can get right now to help you manage your family's finances:
Mint: Many people rave about this app, which helps you keep track of where your money is going to. Mint brings together your bank accounts, credit cards, bills and investments so you always know where you stand. What’s more, the app analyzes your spending as it happens to keep you on top of bills, show you how you’re spending your money at a glance and also offer ideas on how to stretch it farther. The app can help you create budgets, and offers tips to maximize your money day to day.
Goodbudget: Similar to Mint, Goodbudget uses budgeting to keep you and your family on track. The program uses the time-tested envelope approach to keep your spending within limit. Each month, cash is taken out and divided into envelopes for each budget category, such as groceries—preventing you from spending more than you have, or more than you really want to. The app also keeps you and your partner on the same page, by syncing your household budget across all your iPhones and Androids, so that when each of you deducts money from an envelope, the person you’re sharing with knows what’s spent, where and when.
Snowball: If you have debts to pay, this app can help you prioritize and pay them off in the most effective way. Snowball determines which debt to pay off first, and uses “spare change” (money saved by rounding up from every transaction) to pay it off. Twice per month this money is sent to your creditor as an extra debt payment.
Mylo: I know, I know, you want to save money—you just don’t know where to find it! In this case, you might want to have a look at Mylo. The app rounds up your debit purchases to help you come up with the spare change you need to invest where you want to. Whether it’s a trip, retirement or new home, Mylo automates the process so you don’t even need to think twice about it!
PiggyBot: While you’re at it, why not give your school-aged kids a head start by using this app to show them how to manage their allowance money starting now? They can use the app to track purchases and make and meet spending, sharing and saving goals.