Money Matters on the Road
Electronic devices mean it’s easier than ever to manage your money wisely on the go. We’ve put together a list of some apps that you can use to make the most of your money on the road and at home.
The first step in managing your money is staying up to date about your current finances. Check with your bank and credit card companies to see if they have an app for managing your accounts. Most larger financial institutions have an app that allows you to check balances, transfer money, make payments, and even deposit checks via your device. If you’re open to switching banks, this nerdwallet article has a number of ways to compare services and account features.
Integrated Money Management
Staying on top of your current finances using your financial institutions’ apps is an excellent first step in managing your money wisely. But you can also do more with apps that integrate information from all of your various accounts, providing you with a big financial picture and giving you an easier way to manage bills, cut costs, budget, and save from one central location.
Mint is a free tool from the tax software company Intuit. You can link bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and more. Mint also allows you to pay bills, create budgets, and shows your spending in categories so you can see how much you’re spending where. (Free on Apple and Android devices. Browser version available.)
Clarity Money connects to all of your accounts and then provides recommendations to improve your financial situation. The app allows you to cancel recurring subscriptions, lower your bills, get your credit score, get a better credit card, transfer money between accounts, and set up a savings account. (Basic service free. iPhone only.)
Prism is another app that connects to your financial institutions and bills, allowing you to track your account balances and pay all of your bills from one place. (Free on Apple and Android devices.)
The Level app helps you reach a target savings goal. You enter your recurring expenses, like rent and bills, and then set a savings goal. The balance shown in Level essentially replaces your bank balance with the number of dollars you have left to spend and still reach your target savings goal. (Free on iPhone and Android.)
If you want to track everything you spend, YNAB (You Need a Budget) can help you do that. It calculates the money you currently have (not future paychecks or average earnings) and lets you apply every dollar to a specific category. (Free for 34 days, then $50 a year. Available on all platforms.)
Save and Earn When You Spend
The belly app lets you earn points for transactions at participating businesses, which you can redeem later for free items. There are belly businesses in 2,500 cities at more than 8,500 locations. (Free on iPhone and Android.)
Plenti is an American Express app that allows you to earn points at one place and use them at another, using just one card. The card works at large businesses that include Exxon, Mobil, Rite Aid, AT&T, and many others. (Free on iPhone and Android.)
Business Insider has a list of top food apps that offer rewards for loyal customers. Their picks include several fast food restaurants as well as a number of other national fast casual chains.
One of your biggest expenses is likely gas, and apps can help you save money on that, too. GasBuddy lets you find the cheapest gas in the U.S. and Canada, sort by distance or price, report gas prices to help others, and enter to win $100 in free gas every day. (Available online and free on iPhone and Android.)
Fuelbook is another fuel price app option that tracks prices across the U.S. and Canada. They also provide truck stop information, such as open parking status, amenities, etc. (Free on iPhone and Android.)
One Stop App-ing
If you find it a hassle to keep track of all your loyalty cards, the Key Ring app will store them for you. Just take a picture of the barcode and then that loyalty card is available in the app for scan at the register. In addition, Key Ring shows you store flyers, nearby sales and coupons, and lets you create shopping lists. (Free on iPhone and Android.)
Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving – Warren Buffet