We rely on our phones for nearly everything, and money management is quickly following suit, especially for millennials.
Balancing a checkbook is becoming obsolete as easy-to-use online banking services become the norm. Long gone are the days of needing a pen and paper — or even an Excel spreadsheet — to figure out your monthly budget.
With some of the new apps available, you hardly need to track your spending, savings or investing yourself: Your phone will do it for you.
These five apps are revolutionizing the ways millennials make the most of money management.
I used to dread going out to dinner with more than one friend. The night would end with the inevitable moment of reckoning when the check would come, and we would all try to cobble together the correct payment with multiple cards and cash that would never quite add up.
Venmo takes all the stress out of managing money between friends. Now we designate one person to pay the bill, and everyone else pays their share exactly and immediately using the app. To pay others, Venmo takes money straight from your bank account. When you’re on the receiving end, funds come into the app, and with just the click of a button, you can transfer them to your bank. It’s a whole lot easier than keeping track of IOUs. (I also love incorporating fun emojis into my payment notes.)
If you’re trying to save money but aren’t great at following a plan, you need to try Digit. Once you link your bank account to the app, it tracks your spending and analyzes your income. It then uses this data to determine the right amount of money for you to save — and even makes the withdrawal for you. It’s perfect for millennials who aren’t yet that disciplined about budgeting.
Not only does it figure out how much to withdraw based on your spending and earning history, it provides a weekly status report on how much you’ve saved. If you want some of that money back into your checking account, it only takes one day to transfer funds to your bank. Another plus? Digit comes with a no-overdraft guarantee, so you never have to worry that it will take more out of your budget than you can afford.
Empower gives you a comprehensive view of your finances, right in the palm of your hand. The app is able to sync all kinds of accounts, including checking and savings, debt (student loans, anyone?), and investing. This gives you a complete overview of your financial situation at any given time.
In addition to its aesthetically pleasing design and ease of use, Empower gives users personalized feedback to help curb unnecessary spending, and it can even send you reminders about upcoming bills. It constantly makes sure you are spending less than you earn so you can start saving and paying down debt. One of its coolest features is its monthly reports, which allow you to see exactly where your money went so you can plan for the month ahead.
Freshbooks is a basic necessity for any millennial who is a part of the side-gig economy.
This cloud-based accounting software is a godsend for anyone who is self-employed and needs helps managing invoices, monitoring expenses, managing billable time, tracking projects and more.
It’s one of the few apps that streamlines all the different areas you need to manage when you are self-employed, which makes your side-hustle (or full-time freelance job) a whole lot easier to manage.
For many millennials, getting started with investing is difficult. Not only can it be confusing and intimidating, but most online brokerages require a hefty minimum to get started, as well as commission fees for trades.
Robinhood was designed with millennials in mind, allowing people to access commission-free stock trading straight from their phone with no minimum required.