WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Consumers may see less money in their bank accounts given gas prices going up, and the cost of groceries remaining high, but phone apps can help track your spending habits.
Over half of Americans don’t utilize a budget to manage personal finances, according to a survey by The Penny Hoarder. It added that 14% of people who do use a budget utilize mobile budget apps.
“You get to choose — you can say, ‘connect to my Capital One account or my JPMorgan Chase account or my 401k at work’ so that’s kind of nice, you have that kind of control,” said Jason Howell, a certified financial planner and adjunct professor for finance at American University.
Business Insider ranked the ‘best’ budget apps for 2023; breaking down what features offered to consumers best suit different life circumstances.
The ranking said budget tracking app Mint splits spending into categories like shopping, bills and transportation, and also shows your credit score, net worth and investments.
Honeydue, another free app, suits couples as it shows individual and shared expenses, plus limits what partners can see.
Personal Capital helps track personal net worth and your investments, a service also for free.
The Monarch Money app helps set savings goals–the base plan is free, but premium plans can cost $14.99 a month or $100 annually.
Rocket Money also offers a base plan free, and can help consumers negotiate for lower bills, though, for a price.
“What are you trying to do, what are you trying to track? Most people are actually trying to save more, and so the best app that you can actually have is your online bank account. You can decide when you get paid, twice a month or every two weeks, to move some cash over to a savings account, and you can go back to not thinking. Go back to spending whatever is left in the checking account,” Howell said.
Consumers may overlook ‘junk fees,’ and budget apps can help identify where people may still unknowingly pay for subscriptions.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said companies made $14 billion from consumer late fees on bills in 2019, according to a report about ‘junk fees.’
AARP indicated consumers can fight ‘junk fees;’ recommending people research prices up front, ask about the fee when first noticed, take their business elsewhere and consider filing a complaint with the CFPB.