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Free and easy-to-use money-saving applications

Like almost everything, money-saving applications jumped from computers to smartphones. For that reason, it is easier today to track what you are spending more money on due and take charge in the matter so you are up to date on your expenses and be able to save at the same time. The following applications will give you tips so that you stay within your budget and can meet your savings goals to buy your car or car. gadget How much you long for.

The big three, Mint, NerdWallet and Personal Capital, are free money-saving applications with basic functions that meet the needs of most Android and iOS users. Although you receive announcements and promotions, these are relatively discrete interruptions. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but there are tips that apply to all.

Take time

Some programs presume that it only takes a minute to start. Do not believe it. At a minimum, you must authenticate your bank accounts and credit cards. Consider additional time if you have a mortgage or investments or if you want to add other accounts, such as mobile phone bills, internet or television. We suggest you have all this information at hand to speed up the process.

Security issues

It doesn't matter how you do it, but there are additional risks related to sharing your account numbers and passwords with third parties, such as a financial advisory service. The three we reviewed strive to protect your data, but they may also share information, such as your credit score, with their business partners.

Not share too much

Another functionality of the applications to save money is to set goals (save or reduce debts) and share them with your friends on social networks. The idea is that you reach your goals with the support of your friends. We don't recommend doing it, because you expose yourself to scams like spear phishing. Keep your goals to yourself.

They are useful

With these warnings, money-saving applications can be a blessing. They combine disparate investments, invoices and budget items in an easy-to-read package. If you are starting a new job, waiting for a child or making plans to buy a house, they can provide you with invaluable information. Here are the three applications to save money that we recommend.

Mint

Mint | applications to save money

Ideal for people who hate thinking about money.

Purchased by Intuit – the firm that is behind Quicken and TurboTax – a few years ago, Mint is the most complete and best developed free financial application of the moment. It is also the easiest to use among newbies. When you register, Mint presents a simple list of the accounts you want to follow, from credit cards and bank accounts to loans and insurance. It also includes useful monthly expenses, such as Internet, television, telephone, electricity and rent. Link them to Mint and send you reminders, as well as prepare a detailed budget.

Mint also offers you more detailed options when it comes to accessing your data. For example, instead of opening all your bank accounts, you can choose which ones you want to allow or block. The other applications simply gain access to all automatically. The program can create automatic budgets based on previous patterns, such as analyzing all the food expenses of the previous month and then informing you what you have left to spend this month. Mint allows you to add goals, such as paying a credit card, saving for retirement, buying a house or taking a vacation, and setting custom goals.

If you want to reduce your credit card debt, for example, Mint will explain to you how long it will take to do so if you pay the minimum, how much interest you will end up paying (you will be surprised!) And offer suggestions, such as using your debit card for purchases. A simple graph shows you that adding a few dollars a month can reduce years of interest and save you a good amount of money.

Mint also allows you to share your goals online with Facebook friends, but we recommend doing so. Also send you e-mail proposals of partners for investments, loans and banking services, which you should ignore.

Additional Mint benefits include a well-designed online interface when you want a larger image on your computer. At the end of the year, you can easily transfer all your financial information to TurboTax.

NerdWallet

NerdWallet | applications to save money

Ideal for recent graduates of the university

NerdWallet seeks money management to be fun. It is full of catchy phrases like ?Cha-Ching?, when you make a deposit, or ?Nice!?, When you reduce your expenses. Like the rest, it provides an image of your financial health.

When you register, you are asked if you are looking for a credit, get an extra cash refund, manage expenses or if you want to control your debts. Depending on your choice, I will show you the characteristics related to your objectives. If you want to control your debts, I will tell you how long it will take to pay it and where you have the highest levels (student loans, credit cards or cars, for example). The program will also remind you when the next payments are due.

An irritating aspect is its persistence in obtaining information. You can add the value of your car, but when you want to evaluate the expenses, ask for your social security number. The application also wants that information to perform a debt analysis, for periodic credit checks, although it should not do so. The problem with this is that after performing the verifications, NerdWallet can share the information with its business partners to offer other services.