It would be a misnomer to say everyone who ends up in bankruptcy does so because they don’t know how to manage a budget. Many people face bankruptcy because of unavoidable medical problems, sudden job losses, divorce, and other unexpected events.
Still, there are also those people who wind up living well beyond their means. If you know you fall into this category then it’s wise to start thinking about what life will look like when your bankruptcy is discharged.
One way may be to take advantage of any of these budgeting apps, which can help you get your spending under control.
Mint is one of the oldest budgeting apps out there, and yet it continues to receive high praise.
- It allows you to add all of your bank accounts, credit card accounts and other loans into a single location.
- Mint automatically categorizes and tracks where you really spend your money, giving you the ability to make adjustments.
- Offers bill pay reminders to make sure you are never late on a bill ever again — useful, since being late on your bills can create some severe financial havok.
Mint works on PC, iPhone, or Android.
PocketGuard works a lot like Mint in that it allows you to link accounts, track spending, and keep track of your debts. But here’s where it really shines.
- It lets you see what your disposable income actually is, which means you can actually see if you can afford to make that “splurge” purchase.
- This app will automatically build a budget for you after analyzing your spending and your bills, taking the guesswork out of the entire process.
- This app also searches for opportunities to help you lower your bills. While this may only amount to a $15 – $40 savings per bill those little adjustments can really add up.
You can use this app either on an Android phone or an iPhone.
YNAB stands for “You Need a Budget.” You’ll link your bank accounts to this one, too, but then you’ll take things a bit further.
- YNAB lets you set goals, and it lets you track how close you are to them. If you want to save up for a big purchase YNAB offers great tools for that.
- YNAB also warns you when you’ve overspent in a category and tells you that you will want to make adjustments somewhere else. This can help keep you out of debt.
- This app is very focused on getting you out of debt and keeping you out of debt. While you shouldn’t have much debt to track right out of bankruptcy (other than, perhaps, your student loans) this can be a useful tool for making sure you don’t have to go through this process ever again.
This app is great if you need to brush up on your financial literacy. It offers live workshops, education, and a variety of rules and principles to help you manage your money.
YNAB works on your phone (Android or Iphone), your PC, your Apple watch, and Alexa.
Once upon a time our parents and grandparents often used an “envelope system” to manage their money. They’d put the cash they needed for various expenses into envelopes marked with the purpose of the cash. When the cash inside the envelope was gone, it was gone…no more spending in that category until the cash was replenished.
But who uses cash anymore?
Fortunately you don’t have to use cash. You could, instead, use Goodbudget, which takes the envelope system and adapts it to the digital world.
- This one is great for married couples as it allows you to sync and share budgets, putting an end to miscommunication.
- This one does not offer the same controls as the envelope system as it relies on you to track your expenses and to stop spending money in a category when the “envelope” is empty.
- This is a good app for people who prefer a “plan your spending” approach over a “track your spending approach,” but it does mean you have to accurately allocate the money you expect to receive into the appropriate digital envelopes.
Goodbudget is available on both Android and iPhone.
Remember, the app alone won’t do the job.
Any of these budgeting apps can help you change your financial future. But they won’t work out if you don’t use them correctly. An app can only tell you if you’re continuing to overspend, for example. It can’t stop you from doing it.
Already in over your head with debt? Haven’t filed for bankruptcy yet? Things are unlikely to get better unless you do a bit more than budgeting. It may be time to call us for your free consultation.
It may take a variety of tools, techniques, and tactics to take control of your financial future, but it is worth it.