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Money Management Tools to Keep You in Check During Holidays
By Samantha Paxson, Chief Marketing Officer at CO-OP Financial Services
With the holiday season coming up, travel expenses, buying gifts and entertaining tend to take over your wallet. Luckily, there are a variety of budgeting and money management tools that will save you financial stress during these heavy spending months to come. Here are some of the most popular options to consider.
Mint, perhaps the most widely used personal finance app, is a one-stop shop to help you with your budget. Mint offers a holistic approach, where you can manage your money and set savings goals so you can see your entire financial picture. There’s also a feature to monitor your credit score. Just sync up your bank accounts, credit cards and investment accounts, including your retirement funds. You’ll be able to see where your money is going while keeping track of your goals. Mint makes it fairly easy to customize subcategories and move transactions into other categories.
The Level Money app is a simple tool to automatically analyze your financial picture. It’s designed to recreate the experience of opening your wallet. The app subtracts recurring expenses and savings from your income before dividing up what’s left to tell you what you can spend each month, day and week.
The Wallaby app provides a sleek list of transactions with a focus on optimizing credit card rewards, telling you the best card to use when shopping, and helps you find the best credit card to add to your wallet by taking into account rewards, fees, interest rates and other financial data.
Since you’ll be purchasing more than usual around the holidays, why not turn your spare change into investments? The Acorns app helps you do just that! Once you connect your checking and credit card accounts to it, Acorns automatically rounds up every purchase to the next dollar, and invests the difference in a portfolio of your choice. For example, if you spent $2.25, it will invest $0.75 for you.
CardNav by CO-OP
While these money management solutions are powerful in themselves, there are tools available through credit unions that can complement them. CardNav by CO-OP not only helps you keep your mobile credit cards secure, it helps keep you from overspending. It lets you set alerts, turn your card on and off, and set spending limits through your phone.
About the Author
Samantha Paxson is Chief Marketing Officer for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), a Rancho Cucamonga, California-based provider of financial technology to credit unions.