Get out of the black hole of debt easily and effectively
Creating and sticking to a budget is hard work for the average working American. However, there are thousands of smart phone apps available to help you get your finances under control and help you get out of debt effectively and in a timely manner.
Smart phone apps can help you get out of debt by showing you the big picture—that means giving you an overview of all outstanding debts in one, convenient view. Not that a smart phone app can replace a financial consultant, but for some, a smart phone application might be enough to provide the wake-up call needed to help debt-laden consumers out of a financial black hole.
Here are my top picks or debt management apps that can help get your finances in shape for 2012:
1. Mint.com Personal Finance (Free – for Android and iPhone)
I love Mint.Com so I was very happy to find out there is an Android version. I’m a fairly recent convert to Android, after seeing the spec s on the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 but I’m still hanging on to my iPhone, at least until my contract is up. This personal finance app has a handy way of pulling all of your accounts—credit cards, bank accounts, online accounts like PayPal, etc.—into one convenient view so you can see exactly what you owe and what you have in savings, track your spending, create a firm budget in order to start saving, and manage your money from anywhere you happen to be. This app links directly to all of your bank accounts and credit cards and then automatically categorizes and tracks your spending so you can stay safely within your budget.
2. Pay Off Debt ($2.99 – for Android)
Yes, this app costs a little under $3.00, but believe me when I say it’s worth every penny to keep your finances in line. The Pay Off Debt app utilizes a financial strategy called the “debt snowball”, which tackle debts by your lowest balance or highest interest rate first…Get it? The “snowball strategy” pays off debt by making the minimum payments on all but the debt with the lowest balance or the highest interest rate. Once one bill is paid off in full, this app then draws your focus to the next debt on your list creating a snowball effect for paying off debts. The Pay Off Debt app leaves nothing to the imagination, it tells you exactly how long it will take to pay off individual debts, and gives you the larger view of how long it will take to pay off all debt collectively if you stick to this strategy. It even sends you handy payment reminders so you never forget a credit card payment again!
3. Credit Card Debt Payoff (Free – for iPhone)
A nifty credit card calculator to keep you on the ball, the Credit Card Debt Payoff app shows you how exactly long it will take to pay off your credit card debt. This app even calculates the exact interest you can expect to pay on your debt. All you need to do is enter your credit card balance, interest rate, and figure in your monthly expenses, and voila, this app will figure out how much you should be paying monthly to achieve your debt free goal. It will also display the date you can be debt free.
4. Spend Free – Personal Budgeting (Free – for iPhone)
The Spend Free – Personal Budgeting app keeps track of your money via a quick and easy-to-use personal budget tracker. You can customize this app to track your finances on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, or capture a yearly budget outlook to plan for bigger expenses—like vacations, car payments, and property tax payments over the long-run. And the best thing about this app is that you don’t require internet access to use it, so you can enter your purchases right from the store or restaurant and expect them to be reflected in your budget record right away.