How to look after your pennies, and save some too

Money—that thing that always seems to be disappearing, or never appearing in the first place. Maybe you want a new phone, concert tickets, or to save for college tuition. Whatever it is, we all need help figuring out how to manage our money and, you guessed it, there are apps for that. We’ve done the research for you and compiled some good ones to try.

1. Mint

Available on iOS, Android, and Amazon
+ Download

Mint is one of the most popular money management apps. If you’re looking to see all your income and expenses in one simple dashboard, try it out.

Here’s how Mint works:

  • Syncs to all your accounts, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards.
  • Updates regularly to show your balances and transactions.
  • Breaks down how you spend your money (so you’ll know how much you’re putting into savings vs. how much you’re spending on pizza).
  • Sends text message and/or email alerts if your funds are getting low.

2. Mvelopes

Available on iOS and Android
+ Download

This app is a throwback to the old-timey envelope method for budgeting. It’s the one where you put money into designated envelopes (e.g., food, clothing, car) each month and only spend from that envelope. It works, and it’s a big step up from hiding it all under the mattress.

Features include:

  • Separates expenses into electronic “envelopes.”
  • Syncs with your bank accounts to track each transaction.
  • You’ll set a budget first, which allows you to think about your spending. Then you designate a realistic target amount for each category so you know how much you can spend each month.

3. LearnVest

Available on iOS
+ Download

This app gives you a financial plan and offers some online courses to help you manage your money.

Here’s what it does:

  • Syncs your bank accounts to the app (although, if you’d rather enter all transactions, you can).
  • Gives you access to their advice center to get your questions answered about budgeting and financial planning.
  • Offers basic online classes for money management.
  • For a fee, advice from an expert financial planner is available.

Tip: These apps and many others are safe, but be sure to do some research on their user-protection policies. As with anything online, beware of phishing scams—never give out your password through email and don’t click on a link that seems shady. Now be safe and go save money.