When it comes to being good with money, few things can feel more aggravating than figuring out where to start. It’s much easier to manage and build on habits, but to start from total zero on something — whether it’s figuring out what a stock is, or learning about using a credit card — can feel insurmountable. And depending on the financial education you were raised with, and the financial mentors you may or may not have around you, even knowing the right questions to ask can be a struggle.
But one thing that is always important to remember, particularly when it comes to the first step of anything, is how many resources are available around you, often for free. Yes, it can be hard to even decipher a Google search on a given financial topic, but if you know what you want to learn more about or get better at (say, building credit or paying off debt, for example), one of the best places to begin is your app store. There are hundreds of thousands of financial apps that do everything from help you split bills to help you manage your budget, and they go way beyond all the big ones we probably already know (and/or love), such as Mint. A good app can act like that financial mentor you may not have, or can explain the basics and walk you through different concepts. Apps like Acorns make small, simple investment something anybody can conquer (even if they’ve never thought of buying a stock), and there are dozens of different budget apps broken down by savings goals and household makeup.
Financial literacy inherently means different things for different people, and there is no one catch-all plan of “how to get started” that will apply to everyone. Someone on a low income with high student debt, for example, might have a totally different plan than someone with higher income, no debt, and a ruined credit score. Everyone has to navigate money based on their personal needs and goals, and everyone’s starting point will be different. But accessible, low (or no) cost, easy things like apps can help us all get there.
To that end, Lauren and I did this week’s video all about our 10 current favorite money apps that you may not have heard of. While we still love a lot of the bigger names, we wanted to dive a little deeper on the different (and more niche) things financial apps can do for you, and boost your “digital financial mentor” portfolio, even just a little bit.
Image via Pexels