Ten months ago I sat down and took a good hard look at my finances. I’ve done this numerous times before, but something was different this time. As I crafted a plan month by month to dig myself out of my accumulated debt, I was hit with the sinking realization that I had been doing this same dance for years. I would start out strong and determined, but here I am, years later and still haven’t lived a single day out of the clutches of my debt.
There was always a curveball, a job change, a pay cut, a physical move, or something as simple as mentally brushing it off and telling myself that everyone has debt and it’s just the norm. I finally accepted the fact that I was riding an unhealthy rollercoaster relationship with not just my debt, but my finances as a whole. From there I decided to set myself up with a realistic goal and set a true plan to become debt free by 30.
To accomplish any goal, you need the right tools. For me, apps have been the most influential instruments for keeping myself motivated, on track and help nip my bad habits in the butt.
- Google Sheets – I live for my trusty spreadsheets to keep track of my progress from month to month. Completely unrelated, I’m super Type A. I use it too keep track of all my bills as well my debt so nothing falls between the cracks and I have a quick look at where my money is going at any time. I take it a step further and add notes to keep track of mistakes or bumps in life to better prepare myself in the future.
- Mint – I’ve been using Mint for years now and it only continues to get better. As a very visual person love that you can set your budgets and have them updated in the form of status bars to keep tabs throughout the month with just a glance. The same can be said for setting goals with the ability to track your progress and expected completion dates. It also allows you to keep a pulse on my credit score with monthly updates. It has even helped me catch fraudulent activity on my bank account before my bank even alerted me. Also, they’ve recently updated their logo and mobile app, making it even more user-friendly and easy on the eyes of your home screen.
- Honey – I admit, this may not technically be an app, but it has saved me so much money that I had to share this browser extension. Honey does the work for you when you’re online shopping, from trying all known discount codes to popping up to share the price changes on any items you’re eyeing so you know if you’re getting the best deal. You can also accumulate points that knock that price down even lower! An amazing tool to keep your budget happy and in the green.
- Acorns – I don’t know how many articles I’ve read giving staggering stats about how millennials are good at saving, but not investing, therefore not allowing their cash to work for them. In the attempt to dip my toes and not be a statistic, I started investing with Acorns right from my phone.
These apps have assisted me in the past 10 months to pay off my student debt and very soon my credit card debt as well. I’m always looking for apps to help with productivity and accomplishing my goals, do you have any to suggest?
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