Everyone has New Year’s Resolutions on their mind. Some want to lose pounds, debt, or bad habits. Others want to gain confidence, investments, and love lives. It doesn’t matter what you have resolved to lose or gain this year, studies show that without a plan of action or tangible steps, 40% of you will be back to your old ways by the end of January.
Enter your Financial Friend #MyFinancialFriend! We’re here to help you achieve some of the financial resolutions you’ve written down (because if you don’t write it down, nothing will change either!).
We have listed some of our top apps that we think will help you save and budget better. If you’re in need of something that will pay your bills for you – with your own money, of course- or an app that will alert you when funds are low, we’ve got the solution for you. These apps are some that we’ve personally tested, use, or recommend to our clients. The best part? Most of our list is free or freemium.
Best Overall App: RightCapital
- About: Since its inception in 2015, Right Capital has sought to create a solution capable of addressing comprehensive, and often complex financial planning needs without making the software overly complex to use. In addition, they strive to present the plan output in a way that is easy for clients with real goals and resolutions to understand.
- Cost: Free for Pembroke Advisor clients
- Availability: iOS, Android.
What RightCapital offers:
- Retirement planning
- Monte Carlo simulation; Social Security optimization; systematic stress tests; switching between cash flow and goal-based planning.
- Tax-efficient distribution
- Illustrate optimal withdrawal strategies, combining the sequence of withdrawals from taxable, tax deferred and tax-free accounts with Roth conversions.
- Budgeting and debt management
- Seamlessly retrieve and update account and holding information from various asset custodians and thousands of financial institutions.
- Client portal
- Access to your financial plan with real-time updates.
Best budgeting app for hands-on users: You Need A Budget
YNAB is robust software for the hard-core budgeters.
- About: This budgeting app helps users learn to live on last month’s income.
- Cost: $83.99 a year or $6.99 a month (34-day free trial), free for students for 12 months.
- Availability: Browser-based; apps for iOS, Android and Amazon Alexa devices.
YNAB is for the serious budgeting or New Year’s resolution user, no doubt. However, it does have a financial investment attached, due to the price tag of $83.99 a year or $6.99 a month.
You will get a 34-day free trial to test it out and determine your own resolution resilience.
Students who provide proof of enrollment get an additional 12 months free.
Luckily, the software’s latest update directly imports transactions from bank accounts, but they still need to be manually categorized by the user. Users willing to put in the work will benefit from the tool’s envelope-based system, which helps put a lid on spending by allocating the exact amount of income available.
Best Simplified Budgeting App: PocketGuard
PocketGuard delivers for users who want a bare-bones budgeting system.
- About: PocketGuard gives users a snapshot of how much they can spend at any given moment.
- Cost: Free.
- Availability: iOS, Android.
PocketGuard boils budgeting down to the only thing many users want to know: how much they have for spending. It crunches the numbers to show how much money is available after accounting for bills, spending and savings goal contributions. All users can view how much money is left “in their pocket” for the day, week or month.
Those who want to dial down farther can track certain categories of spending — like groceries, clothing or eating out. So, whether you want to track your spending, make a budget, lower your bills, or keep your resolutions on track, with PocketGuard you can spend more time living, while staying on top of your finances
Best App for Paying and Tracking Bills: Prism
Prism takes the pain out of bill paying.
- About: This app is an easy way to organize and pay bills.
- Cost: Free.
- Availability: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Kindle.
Prism allows users to see their account balances and bills on one platform. Conveniently, bills can be paid directly from the app or scheduled for payment later. The service sends impending due date and payment confirmation notifications. Probably one of our easiest New Year’s resolution solutions.
Best App for Investment Education and Research: Interactive Brokers
Manage and trade your account from anywhere!
Interactive Brokers allows you to evaluate your investment accounts. Behind the beauty and simplicity, RightCapital has rich features to create value for you.
- About: Earn, Borrow, Spend and Invest Worldwide from One Account.
- Cost: Available to our clients.
- Availability: iOS and Android
With Interactive Brokers you don’t need to put money into an account to access Interactive Brokers’ functionality and to create a “paper” trading account. A “paper trading” account is merely a pretend account used to test investment skills, ideas, and methods. If you loose money in the paper account you don’t loose any real money!
You can also access forex quotes & alerts, run market scanners and see world wide market quotes (not just US markets) with the IB app. IB provides a bunch of free trading resources to their free account members including educational emails and training.
Lastly, you can add an advisor to your account any time you like or just use it as your investment education and research center.
So, there you have it – your tool belt to help you crush your loftiest New Year’s Financial resolutions. Write them down, set a plan in place and get some tools to make success inevitable. And as always, if you have questions or need help along the way, your financial friend is just a phone call away.
We’ll be sure to provide helpful tips throughout the year to keep your resolutions steady long past January 31st!