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How to Choose a Personal Finance App and Why You Should

Guest post by Amos Faulkner

According to financial experts, only about one-third of Americans have a written financial plan. One of the most commonly cited reasons for failing to plan is that it is too complicated. Using a personal finance app can help uncomplicate the process of financial planning.

Benefits of Using a Personal Finance App

Gone are the days when the average person had just a checking account and a savings account at the local bank to keep track of. Many people now have a checking account, an online savings account, a brokerage account, multiple retirement accounts, and several credit cards. A personal finance app, such as YNAB, can help you keep track of all of your accounts in the same place. 

Additionally, a personal finance app can help you: 

       Efficiently organize your business and personal finances

       Reduce errors

       Gain insight into how you can reach your financial goals

       Increase confidence in financial decision making 

How to Choose a Personal Finance App

Start by establishing what you want to accomplish with the app. There are many different apps on the market and while many of them do a similar set of tasks, some are designed with more specific needs in mind. Learn what each app was designed to do and choose one that matches your goals

Look for an app with generally positive reviews from a company with a good reputation. Because you will be giving the app access to your financial information, the company behind the app must be reliable and trustworthy. Look for security features, such as encryption and two-factor authentication

Check for customer service information. You should be able to easily reach customer service when you need to. Read the reviews and pay particular attention to any complaints about the customer service. Compare tools and features and look for apps that integrate with your accounts so that you don't have to manually input information.

Example of How to Use a Personal Finance App

Purchasing a home is the largest single purchase many people will make in their lifetime. Using a personal finance app can help you prepare for this purchase. 

Start by using your app to create a budget. This helps you track your income and your expenses so you can see how much money you have left over for your mortgage payment and your savings goals. This will help you determine the maximum amount you can afford to spend on a house. 

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