If your credit card issuer calculates your balance using the average daily balance method, tou can minimize your finance charges by paying your balance down earlier in the billing cycle. The daily balance method is similar to the average daily balance method because it uses the balance each day of your billing cycle. Instead of averaging the balance, each day’s balance is multiplied by the daily rate for a ”daily finance charge.” Each day’s finance charge is totaled for the finance charge for that billing cycle.
Best for Debt Payoff: You Need a Budget. You Need a Budget. Courtesy of You Need a Budget. You Need a Budget is a personal finance app that’s built around YNAB’s Four Rules. The rules – Give every dollar a job, Embrace your true expenses, Roll with the punches and Age your money – not only help you build a better budget but also help you gain control of your spending. Import transactions from your checking account and apply them to each budget category to get an accurate picture of your spending. Keep a balanced budget by adjusting budget categories if you accidentally overspend (or if you underbudgeted for a certain category). Detailed reports show you how your spending is progressing throughout the month and help you spot places that you can improve your spending. According to YNAB, the average new user saves $600 in the first to months and more than $6,000 in the first year. You can try the app for free for the first 34 days.
Best for Budgeting: EveryDollar. The EveryDollar app uses the zero-based budget method recommended by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey. The zero-based budget gives every dollar a purpose in the budget, hence the app’s name EveryDollar. A built-in monthly expense tracker allows you to connect to your bank to import transactions to keep up with your spending. You can even split expenses between multiple budget items. The tracker shows you the amount you’ve spent so far for the month and the amount you have left to spend. Through the app, you’ll be able to connect with money management experts who can help you with your financial planning. You’ll be able to access your budget through the app or via a desktop computer. All new users receive a free trial of the premium version of the app. You can permanently upgrade through the app menu.
The average daily balance method is one of the ways a credit card issuer can calculate finance charges on your credit card. Finance charges are how your credit card issuer charges interest on balances you carry beyond the grace period. Paying a finance charge increases the cost of your credit card debt beyond the original purchase price. Knowing how your credit card issuer calculates your finance charge can help you estimate the amount of interest you’ll pay if you don’t pay your balance in full. You can check your credit card billing statement or call your credit card issuer to find out if your credit card issuer uses the average daily balance method for calculating finance charges.
Before downloading transactions, you can select predefined periods of time for the transactions you want to see in the register, and it’s great to have this option, which is particularly helpful if you only want the past six month’s worth (for example) of transactions instead of two years worth. Not all personal finance software offers this option, and you can easily end up downloading months of transactions that you don’t want to track.
Best for Managing Subscriptions: Clarity Money. Clarity Money. Courtesy of Clarity Money. More and more companies are moving to subscription models. In the process, it’s easy to lose track of subscriptions you’ve signed up for. Clarity Money aims to help you stop throwing away on unused subscriptions by helping you uncover and cancel subscriptions you’re not using. On top of getting rid of extra subscriptions, the app analyzes your spending behavior and gives you recommendations to improve your financial health. Clarity Money allows you to make regular savings deposits and attach a goal to your savings. You can even create several savings funds with different goals. Your savings deposits are helped at an FDIC-insured bank and are insured up to $250,000. Stay on track with your monthly budget by showing how much you’ve already spent – provided you’ve linked your debit and credit cards. You’ll also get access to your free VantageScore credit score by Experian.
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