Consider a Robo-Advisor, One of the latest trends in investing is the use of robo-advisors, in which a company manages your investments with very little human intervention. Money is instead managed through mathematical instructions and algorithms. Some major discount brokerages including Vanguard, E-Trade and Charles Schwab have robo-advisors services, and there are a number of newer companies including Betterment and Personal Capital. The jury is still out on whether robo-advisors offer above-average returns. But in theory, using a robo-advisor will enhance your chances of making optimal and rational investing decisions. Moreover, as more investors turn to this automated approach, we may see the conventional finance models become more accurate as human behavior plays less of a role in how markets perform.
Mint, Intuit’s personal finances apps, is one of the most well-known personal finance apps that provides your complete financial picture in one place. Once you link your credit and debit cards to your account, Mint pulls your transactions, categorizes them and shows how you’re spending your money. You can keep track of your bills and spending and create a budget you can stick to. Free access to your credit score is one of the more recent additions. You can get a breakdown of the factors contributing to your credit score to stay on top of your credit health. Plus, you can track your investments and schedule utility payments. For bills that you manually pay, the app can send e-mail reminders or add the due dates to your phone calendar. You can use the app exclusively or access your account via computer.
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With more than 100 spending categories, you can pretty much use AceMoney to budget down to half a cent. You’ll know where each smidgen of your cash is going. And isn’t that what personal finance software is all about? AceMoney also provides other special features and accessories. It can also import data from other software, including Quicken. wxBanker is somewhat bare bones, but some users just want to keep track of their most basic finances and this software has that functionality. For example, if you spent $240 at the grocery, the software will help you keep track of what you bought and the cost of each item. The interface is incredibly clean as a result, and wxBanker does sync with Mint.com, which is a nice touch. It does not handle your small business needs and will not sync with your bank records. However, it will record all of your transactions and includes a built-in calculator.
Your Money or Your Life’s subtitle, ”9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money & Achieving Financial Independence,” says a lot about co-authors Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s philosophy about personal finance, which is that personal finance is as much as emotional exercise as it is mathematical. Your Money or Your Life was first published in 1992 and has since gone through a revised edition that brought the New York Times Best Seller into the 21st century. Robin and Dominguez give consideration to some of the most common personal finance questions: Do you spend more than you earn? Would you like to change jobs but can’t afford to?
Credit cards give you the ability to make purchases today and pay for them later. If it takes you longer than a month to pay off your balance you’ll pay a fee in the form of a finance charge. Paying finance charges increases the cost you pay for having a credit card, even moreso if you never fully pay off your balance. You can avoid finance charges on almost all credit cards, but it’s all about the timing and amount of your credit card payment.