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.
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.
How Promotional Rates Affect Finance Charges. Some credit cards offer a zero percent introductory interest rate to entice new customers who want to avoid interest. During the promotional period, you generally won’t receive a finance charge even if you don’t pay your balance in full. However, once the promotional period ends, any remaining balance will start accruing finance charges at the regular APR. During the promotional period, you can also be assessed a finance charge on balances that aren’t subject to the promotional rate. For example, if the promotional rate applies only to balance transfers, then purchases you make will be charged a finance charge.
If your credit card issuer uses the average daily balance method to calculate your finance charge (check your credit card statement or terms and conditions to confirm), you can use these instructions to estimate your finance charge. You’ll need to have an idea of what your average credit card balance will be. Your credit card agreement may include a minimum finance charge that’s charged anytime your balance is subject to a finance charge. For example, your credit card terms may include a $1.00 minimum finance charge. If your calculated finance charge for a particular billing cycle is only $.65, you’ll be charged a $1.00 finance charge for that month.
Best Visuals: Mobills. Mobills organizes your expenses in categories so you can track your spending is progressing toward your budgeted amount. See the amount you have remaining to spend in each budget category so you can rein in your spending as needed. The budget planning app includes interactive charts that allow you to analyze your financial life; you can use them to make adjustments as you need to reach your larger financial goals. Add your credit cards to the app so you can see your current balance and spending limits all in one place. You can add all your bills and due dates to keep track of when your bills need to be paid. The free version of the app has limited functionality while upgrading to the premium version will give you full access to all the app’s features.
Can AceMoney Really Replace Quicken or Microsoft Money?
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