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I’m going to be real honest with you right now.
Like most people, managing money used to be a major chore for me.
And when I say a chore, I mean I downright hated it.
I dreaded looking at my bank account.
I hated getting that dumb ass letter from Sallie Mae telling me I still owed them money. I hated having so much debt that I couldn’t sleep at night. And I can’t begin to express how much I hated seeing other people partying it up, traveling and having a whale of a time when I was jacked up trying to fix my money.
Yes, I was a hater.
And when I finally got my mind right about taking control of my money, I went overboard with numbers and savings rates, etc. and it just ruined me.
I would write the budget numbers in the steam in my shower.
If I was at church and the preacher mentioned money or the offering plate came around, I would drift off into a 20 minute segway about how bad my financial situation was.
Yeah, it was that bad.
Personal finance and working the numbers have turned me crazy trying to make them work.
But in an attempt to feed my personal finance obsession, I found out that financial freedom isn’t just about the numbers, following a bunch of rules, or being out of debt.
It’s about finding a sound, realistic plan, executing that plan, that keeps you motivated while helping you find peace.
And these days, I’m doing a lot better.
I now manage my finances like a boss in less than 5 minutes a day. I have a full 360-degree view of my finances and can demand the best rates from any lender.
I was able to go from being overwhelmed and depressed by my finances to feeling happy, fulfilled, and abundant.
Basically, I now have freedom, options, and confidence with my money – and I didn’t even have to get debt free to do it!
I transformed my life just by adding these 5 apps to my digital wallet.
I always felt I wasn’t saving as much as I should be.
Honestly, there was usually more month than money each month.
If you’ve ever missed your savings goal, then you know how stressful and depressing it can be.
And I was
I’d worry I was one bad emergency away from undoing all my repayment progress.
I was searching for help and discovered Digit. A saving tool that analyzes your budget/spending and determines how much you could afford to save without impacting your life.
It socked away a couple of dollars here, a few cents there until I was saving over $100 a month (~$1200 a year).
I needed to believe it could be done, that I wasn’t a total trainwreck.
With Digit, I didn’t wonder if I was good with money enough to start saving. Digit was great. it got me started. But after a while, I outgrew it.
I didn’t need Digit to help me figure out if I could save anymore. Because now I knew I could save.
That’s when I graduated to Qapital – another savings app that I still use today, to squeeze a little more out of my savings.
By rounding up my change to $1 each time I spend (in addition to my monthly savings). I can spend without guilt knowing that even while spending I’m saving.
Digit showed me places to save that I didn’t think of. It was a huge jump start to monthly savings and confidence to see that I could save that much. Qapital now saves behind the scenes for me.
Personal Capital: Gave me confidence that my financial plan was working
Once I knew I wasn’t a total money screw up, it was time to start tackling some of the big stuff.
And the big one was – ‘Will my savings last through retirement and guarantee I won’t be a crazy cat lady who lives in a dump?’
I don’t know if fears about saving enough for retirement keep you up at night but they did for me.
Even though I had started investing I had no idea what I was doing.
Personal Capital was exactly that, my second opinion/ review on my financial situation.
Personal capital is a financial tool provides deep insights on how you’re doing today so you can plan for tomorrow. It shows a single view of your whole financial setup – your investments, savings, and debt. It shows you your full picture – your cash flow, debt levels, and if your retirement plan is actually going to get you where you want to be.
For the first time, I’m actually managing/controlling my money. Not the other way around. At any moment I can see my complete financial rundown in l
essthan 5 minutes.
Every day I log in to personal capital and check the transactions on my credit cards. I monitor my cash flow, I look at my debt graph and check out my
I’ve gotta tell you, knowing where your money is, and being able to watch your debts decrease while your net worth increases is a great motivator to stay on track. when I mess up and feel like a failure, or when I’m thinking of doing something dumb (like spending on garbage). I log into personal capital and remember my long term goal and my progress. It’s enough to keep me on track.
Personal capital is my cheerleader. Notifying me when I’m doing great, and giving me suggestions on how to be better.
When I hit my 3-month emergency savings level, personal capital gave me a digital high five or ‘good job’ notification. And it also gave me recommendations to better diversify my portfolio and how to earn even more with my investments.
I finally have less fear because I know I have help. Someone who was watching what I was doing and letting me know that it would work, or steering me to the right place if
Having a clear picture helps you make better, more confident, decisions for yourself.
With personal capital, I’m confident that I’m on the right track because
Sofi: Gave me hope I could actually be debt-free someday
Sofi taught me peace of mind and hope while in my long term debt.
I had so much guilt and shame about my student loans. I had more than my peers, my interest rate was retarded, I allowed myself to do this and felt dumb for not understanding it before I signed.
With the Sofi debt consolidation and refinance, I was able to lock in a low fixed interest rate, so I could finally stop worrying every month if the interest would go up.
And it cut my debt repayment in half from about $60,000, back down to just $30,000. That was huge for me.
I can’t express to you how much happier, fulfilled and hopeful I have become after making this change. I was so beaten up over my student loans that I couldn’t even feel gratitude for my life. My student loans were slowly suffocating me, and now I see a light at the end of the tunnel.
And believe me, I told everyone that would listen!
My husband, sister, and college friends now use Sofi and are happier for it. Not to mention the additional features that come with being a Sofi member is pretty awesome – no fee for using Sofi Wealth, access to a free financial advisor as well as career coaching.
Knowing my credit score using this tool put me in the driver’s seat of negotiations
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having less than stellar credit
The higher security deposits, double-digit interest rates, and the fear and dread that overpower you when they ask if they can run your credit used to be my constant companions.
I never really thought about my credit score until I needed it.
And because I couldn’t afford to pay to keep track of it, I never knew what my score would be until I was sitting in front of the dealer waiting to qualify for the car. It wasn’t pretty. It was downright embarrassing receiving second-hand treatment whenever they ‘found out’ my … number.
I found myself explaining to total strangers that I accidentally missed one payment and that’s why. Or I was studying abroad and had to run up the credit cards because I ran out of money.
Credit wise has a score simulator that helps determine how my score will change as I pay off debt, add debt or miss a payment, and even gives my insight on what is good on my report, what’s bad and even what I can do to fix it to improve my score.
Yes everyone knows the best way to improve your score
Now, I don’t need to feel embarrassed.
Betterment made investing and building wealth easy and exciting.
Starting to invest had been a goal of mine for quite a few years before I actually started.
I could say that it was because I was focused on paying off my credit card debt, but the truth was, I had no idea how to invest or where to start.
I had taken a summer internship at an investment firm while in college. I had learned about options, shorts, and mutual funds but instead of making me knowledgeable, it taught me that I had to spend hours every day watching the stock market to make a good deal.
I know if I really wanted to, I could totally dominate investing. But I had no time to do that. My day job wasn’t conducive to market watching and I was still jonesing off the ‘investing is gambling’ money story my parents taught me.
So what to do? I needed to invest. I knew I had to but I was paralyzed by fear.
Then I learned about Betterment.
A Robo-advisor designed just for people like me.
Those who wanted to invest but didn’t have a whole lot of money since we were just starting out. Who offered little fees and did all the heavy lifting for me to buy the right stocks, rebalance the portfolio, etc.
All I had to do was fill out a few questions and deposit some cash – I did $25 – and I was in business to start making passive income.
Betterment helped me knock out a huge money goal in less than 10 minutes (maybe even less if I remember correctly). and showed me that being in control of your money doesn’t have to be complicated.
If fact, I don’t have to do anything at all and still pay super low fees.
What apps have helped you?
Five (kinda six) apps that did more for me than just help me with my money. These apps helped saved my sanity and restore hope that I could be a money badass.
But as always, I want to hear from you.
Are there any apps or software that you have used to help manage your money and the apps did way more for you than just help you with your money?
Share it in the comments so we all can learn 🙂