Buying and owning a home may seem like a huge expense, but in reality, can become a feasible goal for many. Whether you’re looking for a better way to budget your expenses or pay off debts and loans, there are several mobile and desktop apps that make it easier to organize and lay out your ultimate plan of action.
While some apps like Wally and Spendee may help with more day-to-day finances than long-term savings, these small steps are all relative in the grand scheme of saving to buy a home.
Knowing where your spending puts a larger dent in your bank account – whether it be your makeup spending habits or your routine trips to the movies – will give you a better awareness of which expenses you can cut down on, and which ones you could potentially eliminate as well.
This is especially important for calculating the amount per month you are capable of saving, and then applying this to your savings plan for 5, 10 years down the road.
Wally is a smartphone app built to help people manage their personal finances easily and seamlessly. In a monthly view, Wally’s home screen displays total income received and upcoming, amount spent, number of entries, and remaining budget.
Expenses also can be split into separate categories, like transportation, entertainment, home, and clothes sections, and then split into further subcategories if preferred. Categories and subcategories can also be customized by user.
In addition to balancing income and expenses, the app can help set and achieve personal goals. There are in-app options to set up savings targets per month, as well as a savings forecast to give users a better idea of their projected financial situation over longer periods of time.
Another trusty mobile app is Spendee, with an incredibly intuitive interface used to track spending and saving, which then rounds up all finances in a summary. Users have the ability to connect and sync their online bank accounts to the app, which comes with many standard finance tracking programs.
However, Spendee has the unique feature of categorizing budgeting in separate “wallets,” which users can then share with family or friends. This may help when in need of assistance, budget and spending comparison, or even keeping each other accountable.
The app can even map out locations for users to visualize where they are spending the most money, and can support all currencies, making international travel easier to track as well. Finally, Spendee gives users summary overviews that are easy to read and analyze, which can then be applied to future spending and saving.
For potential home buyers who are interested in an app that is integrated across both desktop and mobile, Pocketsmith offers great long-term tracking and planning assistance in “a time machine for your money.” In addition to seeing bank accounts, credit cards, and loan accounts, this app can help schedule upcoming bills and break down individual budgets even further.
One of Pocketsmith’s most unique features is its “what if” option for users to test out their financial decisions for different scenarios and see what outcomes they produce down the road. This can be extremely helpful for figuring out how long it will be to save for the down payment of a new home, as well as any additional fees that come with home ownership like HOA and mortgage fees.
By understanding the cash flow forecasts that Pocketsmith uses to project bank balances in the future for up to 30 years in advance, users can see exactly where their money is going and adjust their spending habits accordingly.
Ranked the “Best Free Finance Web App” by PC Mag and the “Top Expense Management Software” in 2016, Buxfer helps categorize individual purchases by syncing banks and statements without storing your credentials on the application’s server, and instead on your own computer.
Users can then add customized “tags” to their transactions, allowing users to organize them in their own ways, and then set “rules” to tag transactions automatically. Trend reports are also compiled into visual and analytical representations for user use, making it easier to find outliers among spending habits.
Real time alerts can notify users about upcoming bills or whether a budget has been exceeded, with SMS and Twitter optimization if desired. A simple forecast feature gives a brief preview of the user’s potential financial future in expenses and account balances, based on past performance data.
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