9 Apps That Will Change Your Money Saving Game

by Kat George

Saving money is hard, but these apps for saving money might make it a little easier. I always find this time of year especially hard to save. It's just spendy time of year, what with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all on the agenda. That's SO much socializing. And I like socializing. You probably do too, and that's OK. Not everyone is down to Netflix and chill 24/7. But everyone does need to think about boring things like "the future" and "retirement", because even if you're not that conscious of these things, they will come, and you do need to save for them.

Whatever your future looks like, whether it's buying a lovely pair of boots or a car or a house or going on vacation, you need to save for it. And even if you don't want to save for anything, ever, you should still be saving because you don't know what the future holds and when you're going to find yourself looking to your savings account for a break. You should be putting money away every paycheck and leaving it there while you only spend within your means, but again, that can be so hard when bills stack up and fun times call. Here are some handy apps that will help you keep your spending in check, and assist you in saving for the future.

1. LearnVest

This is a good one if you have no experience creating a budget for yourself. Free app Learn Vest asks you to sync your savings and investments, which creates an overview of your financial flow. The app then categorizes your expenses, and allows you to track spending and saving in order to ascertain whether you're reaching your goals. The app also offers a complimentary phone call with a financial expert.

2. Bill Guard

Bills can be difficult to keep up with, especially if you're splitting them with more than two people. BillGuard monitors all your bills in one place, and alerts you when payments are due. The free app has spending analytics so you can watch your money, which is the first step to saving. It also searches for coupons that can help in lowering your bills from month to month, which is money that could go straight into your savings.

3. Level

Level is like a nagging (but well meaning, duh) mother, in that it alerts you throughout the day about how much money you have left to spend. The app syncs with your bank accounts, and estimates your daily and monthly/spending based on your accounts averages. The best part is that once Level has analyzed your spending, it will let you know whether or not your spending habits are sustainable. You can also track how much you spend on a certain thing. If you want to horrify yourself, track your spending on something like Juice Press or coffee.

4. Google Wallet

Google Wallet stores all your loyalty cards in one place. And you know what loyalty cards mean: accumulation of points and weekly promotions and discounts! Once you've got all your loyalty cards organized, you'll be able to make those savings. Plus, Google Wallet stores all your receipt information and organizes it, so you can track your spending in one place.

5. Personal Capital

If you're into graphs and statistics, Personal Capital is for you. The free app is an "at a glance" look at your money, which measures your finances via expenditures and investments.

6. Unsplurge

I really like the sound of Unsplurge. You tell Unsplurge what your savings goal is, and the app tracks your progress and gives you visual incentives to keep saving. For instance, if you're looking to vacation in Hawaii, the app will tease you with beautiful images of beaches to keep you motivated and make your goal seem more attainable and real. You can also join the "community" where you can see the savings goals and achievements of your friends, which will hopefully either inspire you or shame you to save more. It's social media for saving!

7. Daily Budget

Daily Budget is a practical, cut and dry approach to your savings. By looking at your income and recurring expenses, it calculates a daily budget for you, and offsets that against your savings goal Daily Budget tells you how much you need to save per day or per month to reach your goal, which is a really clear and realistic way to approach your savings.

8. Simple

Simple is actually like a checking account in that it comes with a debit card and no ATM fees. The app then calculates a "safe-to-spend" amount for you, by subtracting your future bill payments and pending transactions as well as your savings goal. With Simple, you're only ever spending what you can afford to spend, and the app will automatically transfer money to your savings on a daily basis.

9. Mint

Mint records and categorizes all your financial transactions, from all your bank accounts. Tracking your spending habits, Mint will create a budget for you, which will help you figure out where you can cut spending and start saving.

Images: 401(K) 2012/Flickr; Giphy (5)