Money is a feminist issue — and yet, women are still reluctant to talk about it. According to a recent Bustle survey of more than 1,000 Millennial women, more than 50 percent of people said they never discuss personal finances with friends, even though 28 percent reported feeling stressed out about money every single day. Bustle's Get Money series gets real about what Millennial women are doing with their money, and why — because managing your finances should feel empowering, not intimidating.
I think it happens to everyone at some point — needing help to manage money. Well, luckily there are several sites and apps to help you manage your money, invest, and budget all your expenses once and for all. Yes, some people use a financial advisor to assist them, but, TBH, not everyone can shell out the cash for one. So, enter Google and iTunes, and you're just a few seconds away from money and budgeting advice. And there are money-oriented services out there on everything from budgeting to investing. Plus, there are ones to help you prevent getting slammed with overdraft fees, like the all-new Dave.
"Finance apps are some of the most powerful tools you can have in your life and take only a few minutes to sign up," Jason Wilk, Dave's CEO and Founder, tells Bustle. "We realized there was nothing out there to prevent overdraft fees, and who wouldn't want to take two minutes to save hundreds of dollars a year? Even if you need an extra $20 to avoid a negative balance, Dave can be lifesaver."
I agree with Wilk about those fees — which are ~super~ annoying (and unnecessary!), yet happen to many people. Below, you'll find out more about Dave, as well as other services to help you manage, budget, and/or invest your money.
Chances are, you've heard of the Mint app, and rightfully so. You can track not only your spending, but also your earnings and savings. Plus, you can link the app to other accounts, such as your PayPal, credit cards, and 401(k). Of course, the more accounts you link to Mint, the more the app can help you make sense of how you're spending your money and where it's going — whether it's food or entertainment. It'll also warn you when you overspend and let you know your credit score.
The cost for Mint? Free. You can find it on iOS and Android.
You may know of people who only use cash to make purchases all week — and when the money's gone, it's gone. The Mvelopes app is the same kind of idea. You link your banking accounts to the app, then you complete a budget and tell the app your income. It helps you define your financial goals — like paying off debts and saving more money. Yup, it's like having your very own financial advisor, of sorts — right in your phone! Then, it's time to fill your virtual envelopes and categorize your spending. You can get feedback, too, like on where you've spent your money and how much money you have left to spend.
You can find the free app on iOS and Android.
As you probably know, bank overdraft charges are ~the worst~. This new app, Dave, which I mentioned above, helps you prevent them. Fun fact: Mark Cuban backed the app, "because I got crushed by overdraft fees in my 20s," he said. How does it work? You connect your bank account(s) and the app lets you know how low your account balance will be in the next seven days. If you have a bill coming up, but pay day is not for a few more days, you can borrow money from "Dave" to prevent getting an overdraft charge. And your loan can be up to $250! What's Dave's interest charge? Zero dollars! But he takes tips! Also, the app will plant a tree via trees.org for every percentage of your tip. So it's a win-win-win.
The app costs $1 per month, but the first month is free. It's available on iOS and Android.
LearnVest has both a free plan, as well as one that's $19 per month (after you pay a $299 set-up fee), depending on the type of financial planning support you'd prefer. With the paid plan, you get a financial planner assigned to you, so you literally have someone to speak to via email on your money matters. And if you think their fee is a lot, when you compare it to the cost of an in-person financial planner, you'll probably think twice. With the app overall, you create budgets and set goals, then track them. The app will also help you be aware of your spending and income. Soon, you'll see your spending habits, and what can be better.
LearnVest is available on iOS.
Ellevest is a digital advisor for women, by women, and helps them invest. Whether you're trying to save for a new house or retirement, it's all about your financial goals, and that’s where Ellevest comes in. They state that you can start investing in just 15 minutes. You first give them some background info and tell them your goals. Then they'll suggest customized contributions, timelines, and diversified investment portfolios for each of your goals — whatever is best for you. Plus, other factors are taken into consideration by Ellevest, too, like the facts that women's salaries vary from men's, and women are known to live longer. As for pricing, the prices vary depending on how much you'd like to invest. However, Ellevest's website states that it'll charge you .05% of assets under management — so for an account with $10,000 in assets, you'd pay about $50 per year. There's no required minimum — you get a personalized financial plan no matter what.
You can sign up for Ellevest via their website.
Acorns is micro investing made simple. You connect a credit or debit card (or several) that you make purchases with. Then you buy items as you normally would, and your purchase is rounded up to the next dollar. You can also set up recurring amounts to invest. What happens to your spare change? That money is invested for you via Acorns and is automatically diversified across 7,000 stocks and bonds. This helps improve your return while reducing your risk, Acorns' website states.
You can use the free app with iOS or Android.
As you can see from the above, just because you don't have a financial planner, all is not lost, money-wise. In fact, it'll be just the opposite when you use a service to help you manage, budget, and/or invest your money. Once you start seeing your savings, you'll see!