In the spirit of sharing and giving you guys more than looks I wanted to share some of my favorite finance apps. As you get older financial literacy and security become so important. With technology being what it is now, it’s easier than ever to do more than access your bank balance. You can get cash back on things you were already going to buy, get into the stock market and more all from your phone. So let’s do a run down of my favorites.
Before we get started honorable mentions go to my Chase and Capital One apps. Chase does these daily snapshots of how your money is doing which I love to see. It covers debit card usage, cash flow in and out, spending by category and a bit of financial trivia. Capital One offers me complimentary credit monitoring built into the app. So there’s no need for me to have a whole other app or sign up elsewhere. Though Credit Karma is a nice free alternative if your bank or credit card don’t provide these services like mine do.
What I’m Wearing: Genie by Eugenia Kim Jessia Hat | Chanel Cat-Eye Sunglasses | Afrm Zadie Semi Sheer Turtleneck | Golden Leaves Velvet Dress ℅ Farm Rio | White Studded Boots ℅ Lola Boutique | Alexander Wang Mini Roxy Bucket Bag
I like the Acorns app because it’s savings and investing in one. Which is perfect for anyone who wants their money working for them but doesn’t know the details of how one does that. It’s basically the idea of loose change but also the stock market. The app connects to your bank account and credit cards and rounds up your daily purchases. This “loose change” is automatically invested into a diversified portfolio of ETFs. They will ask you a few questions about your goals, whether you might need the money soon or not. Then based on the answers set up your portfolio. The options are conservatively, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive, or aggressive. You can change between the options at any time as well as pause your investments. Because of this no brainer setup, Acorns has created an easy entry into the stock market. This removes the traditional entry barriers such as fees etc. I only use Acorns Core which is $1 a month. They also offer a retirement account (Acorns Later) and a checking account with debit card (Acorns Spend).
Download Acorns (referral link)
Dosh or DO$H (free)
Not having to jump through hoops to earn cash back is probably Dosh’s biggest perk. A cash back app that you can sign up for and forget about. Dosh gives you money back at select stores and retailers every time you shop with your linked debit card or credit card. To me it’s the best cash back app, you don’t need to turn it on before you make a purchase or fiddle with coupons or points. Unlike Ebates which I’m constantly forgetting to log into before I buy so they can track my purchase! They also don’t sell your info to third party users like so many other apps and sites do. I get the most cash back from restaurants than anything else. But I’ve gotten cashback from buying gas, CVS, Sephora, even Macy’s. Once your balance reaches $25 (it adds up) you can donate it or transfer it via direct deposit or PayPal. A typical dine between me and my boyfriend at our favorite Indian restaurant gets me $3.65 back in my Dosh wallet. It also doesn’t interfere with any other programs or cash back set ups your card may already have. Dining at that same restaurant also gets me Delta miles and I like that Dosh doesn’t interfere with that. Again Dosh is safe, they make their money by the fees they charge merchants to be on their app, not your information. I haven’t done it yet, but if you book a hotel through Dosh you can receive up to 40% off.
Download Dosh (referral link)
Keeper Tax ($12/mo)
This app I’m just getting started with but I already feel comfortable recommending it. It’s an app that helps US freelancers and 1099 contractors automatically find tax write offs throughout the year. You tell the app what kind of freelancer you are and what your expenses could be so they set up a tax profile for you. Then it monitors your purchase history in real time to find business expenses. You can get text notifications which will give you a heads up on what’s being written off and whether it should be. Or you can do it all in the app if texts are overwhelming for you. I’ve included a screenshot of what the texts look like and how easy it is to respond.
This year already I’ve saved over $500. I’m not gonna say I’m looking forward to doing my taxes because I’m not. but I feel a little bit lighter about it with Keeper. You can also file taxes with Keeper online.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I was a Klarna ambassador last year. It is a Buy Now, Pay Later app. There are quite a few of these going around at the moment but Klarna is my favorite. It’s interest-free and you pay back your purchase in four installments. The first payment is due on checkout and then you pay the rest back within 30 days. It’s fast, it’s easy and no minimum credit score is required. The loan amounts may be smaller than other apps but again there’s no interest on your loan. You can also use Klarna anywhere unlike some of the other apps because you can create a ghost card. A ghost card is a single-use, prepaid card that allows you to make a purchase at almost any US online retailer. So from Amazon to Net-A-Porter, as long as you can pay online you can use Klarna.
Quickly I’ll mention some of the other Buy Now, Pay Later apps going around. Affirm offers a much higher spending limit because it checks your credit. They also charge interest on the loan. Payments are monthly, so you don’t have to pay it back within 30 days. AfterPay is interest free but only works at retailers that have AfterPay. No ghost card features. QuadPay is similar but you can add a card to your Apple Wallet and use it like you would Apple Pay. Pretty interesting how they’re all kinda the same but different.
Do not (and I cannot stress this enough) play around and ruin your credit with these apps. Though some may not check your credit or require a minimum score, they will not play if you miss a payment. Be responsible don’t overextend yourself just because you don’t have to pay right away. All of these apps will report non payment even if they don’t report your good history. Make sure you crunch the numbers on your budget and work out how many purchases you can realistically pay off at once.
Robinhood is a full-service stock broker that is completely free. Again this is another app that empowers people of any background to get involved in the stock market. They offer zero-fee accounts with no trading fees. It supports stocks, ETFs, options and even cryptocurrency. I only deal with stocks here. You get a free stock on sign up and if you refer someone else. All the stocks I have received are doing pretty well. They keep you abreast of news relating to investments in your portfolio. You can also monitor other stocks you might be interested in purchasing. Why use Robinhood instead of Acorns? Robinhood allows you to invest individual stocks and Acorns does not. You can buy a huge range of stocks and more. However Robinhood provides no guidance so you gotta think about what you’re doing here. Acorns takes care of the investing for you so you don’t have to worry about what to choose. I personally like both options, though there’s definitely less room for error with Robinhood.
Sorry this ended up being so long but I wanted to be thorough. Any of these apps could be a good fit for your finances. If you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer.
Robinhood (referral link)