Planning for your financial future may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s never been easier to get the ball rolling. Long gone are the days of complicated spreadsheets and drawers stuffed to the brim with receipts. In 2021, make it your mission to get a basic handle on your financial health so that saving, investing, and retirement planning become second nature.
Whether it’s tracking your spending, filing your taxes, or building a budget that causes you the most grief, these simple-to-use personal finance apps break down the basics so you can finally take charge of your finances. Here are five of the best financial goal planning tools to download today.
To set yourself up for a successful financial future, you must first get a firm grasp on your present financial situation. If you’ve struggled to manage your money closely in the past, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Pragmatically speaking, in terms of your personal financial literacy, assessing your credit report is the easiest way to get started.
Credit reports can affect your mortgage rates, credit card approvals, and even rental agreements and job offers. If you review your credit report often, not only are you well positioned to manage your credit, but you’ll also be able to flag any fraudulent charges that pop up.
Annual Credit Report makes it easy to get started. You’ll fill out a form to request one, two, or three credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and/or TransUnion. Next, answer a few security questions before hitting the “submit” button; your personal information will be secure.
It is important to note that your free annual credit report does not include your credit score; rather, it provides you with the tools to track your transactions and identity theft risks and offers you tips for improving your credit score.
Before you can begin to accrue wealth, you need to understand where your money is coming from and where it’s headed. Decades-old financial advice would tell you to save your receipts and keep a meticulous spreadsheet of your daily and weekly spending habits. In 2021, there’s an easier solution.
Intuit’s budgeting app, Mint, boasts that it allows you to see “all your money in one place.” By syncing all of your digital spending: cash, credit cards, investments, and bills, you can keep close tabs on your spending at all times. Mint integrates UX design so that monitoring your financial health is easy to do. Categorize your spending (rent, food, shopping, and so on). Though getting honest about your finances (such as that gym membership you never use or that monthly subscription you forgot about) may feel like a bit of tough love, you’ll also better position yourself for money-saving habits in the long run.
Discover the ins and outs of Intuit’s Mint app.
Do you dread filing your taxes each year? It may be time to invest in software that simplifies the tax-filing process.
Intuit’s TurboTax walks you through the entire e-filing process from start to finish. In most cases, you simply upload copies of your W-2 forms to maximize your deductions and tax refund. Especially in 2021, in the era of the side hustle, tax filers may need a little extra assistance documenting their total annual earnings. TurboTax offers tax expert assistance by video chat to answer all of your questions. TurboTax boasts a fast tax refund; 90 percent of taxpayers receive their refund in 21 days or less.
Learn more about TurboTax Free Edition.
Identity theft can happen fast, at the moment you least expect. And there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re scrambling to close accounts and flag fraudulent charges after your personal information has been compromised.
IDProtect helps you prepare for these types of attacks long before they become imminent threats. IDProtect works with you to monitor financial accounts and billing statements so that it is easy to detect and combat any suspicious activity. Secondarily, IDProtect allows you to view your credit report and score to keep tabs on your most recent financial history, which can affect your ability to apply for loans and manage credit moving forward. In the case that your account is compromised, you’ll be able to work one on one with a fraud specialist to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.
Whatever the conditions of your financial affairs may be today, it is never too late to become more financially savvy. Financial goal planning tools help you to manage your money responsibly while putting your mind at ease. For more tips about budgeting in 2021, visit us at FSCB.