Apps to help you keep your money-saving New Year’s resolutions

You never hear anyone say, “I resolve to drain my bank account in the new year!” With the arrival of every new year, one of the most common resolutions is to spend less and save more.

According to Nerd Wallet 84 percent of Americans resolve to do better with their money but over half failed to achieve it.

Why is that? Why is it so hard to spend less and save more? Like other resolutions it takes a daily promise to yourself that you want to skip that cup of coffee or lunch out.

You may need an app to help. Mint is a money tracking app that’ll watch practically every penny that comes your way. You’ll connect “Mint” to your bank and credit card accounts. That’s pretty scary, but Mint says it encrypts your data so the bad guys don’t get it.

According to the website haveibeenpwned.com, Mint hasn’t experienced a data breach in the past.

Once you give it the OK, Mint will monitor your accounts for activity. If a large purchase is made by check or credit card, you’ll get a notification. If a large sum of money goes into your bank account, you’ll get a notification.

Mint is good for showing where your money goes every month by automatically putting any spending in categories. It knows if your credit card was used at a restaurant and will put that transaction into a “eating out” category. At the end of the month you can see or compare if you spent more eating out than the month before.

Mint will also suggest how much you should save each month for retirement. I’ve found it to be very helpful in helping me easily see where my money is going and where I can save.

Acorns is an interesting app that micro-invests your change by rounding up every purchase.

Again, you’ll need to connect it to your bank account. If you use the debit card from it, Acorns will round up the cost of a cup of coffee for example. If the total comes out to $1.86, Acorns will put the other 14 cents into a mutual fund.

It doesn’t sound like the money would ever amount to anything, but some users report saving $1,000 and more over time.

Both apps are available for iPhones and Android devices and are free.

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