Finding your passion—and turning it into money—is tricky for anyone, but especially for women. The persistent gender wage gap, the lack of top female executives, and the dearth of mentorship present unique challenges. Luckily, our friends at Levo League give young women the tools and resources they need to navigate the workplace and to feel empowered and challenged in their careers. Check out their site for tips, tricks, and generally pretty wonderful advice about how to get the job you deserve.
One of the hardest parts about becoming an actual, real-life adult is how to manage your money. Payday arrives and before you know it, half of your hard-earned cash is already gone—compliments of rent, bills, and your much-needed morning coffee. (Not to mention all the times you bought lunch instead of making it, signed up for a last-minute SoulCycle class, and splurged on the new bag you’ve been eyeing for weeks.)
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Which is precisely why it’s never too early to learn how to budget. Thanks to technology, budgeting has been made easier (and more customizable) than ever. Want something to help curb over-spending? Done. Trying to save up for something big, like a house or a car? Got it. Without further ado, here are 10 awesome tools you should know about in 2016:
Basically the OG of financial apps, Mint makes it incredibly easy to view all your financial information at once. It’s as simple as adding bank accounts, credit cards, and bills, then getting a closer look at how much money you have and what you owe. You check up on your spending patterns as well as what you might be spending a little too much on in less than 10 minutes.
2. You Need a Budget (iPhone, Android, Desktop)
YNAB has four rules for budgeting success (and stress-free finances): give every incoming dollar a job, plan for bigger—and unexpected expenses—expenses, roll with the punches when you overspend, and learn to live on last month’s income. There’s a one-time fee of $60, but you can try it out for free to see if you like it first.
3. Pocketsmith (Desktop)
We know retirement seems like a long ways away, but Pocketsmith’s goal is to make sure you’re prepared. The tool allows you to see your daily bank balances up to 30 years in the future, schedule upcoming bills, break your budget down into different time periods, and test your financial decisions in a what-if scenario tool to see what the outcome will be down the road. Time machines might not be available yet, but this is the next best thing.
If you’re worried about security, this app will be your new go-to. Buxfer allows you to upload bank statements instead of entering sensitive passwords, and they don’t store your information on their server—it’s all on your computer. Another great perk—besides the simple layout and easily being able to keep track of what you’re spending—is how easy they make it to pay back friends you owe (or get reimbursed yourself) through Amazon Payments.
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5. Ready for Zero (iPhone, Android)
Truth: It’s easy to rack up debt. If you’ve found yourself trying to figure out how to pay off your credit cards and student loans, Ready for Zero can help make it happen in half the time. After linking your debt and figuring out what you owe, you’re given a personalized plan to conquer it. Trying to figure out complicated statements just gotmuch easier.
6. Level Money (iPhone, Android)
If you’re a visual person, you’ll love Level. It might not be the best tool for long-term spending, but if you want a simple way to see how much money you have, how much you’ve spent, and what you have left, this gets the job done.
Mvelopes is basically a virtual version of the classic envelope method—you know, where you set aside actual envelopes of money for each category of your budget, from groceries and rent to eating out and shopping. After setting aside money in the app, you’ll know exactly what you can and can’t spend without the fear of losing stacks of dollar bills in your apartment.
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Wally lets you take control of your finances by allowing you to compare your income to your expenses, set and achieve goals, and figure out exactly how you spend your money. A perk we really love? Being able to save pictures of receipts for your records with every expense you log. It’s 1,000 percent more effective than leaving them crumpled up in the bottom of your purse.
9. EveryDollar (iPhone, coming to Android in 2016)
Created by financial expert and New York Times bestselling author Dave Ramsey, EveryDollar works right in line with his famous Baby Steps program to help say goodbye to debt and stress. Because once that’s gone, you can really save. The most popular use for this app, though, is budgeting day-to-day expenses. If you’re not quite on track, you can make adjustments as needed.
Spendee has all the fun features. Not only does this app do your typical category budgeting in different wallets, but it has some extra perks, too. You can share wallets with family and friends, filter your transactions in easy-to-see categories, and even see where you spend the most money on a Google map-like layout. You may (or may not) be surprised where you whip out your credit card the most.
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