Bank app

I bank at 5/3 which is a familiar name in this part of the country. But it could be any bank, really. This is my checking account, and my short term savings for emergencies or vacations. The everyday income and outgoing money that runs the household. This app is my pivot point for short term money decisions. Checking this often throughout the day is really important. Being able to check what has come out at any time of day, or anywhere is critical. Saves me from making spending mistakes because I wasn’t aware. Everybody’s life is hectic and complicated. It’s so easy to ignore bills coming out. Random costs that come through as the days go by that weren’t planned for are the most dangerous. And having two parents pulling from that account makes it even messier. Easy to say yes to everything when you are unaware of your account balance. So I check this app often, especially before I make a purchase. At the very least I check it first thing in the morning, and end of day in the evening. That way, as parents and spouses, we can warn each other to tighten the reigns. So easy to just check. But makes a huge difference. The added benefit of my bank app is if any fraud did happen, I can see it immediately.

 

 

Mint

Friend of mine I work with mentioned this popular app back when it came out. I have been using it ever since. It is a significant part of my money success, especially becoming debt free, and mortgage free. It gets all kinds of criticism as much as praise. It’s not perfect. The account updates can be inconsistent, even sort of buggy once in awhile. The budgets are helpful, but sometimes they don’t sync well enough and can be late to reflect actual numbers. But I think the longer term benefits far outweigh these. It’s my dashboard for all my accounts. Being able to see if I am actually getting ahead is my favorite part. It will show all my assets and debts, along with a total net worth. That’s the golden ticket for me. Checking it and moving these numbers in a positive direction is the power it provides. It visualizes what your money is doing as a whole. What loans and debt do to destroy your financial picture. For me to calculate all these separate accounts by myself and tabulate them weekly, or even monthly would rarely happen. Mint gamifies it for me. I am constantly aware of keeping depreciating assets or debts away, and building my growing assets to increase my total score: net worth.

 

 

Health Insurance Provider app

My health insurance provider is United Health Care. They provide an app that has a way to see and track your deductibles, balances. We use a high deductible plan because we have so many chronic conditions in my family. This makes it expensive in the first part of the year. Out of pocket costs are high, but come down, or mostly go away once we meet the deductible amount. So being able to check progress is vital. Knowing you are only a few dollars away from meeting an amount makes a big difference than always wondering, and not knowing where the finish line is.

 

 

Other apps

This is the surprising part. It’s easy to think I use stock trading apps, retirement planners and all kinds of financial calculators in my app collection. Fact is, I rarely need or visit these subjects. I have an investment account, but I purchase mutual funds, and don’t buy individual stocks. I am never trying to beat the market in any short term sense. If I buy or sell anything, it’s pretty uneventful, and can really just do it on a laptop when I have free time. Same for retirement. It’s all being deposited automatically, and the funds the money is going towards is predetermined. I have no reason to check these types of accounts or do transactions in a way that I need the convenience of an app on my phone. Regarding all the loan calculators available out there, I really don’t deal with getting loans and the interest costs, so have no use for them. Pretty simple really.

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