These Free Apps Will Help You Manage Your Money

Some people get in the habit of managing their money as if they were born doing so. Through a combination of Excel spreadsheeting, becoming best friends with their account balances, and careful tracking — they manage to stay on target all on their own.

Those of us who need a little more guidance have to decide whether to do it so on the cheap: Paying for a traditional financial advisor can cost anywhere from $100 to a few thousand. Some nonprofit organizations do provide free or low-cost consultations, but if you need a bit more hand-holding for a longer amount of time, you might have a hard time without forking over the cash.

Fortunately, a growing crop of companies are looking to providing these services for free to those who are interested. Here are some options to check out.

Capital One Credit Wise

People hoping to build or repair their credit scores might find this app useful. CreditWise (which is free for all to use — not just Capital One customers) simulates ways to improve your credit score and provides credit monitoring. "(BTW... it won't hurt your score)," the company assures.

Priya Malani, a partner at Stash Wealth, has called this one of her favorite apps, as it enables users to see how different actions may impact those areas. Instead of daring yourself to take certain actions and then wondering how they might shake out, CreditWise provides advice on what the end result might be before you do anything. (For example, the impact of closing a credit card.)

This app focuses on three main areas: income, credit scores, and your debt-to-income ratio. Users can find out the main factors impacting their VantageScore, sign up for alerts whenever their TransUnion report changes ("including recent inquiries, delinquent accounts, and more"), and review their report.

The app is obviously part of the Intuit/TurboTax family and can offer customized tips based on your tax and credit data — but the company promises not to "upsell you or ask for any credit card info."

MoneyLion helps users figure out how to borrow, save, and invest, providing financial tips along the way.

Similar to Turbo, the basic MoneyLion plan can help users figure out how certain actions may impact them financially. For example, the app can estimate how many points your credit score would increase by paying off a credit card balance or making a balance transfer.

Wela functions most like a digital financial advisor of the bunch by tracking daily, weekly, or monthly spending, offering comparisons to other users, and dispensing personalized advice.

This app has a longer-term focus. People with retirement planning goals, dreams of saving up for school, buying a home, or getting out of debt can get develop plans to get their based on their current circumstances.
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