You could spend hours creating a budget, assessing your investments, projecting your retirement income and monitoring your credit score, or you could use your tablet or smartphone to complete essential financial tasks.
Financial apps and websites make it easier than ever to manage your financial life online, no computer science degree required. Here are six of our favorites:
1. Mint: One of the most popular budgeting apps, Mint, is best known for synching with your bank accounts to track spending and saving but the free tool does so much more. You can use the app to track and pay bills, monitor investments, create a budget or access your credit score. It also features a tool to help you project how decisions like purchasing a big-ticket item or making extra contributions to your savings account will impact your finances.
2. FairHealth: To help consumers manage healthcare costs, the nonprofit organization created a free Consumer Cost Lookup tool available online or as a smartphone app. Use the tool to get free estimates on out-of-pocket costs for dental and medical procedures, compare costs between providers and estimates of how much insurers will cover for out-of-network care.
3. AARP Retirement Calculator: Are you saving enough for retirement? This free online calculator asks questions about salary, retirement savings and supplemental retirement income such as pensions and Social Security and determines how much money you’ll need to retire (and how close you are to hitting your goal).
4. Key Ring: Download this free app and leave your loyalty cards at home. Key Ring stores all of your membership data so you can get store discounts without stuffing your wallet with bulky cards. Bonus: You can also use the app to create shopping lists and search for sales and coupons.
5. Credit Karma: Some apps offer credit score tracking as part of their software. If you prefer a dedicated app to monitor your credit score, download the free Credit Karma app. The app displays your current scores from TransUnion and Equifax, providing a numeric score and a rating such as “good” or “fair.” It also shows your credit accounts (mortgages, home equity lines of credit and credit cards) and their balances.
6. State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees: Kiplinger created an interactive map that provides a state-by-state breakdown of taxes on retirement income, property and purchases. The color-coded map also includes an at-a-glance look at which states are the most (and least) tax-friendly for retirees.
These simple-to-use tools will make it easier to manage your financial life without leaving home.