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Budgeting app recommendations
Old 05-26-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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Budgeting app recommendations

A young friend asked me to help him with his budgeting/finances. He's socking away 12% in his 401(k), has almost no credit card debt, some student loan debt, and a car payment. He's in much better shape than a lot of kids his age.

His problem is that he's paying ridiculous overdraft fees to BoA. He needs some kind of a budget app for his iPhone that alerts him to what bills are coming up for that week, so he doesn't overspend.

I've convinced him to take out his "fun" money in cash, and not go out on the town with a credit or debit card. When his cash is gone, he's got to head home.

I tried to turn him onto Quicken, but after showing him a little, he asked if you can do it on your phone. I know there is a Quicken Mobile App, but it seems more of a companion to your computer. I think something that is totally mobile makes more sense for him. I know very little about MINT and MoBill Budget, and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions and/or tips?

I think this will be an interesting project. Or not.
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:57 PM   #2
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Mint.com works for us.

It has a nice phone app and can alert you when things happen.

My DW and I use it mainly for tracking our transactions. My DF is using the budgeting features and has meet with pretty good results. You do have to figure out it's way of thinking about budgeting (not always the way my DF thinks), but once you get the hang of it, the budgeting part of Mint.com work quite well.

It's not perfect, but it does a lot and the price is right (free).
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Old 05-26-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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he could use Google Calendar to provide him alerts when his bills are do by setting up the monthly alerts. I do that with quarterly payments and est tax payment due dates. It will send an e-mail to you and you can set the e-mail alert buffer.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:21 PM   #4
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There is something called "You Need A Budget" (YNAB) which I believe has a phone app. I don't think it's free. Or he can do one online and learn a lot by paying for and reading the Dave Ramsey website, My Total Money Makeover.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:52 PM   #5
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I'm not a big fan of the "grab a wad of cash" and come home when you run out....there is always an ATM and always an excuse. Not only that, you have no tracking. At least if you put it on your debit card, you can be reminded how it wasn't worth 187.42 to be the guy buying rounds, and learn from that. You should be able to turn off overdraft protection (the transaction would be denied). And then you'd not forget buying THAT round, hehe. But I suppose a mobile app to transfer from savings would come to the rescue.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:02 PM   #6
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This worked for us. We built a $200 pad in our checking account. Then we subtracted it out, so when we reached $0 there was actually $200 left. It took a while to forget the pad was there, in fact we never really did, but we seldom went into it, so we never had over draw fees. Now that was almost 40 years ago so it may take more than $200 today. On the other side we put money in savings first, and spent all the rest. Once you have the pad in there, you are living on the same amount each month. To this day we still do not budget.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:41 PM   #7
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Try You Need a Budget and have him get the phone app.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:24 AM   #8
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Can he set up with his bank alerts when his balance gets below a certain amount?

What I have done since I was a young adult is to pay each bill as it comes in and deduct it from my balance. Back in the day when we mailed checks, I would put a stamp on it and then mail it a few days before the due date. Of course back then the float was worth something - today it isn't so I would mail them right away.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Can he set up with his bank alerts when his balance gets below a certain amount? ....
+1 USBank, for one, has this feature. It's not a budgeting app the OP seeks, but can prevent overdrafts. At USBank you can set the low balance amount that you want to trigger the phone alert.
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