Saving for a down payment? These apps will help you budget

When you have a goal that’s important but costly, achieving it takes hard work. This is especially true when buying a home. Not only do you need to have a sound financial background to get a loan, you need a down payment. With the cost of living rising in Idaho, how do you save for a down payment and still make ends meet?

Even with a savings plan in place, we have all been in this situation: You have paid all the bills, figured out how much money you can save, when all of a sudden you check your bank account and there is much less than you thought. Somehow, you haven’t stuck to your plan to save for a down payment.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were tools out there to help you budget or save? Spoiler alert: there are.

According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own a smartphone. As technology advances, mobile apps have a profound impact on how we live.

Apps that can help you save for a down payment

    1. Clarity Money
      This app alerts you when you spend too much money in one area. Usually, people have budgets for certain areas in their life, like grocery shopping or gas. Say you are spending a lot more in groceries than you usually do, Clarity Money will alert you before you make a purchase to help you stay on track. It can use that data to make financial goals for you and help you save for a down payment.
    2. Mint
      This app takes all of your bank accounts and lays them out in a simple design so you can get an overview of your monthly spending. It will inform you of unusual spending and create financial goals for you. The best part? Mint can offer advice on how to reduce spending – further helping you on your way to that down payment.
    3. Mvelopes
      This app combines old-school budgeting with new-age technology. Have you ever used the envelope method to budget? For those who haven’t, it’s a budget control method in which you put a certain amount of money in an envelope for the week or month. You use only that amount of money for say, groceries or gas. If the envelope is empty, you don’t buy it. Mvelopes helps you manage your money on a monthly basis so you can take better control of your finances. After all, you might as well have an envelope for your down payment, right?
    4. GoodBudget
      This app also hinges on the envelope system. The method is tried and true, and now that it is tech based, it’s even easier to budget. The difference between this app and Mvelopes is that you and a spouse can sync accounts so the whole family can stay on budget.

Saving and budgeting can be hard, especially when saving for something big like a down payment. These apps can help you stay on track without hindering your other spending. If none of these apps strike your fancy, don’t worry. There are many more out there. Check out this list from Forbes.

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