Keep Your Financial New Year’s Resolution With These Apps!

By Mana Tulberg

Read the latest edition of Business Review Canada!

At this time of the year many look back at the past 12 months and contemplate the idea of becoming a better version of themselves for the year ahead.  Losing weight, spending less, exercising more usually make the top of the New Year’s resolution list. However, paying down debt appears to be the top financial priority for many Canadians in 2015. According to an annual poll by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), for the fifth year in a row Canadian’s financial resolution has remained the same with one exception: “retirement planning is increasingly taking a back seat to more immediate financial needs; debt repayment has jumped even further for boomers.”

In CIBC’s poll Canadians identified the following as their top financial priorities for the year ahead:

  1. Paying Down Debt: 22% up 6% from 2014
  2. Building Savings: 12% up 1% from 2014
  3. Paying Bills/Getting By: 10% up 2% from 2014
  4. Managing Day-to-Day Spending/Budgeting: 9% up 1% from 2014
  5. Retirement Planning: 5% down 2% from 2014

 Source: CIBC

Credit-monitoring agency TransUnion reports that at the end of 2014 the average consumer’s non-mortgage debt level in Canada reached to more than $28,000. Consequently, more Canadians are committed to fulfilling a New Year pledge that ushers them closer to a debt-free living.

In the past few years we have become more dependent on our mobile devices for communication, entertainment and managing our daily tasks. Therefore, it is no surprise that we may now utilize our smartphones to help us avoid resolution pitfalls.

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Below are a few apps that can assist those of you who have placed “paying down debt” on your 2015 resolution list:

ReadyForZero:

This app is a personal financial management tool that helps you pay off debt and manage your credit. By using this app you can visualize your debt pay down progress wherever you go, Receive personalized guidance in real-time and Set mobile alerts to stay on top of your payment plan. ReadyForZero is available for Android and iPhone devices.

Debt Free:

Currently offered at $0.99 (U.S.), this app has been the top selling financial app in the past two years in Canada (Source: iTunes). You can analyze your model debt repayments to see when exactly you can become debt free. If you are an Android user make sure you check out Debt Payoff Planner for the same features.

Mint Personal Finance:

By mint.com, this app claims to help you with your spending, create a budget, receive bill reminders and save more money. Mint also gives you access to your free credit score and helps you learn how you can improve your score. Mint is available for Windows Phones, Android and iPhone devices.

BillMinder:

BillMinder simplifies your life by bringing all your bills into one manageable place. With this app you will know at a glance which bills need your attention. You can also track your expenses with comprehensive charts and graphs. BillMinder is available for Android and iPhone devices.

Allowance Manager:

This is a brilliant app for those who want to teach their kids how to manage their money. Through a pre-paid debit card, Allowance Manager lets parents and their children view all transaction at from anywhere at any given time. Allowance Manager is available for devices such as Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Fire Phone.

Between paying off debt and saving money, there are many apps available to Canadian smartphone owners. While many of these apps offer more or less the same services, it is up to you and your personal preference as to which app you use. Nevertheless, we would like to wish you a debt free and financially sound 2015.

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