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FLM 2017: These Apps Will Help You Deal with Your Debt

You use it to connect with your friends, to organize your thoughts, to track your health. So why not use your smartphone to reduce your debt?

No matter what your age, smartphones have become ubiquitous — a must-have in today’s world. Yet many people don’t use them as part of their debt plan.

The reality is, changing spending habits can have a serious impact on how you pay off existing debt. By cutting back on daily purchases, or rethinking your bigger expenses (like cable TV, home Internet, streaming services, and a second vehicle), you free up money to help with debt. Why not use the device in your pocket to help keep you on track wherever you are?

For November’s Financial Literacy Month, get your smartphone working for you with these financial apps.

Get your bank and credit card apps.

Most major banks in Canada have an app, which can be a great starting point. Beyond just checking your balances or depositing cheques, many of these apps provide access to investment calculators, and allow you quick ways to pay off debt.

For credit cards, the convenience of mobile access is more obvious — by checking your balance on-the-go, it’s easier to keep track of spending and more difficult to load up a balance beyond what you can pay off.

Try out a budgeting app like Mint or YNAB.

These go beyond just checking your budget. With Mint, you can monitor and sort spending. You can also set up notifications for low account balance notifications. With YNAB, you can learn to practice “intentional spending”: knowing what you want to do with your money before you spend it.

Financial planner Sandi Martin advises combining these newfound tracking tools with a more holistic approach: building structure in your life, but doing it in a way that keeps you content and on track. Apps like Mint and YNAB are simply easier than a spreadsheet, and make budgeting a little more fun and less stressful.

Snowball your debt with Debt Manager.

What’s the best way to pay off my debt? It’s one of the more common questions people have about their debt. Debt Manager suggests taking bites out of your debt instead of big chunks — small wins can improve your mindset. You enter your loans and payment info, set some priorities, and work out a monthly payment. From there, the app charts your progress.

You can also test rising interest rates, higher payments, and more. Once you know which debts you want to prioritize (mortgage, student debt, your car loan, etc.) Debt Manager can help you build a plan that works long-term.

Tell us what app you use to help you reduce debt. #FLM2017 #LITsCanHelp #DebtSolutions

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