(WWBT) - More than half of Americans who made a financial New Year's resolution last year said they finished the year in better financial shape than they started.
Resolutions can work, and there a few smartphone apps than help keep those goals on track.
Two important parts of maintaining better money managing skills is to track spending and set specific money goals.
Mint is of the best all-around budgeting apps. It lets you divide your spending into different categories and figure out a budget for each of those areas. Then, as you spent money, Mint moves that expense into the proper category so you track how much you've spent.
The app will also help you set savings goals and sends regular updates on your progress.
Another good app is Qapital. With Qapital, you can set up various rules to make your savings automatic. One option is to round up your purchases to nearest dollar and move the difference to a savings account.
Over time, 40 cents here or 60 cents there will add to nice little bundle, and it won't feel like you are missing out on any money because the deposits are so small.
It's also possible to set up an automatic transfer to savings each time you make a splurge purchase like eating dinner at a restaurant or stopping on the way to work for a morning coffee.
Digit is another app that works in a similar way, but it looks at your income and spending and figures out what you can afford to shift to savings and then makes those moves in small increments.
Digit can also give you a 1 percent savings bonus every three months. The app itself, however, is not free. It costs $2.99 each month.
If apps are not your thing, each of these outcomes can be accomplished with a little personal discipline.
Cherry Dale of Virginia Credit Union said there's always a way to make good financial decisions and save money along the way.
"The most important thing is staying on top of it," Dale said. "Tracking your expenses, whether it's through an app or just going into your bank account daily on online banking to see where your money is going, how much you have."
While the apps help you make savings automatic, you can likely accomplish the same thing by setting up regular transfers out of each paycheck direct to your savings accounts the same way direct deposit works into a checking account.
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