Managing Your Money? Try These 10 Finance Apps + Websites

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If blood, sweat, and tears were the currency most widely accepted, an actor’s bills would never be a worry. But with so many artists out of work amid our global pandemic, or working extra gigs and side hustles to pay rent (and, of course, eat) as always, every penny counts. 

Backstage has gathered below a list of resources, including handy websites and apps, that every actor should check out on his or her journey to become financially fit. Maybe you made a resolution at the start of 2020 (remember way back when?) to manage your money better. Perhaps you’re struggling to keep your expenses in order. Regardless of your former goals, it’s always smart to look at your finances frequently and find some areas to save and perhaps places to invest.

Acorns
Keep the change! That’s your checking account talking to your Acorns investment account. Acorns Lite, the cheapest option, costs $1 per month and will take the “spare change” on every purchase you make to set aside a fund for your savings. So if your groceries cost $56.55, Acorns will take the remaining 45 cents to round up to a dollar and hide those 45 cents away in your separate account. With a $3.97 coffee, three cents will go to your Acorns account. With each purchase, that change can add up quickly. You set the rules on how much goes into your Acorns account.

Axos
This app, formerly known as WiseBanyan, is free to use. With it, users can set up an account that automatically withdraws based on your preferences. The app allows you to set goals and start collecting for a rainy day fund. You can set a goal of buying a home, making renovations, buying a car, or having enough set aside to quit your side hustle. Then Axos will automatically take your dollar amount of your choice each month and set it aside to invest for that purpose. There are no fees and no account minimum.

Credit Karma
Have you been wanting to learn more about what goes into your credit score—and how you can improve it? Credit Karma will send emails with new score alerts and tell you when “you’re on a hot streak.” Then there’s Credit Karma Tax, which allows users to file their taxes for free. While the process is surprisingly uncomplicated, they include a chat feature if you run into questions. Credit Karma’s app will send you occasional messages about ways to improve your credit score and keep it up.

Ellevest
This one has been somewhat controversial with its “Invest Like a Woman” messaging. The platform, founded by former Wall Street banker Sallie Krawcheck, is focused on women because she understands that they are often paid less and live longer, and therefore their financial investments can be different. (Men can use the platform too.) If you’re not into the app but have questions about managing money, Ellevest also has a wealth of financial information on its website.

Honeydue
Honeydue is an app for couples who want to keep track of their bills together, so it could help you with both your finances and your relationship. If you and your partner eat out a lot, Honeydue can help you two split the check. And if you take turns paying for Internet or electric bills, it might be helpful to let the app do the “nagging.” You can also chat with your significant other through the app, an idea that may sound silly, but is marketed as keeping the attention on money all in the same place, versus talking about bills during dinner.

Mint
This popular money management app is known for its ability to do a little bit of “everything”—from account balances, bill tracking, credit score monitoring and more. If this much breadth seems overwhelming and you’d rather keep certain tasks in separate apps, it might be easier to check out some of the others listed here.

Robinhood
This commission-free app, designed for investing in stocks and exchange traded funds, is “for everyone.” Robinhood also allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. Robinhood’s website is another great resource if you’re looking to educate yourself more about your money.

READ: 9 Survival Jobs Actors Can Do From Home

SoFi
For folks looking to refinance their student loans, SoFi has options available. The platform, originally called Social Finance Inc., also will help you save and invest, but it’s best known for its loans and refinancing options. Users can also apply for personal loans or check out rates for a mortgage. According to SoFi, it’s “not a bank—in a good way.”

TrueBill
TrueBill allows your to cancel or save on recurring payments. Let’s say your TimeWarner bill is $70 a month. Scan a PDF or snap a pic of your bill and TrueBill will call TimeWarner on your behalf and negotiate a better rate. So if they negotiate your bill down to $65 per month, you save $60 per year; you’d “share” the savings that TrueBill negotiates and keep the majority yourself. It’s worth it for folks who don’t really have the time to be hanging on the phone with their phone carriers, cable providers, or other companies, but think they could probably get a better rate on certain services. TrueBill also tracks your bills, so it will give you a heads up about recurring payments to stay on top of it.

Upstart
Let’s face it. Many performers don’t have a lot of income arriving in their accounts these. If you find yourself in a position where you can’t pay for the necessities, it might be a good idea to take out a small loan. Even if it’s only $1,000 to $5,000, Upstart is an option. Upstart or similar online loan platforms will usually have a lower interest rate than your credit card, so it might be good to do a side-by-side comparison to work on debt consolidation. If you can’t pay off your debt just yet, it might be worthwhile to take out a small loan that you can pay down each month versus building up debt on high-interest credit cards.

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