Andrew from Andrew Uncharted has learned to travel while still keeping up with his 9-5 day job. On his site he shares stories about his adventures and gives advice to other travelers. Below, he’s put together an awesome article to share some of his favorite money-saving apps with us!
Hello there! My name’s Andrew and I run an adventure blog, Andrew Uncharted (https://www.andrewuncharted.com), that focuses on traveling cheap, far, and wide while working a 9-5. If you’re as obsessed with traveling as I am, then you’re always planning the next trip (even when you’re currently on one). The only problem is, that costs money. One of the best ways to maximize your travel is to really lock down your budget! Nervous? Don’t be! I have a list of 4 easy-to-use apps I’ve used to help save for my travels. I know they’ll benefit you too. Check ’em out below!
Note: Some of these apps ask for sensitive financial information and, despite the apps being secure, be careful! I’m not a financial advisor, so do your own homework before making a final decision. I’ve included the links, cost (if any), and mobile download links below each app summary.
Mint handles the most basic part of saving money: making a budget. After downloading, you can add as many of your checking, savings, and investment accounts as you’d like (I have about 6 pulling in data) and display their balance and account history. The more you add, the better you can make a budget and track your income and expenses. Mint’s app has a very clean and usable interface and all of your information is displayed in easy-to-read charts and graphs. You can also access all of your data through the website on your desktop as well.
Making a budget is incredibly simple. You add a budget category, then drag the price to your monthly limit. Once you’ve entered all of your categories, you’ll see a bar graph that shows how you’re doing for your budget that month! Other useful tools include: an overview of your accounts (with total Cash, Debt, and Investments), upcoming bills, a free credit score, credit card suggestions, and other useful charts-at-a-glance. Mint is my foundation when it comes to planning and budgeting for travel!
Download Links: Apple (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mint-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8), Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mint&hl=en)
Acorns’ tagline is, “Anyone Can Grow Wealth.” That’s 100% on the money because saving with Acorns is one of the easiest things you can do. The app rounds up every purchase and stores that change away. While I initially was skeptical on how much you could save just based on change, I changed my tune after logging into the app a few weeks later! What’s the adage, “A penny saved is a penny earned?” Well, Acorns helps you save a whole bunch of pennies.
The account creation process is super easy. You hook up a credit card through the app, then make purchases! The app does the rest. You can also set up recurring investments and they also have a neat referral program that gives you benefits for every friend you sign up to the program. Protip: hook up a travel card you use often. The large number of purchases will mean you save a bunch through Acorns, but you’ll also get the extra points from rounding up. Just like that, you have yourself a travel savings double-whammy.
Cost: $1 / Month
Download Links: Apple (https://itunes.apple.com/app/id883324671?mt=8), Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.acorns.android&hl=en)
Digit operates similarly to Acorns; it’s another auto-saving service. The way Digit differs from Acorns is in the amount it saves and the way it decides that amount. Digit incorporates an algorithm that analyzes your spending, compares it to your current bank balance, and saves what it thinks is a safe amount of money. This amount can range from as little as $3 (if your spending is high and balance is low) to upwards of $100 (if your spending is low and balance is high).
I know what you’re thinking. “But Andrew, how secure can this actually be? What if it overdrafts?” Have no fear, Digit has a no-overdraft guarantee. On top of that, your money is FDIC insured up to $250,000. I think the coolest part of Digit is you can set aside different savings goals with their own deadlines. The algorithm will take that into account and save money accordingly so you meet those goals. It’s the perfect way to budget for multiple trips/purchases/puppies without thinking about it!
Cost: Free for 100 days. $2.99 / Month after
The best way I can describe Betterment it’s a savings account that’s very similar to a 401k, but with more access. From the get-go on their website, you can put in your age, working status, and annual income. Then, Betterment will suggest several different types of accounts with different investment splits. As someone who’s a beginner in the world of investing, this was hugely helpful for me.
In addition to that, you get round-the-clock investing advice. Have a question about the best moves for you? Contact the Betterment support team at any time. Some of the other benefits they offer are: no additional trading fees, no additional transfer fees, unlimited rebalancing, and tax-loss harvesting. Protip: Add your Betterment accounts to your Mint! It’ll help give a big picture on your actual net worth. Betterment is the main tool I use for saving money towards a specific, long-term goal and it’s really been paying dividends! See what I did there?
Cost: 0.25% Annual Fee for the base level
Download Links: Apple (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id393156562?mt=8), Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.betterment&hl=en)
Short, sweet, and to the point. Easy, isn’t it? If you use all or any of these apps to help you start saving money, you’ll be traveling in no time. If you want additional tips on how to save money, check out my simple penny-pinching tips here (https://www.andrewuncharted.com/save-money-travel-easier/). Also, once you have some cash saved up, these are 5 travel apps you NEED to book your next adventure. (https://www.andrewuncharted.com/5-travel-apps/). Might as well put that hard-earned money to good use, right? I hope to see you around my part of the interwebs soon!
Andrew Santoro / Andrew Uncharted (https://www.andrewuncharted.com/about/)
I’m an adventure blogger, travel photographer, and South Floridian taco enthusiast. I’ve figured out how to travel cheap, far, and wide while still working a regular day job. I want to take what I’ve learned and help you do the same! Check out my website and social media for more useful travel tips and photography tricks.