When members of the military separate from the service their finances rightly become a very real and immediate concern. Many veterans will find supplemental income opportunities through unemployment benefits, VA disability compensation and/or pension, retirement savings and the GI Bill. Utilizing one or more of these veteran specific opportunities can make managing your finances an overwhelming burden. We’ve taken the time to comb through some popular finance management apps available for both iOS and Android to find the five personal finance apps veterans should download immediately.
Veterans who are interested in investing their money can do so easily with the Acorns app. After downloading the app, you will be asked to link a bank account and will be asked a few short questions regarding your current financial positions and goals.
The app uses the answers to determine the best investment strategy for you personally, i.e. conservative, moderate, aggressive, which can be adjusted at any time. You will need to activate the account with an initial $5 investment and then you can take advantage of all of their features.
The app’s most popular feature is the “round-ups,” which will round every purchase made to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change into your portfolio. Vets can also set up a recurring weekly or monthly contribution to their portfolio.
With their “Found Money” feature, Acorns has partnered with a number of companies that will match a percentage of your purchase and add it directly to the portfolio. One of the best aspects of the app is that withdraws are simple and penalty-free. This app offers a great way for veterans to start saving and investing money without even thinking about it. Download the app here!
Budgeting personal finances can be a headache. For veterans with multiple streams of income, it can be even more challenging. That’s what makes Mint one of the best personal finance apps for veterans.
Like Acorns, the app works by linking to your bank account. Once linked, the app will create a categorized budget for you based on your previous spending history.
For instance, the app can identify how much money you typically spend on groceries and entertainment and create budgets for those categories. If you’d rather ditch Mint’s budget, you can customize your own at any time. Aside from budgeting, the app offers an analysis of your financial health based on how much money you’re spending each month versus how much you’re saving.
The app will also send alerts when it identifies unusual spending and allow you to check your credit score for free. Veterans should download this app immediately so that they can start making the most out of their money. Download the app here!
Venmo offers veterans an easy way to send and receive money between friends. The app is perfect for paying friends back for minor expenses such as a dinner out, birthday gifts, or just about anything else.
The app links to your debit card/bank account and if you bank with almost any major institution, transactions are free. The app also allows you to make transactions with a credit card and lesser-known debit cards but tacks on a 3-percent fee. When you receive money you can transfer it directly to your bank account and it should be reflected in about one business day.
Aside from its basic function, the app takes a social media approach to money transactions by offering an optional Facebook-like newsfeed. In the newsfeed you can see, comment and like the various transactions your friends are making with the app.
The app’s simplicity and convenience helps to reduce financial stress and anxiety, which makes it one of the best personal finance apps for veterans. Download the app here!
Deciding how much to save each month can be challenging. Not every expense can be predicted and vets can often find themselves pulling out the money they just tucked away in savings to pay them off.
Digit solves this problem by linking to your checking account and analyzing where it can safely save a couple of dollars. Every few days the app will transfer between $5-$50 from your checking account to your Digit Savings account, while never transferring more money than you can afford to save. Digit even has a “no-overdraft” guarantee so you don’t have to worry about getting penalized for the app transferring too much.
The app allows you to access and withdraw all of your Digit Savings at any time without fees and the money will be posted to your account by the next business day. The app also allows you to save money to your Digit Savings account manually independent of its automatic transfers.
What makes this app different than the investment app Acorns is that your money will not be invested into the market but saved for immediate withdraw. This app can help veterans take the guesswork out of monthly savings, making it one of the best personal finance apps for veterans. Download it here!
Wallaby (Credit Cards)
Credit card rewards, interest rates and fees can change daily, and managing which credit card to use when and where can be tiresome for busy vets. This is what makes Wallaby one of the best personal finance apps for veterans. Within the app, you can select which cards you have and before you’re set to make a purchase whether in person or online, the app will breakdown which card should be used in order for you to minimize interest and/or maximize rewards.
You can also link your credit cards to the app and receive alerts when you’re spending too much or if there is suspicious activity on your account. The app will also send notifications when you can take advantage of special card-specific bonuses. This app can help veterans take a proactive approach to managing their credit cards which makes downloading this app a must! Download it here!
Many veterans are faced with financial uncertainty immediately after separating from the service. The apps listed above can help vets take control of their financial futures by organizing the money that is coming in and the money that is going out. Take the time to research the apps fully and see which ones you can take the most advantage of and download them immediately!