TECH TOOLS TO TRY

Canadian Living - - Life & Community -

1 BUD­GET BOSS

Apps that track your spend­ing, such as Mint and YNAB, take spend­ing info from your bank ac­count and cat­e­go­rize it, let­ting you know when you’ve ex­hausted your bud­get for, say, en­ter­tain­ment or gro­ceries, so you can make up for it in other ar­eas (don’t for­get to man­u­ally track what you spend in cash). Be­fore you sign up, how­ever, read your bank con­tract’s fine print—giv­ing a third-party provider ac­cess to your bank ac­count may nul­lify your pro­tec­tion from iden­tity theft and fraud.

2 SE­CRET SAV­INGS

Ev­ery time you spend, you can save a bit, too! Some bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions, along with apps such as Mylo and Wealth­sim­ple’s roundup fea­ture, will round your pur­chase to the near­est dol­lar and move that “spare change” into a des­ig­nated sav­ings or in­vest­ment ac­count. You won’t no­tice the pinch, but your des­ig­nated ac­count will grow month af­ter month.

3 MAS­TER COUPONER

Coupons, re­bates and price com­par­isons are at your fin­ger­tips with a smart­phone in hand. Cana­dian com­pany Flipp al­lows you to search fly­ers and save cer­tain coupons to your shop­ping list—and if your lo­cal store boasts a price-match guar­an­tee, the app is your oys­ter. Groupon and Trav­el­zoo are great for dis­counts on travel, restau­rants, ac­tiv­i­ties, goods and ser­vices, while apps such as Ebates and Check­out 51 of­fer re­bates for what you buy, mail­ing you a cheque.

4 DEBT CAL­CU­LA­TORS

If you’re in the mar­ket for a larger-ticket item (think car or home), down­load a free easy-to-use loan cal­cu­la­tor— or look for a no-cost op­tion from your fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion. En­ter the price and the term, then it will cal­cu­late your pay­ments and in­ter­est so you can find a plan that makes sense for you. There are also debt-re­pay­ment cal­cu­la­tor apps that track your progress as you pay down your credit card or loan.

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