The Top Apps for Dealing with Money Stress
Harrison Pierce is a writer and a digital nomad, specializing in personal finance with a focus on credit cards. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a major in sociology and is currently traveling the world.Read full bio
At a Glance
Sixty-five percent of adults in the U.S. say that money is a significant source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association. Here are eight apps that can help you get your finances on track and reduce your stress.
Money-related stress throughout U.S.
No matter which statistic you look at, the results are the same: Americans are stressed about money. A Mind over Money survey from Capital One found that 77% of Americans report feeling anxious about their financial situation. This survey found that the primary cause of money-related stress was financial futures. Nearly 70% of people surveyed are concerned that they don’t have enough money to retire, and 56% are nervous about keeping up with the cost of living.
A different survey from Thriving Wallet, which is backed by Discover, found that a whopping 90% of Americans feel that finances have an impact on their stress levels. 65% of people say that these financial problems have become so large that it isn’t possible to overcome them. It’s clear that the vast majority of us are concerned with our finances and don’t know what to do about it.
The solution might just be in our hands. There are a variety of apps out there that can help you manage and overcome stress, money problems, and money-related stress. Utilizing the resources available to you can allow you to take proactive steps to understand and respond to financial concerns.
is the total average balance for consumer debt in the U.S.
The top apps for managing stress
Happify is a revolutionary app that uses science-based exercises to help you gain control of your emotions and work toward happiness. According to their studies, 86% of Happify users are happier two months after they start using the app. Playing games and doing activities for just a few minutes each day can lead to an overall increase in mental health.
The main goal when using Happify is to connect with your thoughts and feelings through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques. The free version still has a lot of benefits for users, but the paid version gives you all the features of the app. It costs $14.99 per month or $139.99 per year to unlock all the benefits. If you want to make improving your mental health fun and feel as if you’re just playing games, look into this app.
Bloom is a self-guided therapy app that aims to make therapy affordable and accessible for everyone. Their mission is to help 1 billion people improve their mental health. If you’re currently struggling with finances, you can see if this app helps your anxiety. The app uses state-of-the-art therapy techniques and presents them in a self-guided manner, which is said to be just as effective as face-to-face therapy. Start by selecting your goals, which include the following options: calm anxiety, relieve stress, find purpose, sleep soundly, build habits, and self-growth. Then, select how familiar you are with therapy, and note any symptoms you’re currently experiencing. Bloom will create a personalized program based on the information provided and prompt you to create an account. It currently costs $14.49 per month, $59.99 per year, or $399.99 for a lifetime subscription. If you aren’t sure about it, you can start a 7-day free trial to see if it could work for you.
3. Debt Payoff Planner
If the source of your financial stress is debt, then the Debt Payoff Planner is here to help. It allows you to input your debts that you’d like to pay off and breaks down the steps you need to take to become debt free. You can see the overview of your debts, which will include things like your balance, APR, minimum payment, and payoff progress. Then you have a strategy section, which lets you see different repayment strategies, including the debt snowball, debt avalanche, or custom methods. Finally, you’ll see a summary, which lets you know how much you’ll end up paying in interest, how long it’ll take you to pay off the debt, and when to make your payments.
This is a highly visual app, so there are all sorts of charts and graphs that allow you to see your progress and timelines. There’s also a bunch of literature within the app that allows you to read up on the best strategies for paying off large amounts of debt.
EveryDollar boasts some eye-catching goals. Supposedly, within the first month of budgeting with EveryDollar, you can expect to “find an extra $332 hiding in plain sight and cut your monthly expenses by 9%.”
The free account gives you a customized budget and savings funds, while the paid account gives you a lot more benefits, like bank connectivity, group financial coaching, and more. After a 14-day free trial, you can sign up for a premium for $12.99 per month or $79.99 per year. The most worthwhile features are in the premium version. If you’re looking for a free budgeting app, this might not be the best one out there. If you want help with financial planning and aren’t worried about spending a little bit to get it, then you should consider EveryDollar.
If you’re a fan of the envelope system that we reviewed a few months ago, this is the perfect app for you. Goodbudget uses the envelope budgeting method but puts it in app format. You’re able to sync and share budgets, save for big expenses, and pay off debt. You’ll make virtual envelopes for each of your budgeting categories and put money into each category ahead of time.
“It’s a way to plan your spending instead of just tracking your spending.”
It’s also helpful for households that share finances. If you deduct money from one envelope, anyone that you’ve shared your budget with will see. You can have envelopes for saving and debt payments. If you love the idea of cash stuffing but don’t want to deal with physical cash, this app could be a game changer for your finances. The free plan gives you ten regular envelopes on two devices with up to 1 year of history. The paid plan costs $8 per month or $70 per year and gives you unlimited envelopes on up to five devices with up to seven years of history.
And not to toot our own horn (but we will do it!) but just feeling better about your financial status in general is going to help with your stress levels. That’s where MyCredello comes in. MyCredello helps users stay financially fit and meet their short-term and long-term financial goals. You can manage all your debts in one place and track your way to debt freedom with milestones recommended just for you. It also helps you keep your credit score health in check with daily score monitoring, real-time credit report alerts and tools to help you build better credit habits to stay on track.
7. Rocket Money (formerly TrueBill)
Do you often sign up for free trials and then forget to cancel them? This is the app for you. Rocket Money analyzes your accounts and lets you find and cancel subscriptions that you might not know you’re even paying for. It also provides a breakdown of your finances and shows you how you spend your money. Although it is a comprehensive financial app, the shining star is the subscription management feature. Not only will you get to see a list of all of your subscriptions, you can also see when payments are due so you can avoid late fees. If you don’t want a subscription anymore, Rocket Money cancels it for you.
Zeta is designed for couples and families to manage finances together. The founders note that 65% of divorces happen, at least in part, due to finances. You can pay bills, track shared spending and save for goals all in one place. You can have joint accounts or personal accounts with Zeta, and they are designed for any household, whether it be committed couples or roommates. Although it’s not technically a bank account, it is backed by Piermont Bank and is FDIC insured. Money in your Zeta accounts will accrue interest, and both people on the account legally own the money inside the account. This is a really neat way to combine finances up to a certain extent with those in your household, especially if you want to keep some of your money in a personal bank account elsewhere.
9. You need a budget
You Need a Budget (YNAB) offers users a proactive approach to budgeting and is great for beginner budgeters and seasoned vets alike. Note that this is a paid app, so if you want to use it, you will have to spend $14.99 per month or $98.99 per year, but there is a 34-day free trial period you can take advantage of to see if the app works for you. It also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with it.
You can either link a bank account to the app or manually enter each transaction. It is certainly easier and less time-consuming to automatically transfer transactions from your accounts rather than having to put them all into the app yourself. YNAB follows “four rules for less money stress,” which are:
- Give every dollar a job.
- Embrace your true expenses.
- Roll with the punches.
- Age your money.
YNAB emphasizes that you are the one in charge and can choose how you want to allocate your money. You just need to decide ahead of time where each dollar goes and stick to that plan. There are plenty of answered questions and blog posts throughout the website and app that help users learn everything they need to know about finances.
Although it might seem counterintuitive to pay money for an app when you are trying to get a hold of your finances, it could be helpful to have a stake in the game and expert resources at your fingertips. It’s definitely more expensive than some other options, but it seems like it’s worth the investment.
Given today’s economy, it makes sense that so many people are stressed about finances. Inflation is still through the roof, and the cost of living seems to be getting higher by the day. Even though stress is a natural response, it’s not necessarily productive. When you manage your stress and take care of your mental health, you can get a hold of your finances much more efficiently and with less struggle. These eight apps are fantastic for budgeting, learning various therapy techniques, and moving forward.