We live in a technology driven world. Our computers, phones, tablets and apps make our lives a lot easier and more organized… at least when we’re using these tools effectively.
Our team has a few apps that we can’t imagine our day-to-day lives without.
Have you tried any of these?
Lisa Luo, Web Developer
Splitwise – Ever had a roommate? Went on a ski trip with friends? Tried to split the bill at a cash-only restaurant when only some of you remembered to stop by the ATM? Enter Splitwise, an application that tracks each user’s IOUs and automatically calculates how much each person owes and the optimal payback plan. No need for all those napkin corners and crumpled receipts. Add expenses as soon as you get the bill. You can split by percentage or actual amount (did Vincent pay for his girlfriend’s portion, too?) When you’re ready to pay up, one click takes you straight to Paypal or Venmo for you to send over or request the correct amount. You can create groups where totals are split across all the members by default (three of us rooming together were “Triplets”; a short vacation together might be “California Dreamin’”.). Save yourself the headache and some lost cash, and use this app for your next friend outing!
Ram Ballesteros, Underwriting Analyst
Betterment – This app (and its website) is beautifully designed and simple to use. Coincidentally, it was recommended from Josef on our team! To access the app, you can authenticate with your fingerprint and see the health of all your investments quickly at a glance. It solves a problem that I think plagues a huge number of millennials (at least all my friends). As we switch jobs, move across the country, and try to improve our careers, we often forget all about our retirement plans! I personally use Betterment to manage my IRA accounts. However, it gained popularity through its traditional investment services. Through a few past jobs, I had a few individual 401(k) accounts that were in desperate need of being combined and put to work. Betterment made it really easy for me to do several rollovers, attach a checking account to add more money as I see fit, and keep an eye on growing my retirement account. There’s no excuse now to not keep track of my retirement accounts and investments.
Dave Kerr, Web Developer
Robinhood — Robinhood is my favorite stock trading app for a few reasons. As a web developer, I greatly appreciate the user interface which allows for ease of use and an overall pleasant trading experience. They did a fantastic job building the app. By far the best feature of this app, though, is the $0 trade commission, which is beginning to become what users expect in a trading platform. No one wants to give their money away, after all! Another bonus is that they recently announced that due to their revised risk assessment algorithms, they would be allowing users to trade funds immediately after selling – avoiding the usual 3-day settlement period.
IFTTT (If This Then That) — This cool app lets you chain together events from applications that you already use. For example, you could hook the app to watch your email inbox for incoming messages regarding your bank account and have that automatically trigger a text message to be sent (in the off chance your bank does not have that option.) Or, if you’re an avid image uploader, you could sync the app so that “if” you upload an image on Instagram, “then” the app automatically saves your images in Dropbox so you never lose them when you get a new phone.
Paya Schlass, Customer Success
Mint — We’ve all heard of Mint. However, I stand by the fact that this is a great, free budgeting tool. If you haven’t checked Mint out, and are wondering how it works… after providing your account information – checking, savings, credit cards, investment accounts and more – Mint automatically syncs these accounts and creates reports around your spending and saving habits. I like to use it on a weekly basis to simply get summaries of all my transactions and what I should spend less money on (shopping always gets me). The more I utilize the app by reviewing my reports and tagging uncategorized items, the better the next report is. With this app, you’ll get a holistic picture of your financial life — without the need for a spreadsheet.
7 Minute Workout — On the go and don’t have time for the gym today? NBD. This app offers a set of 12 high-intensity exercises that are 30 seconds each. The moves require only your body weight, a chair and wall — no additional equipment. Each exercise includes both written and visual instructions, which make it easy to keep up. This app is a great addition to your workout routine and will make you feel a lot better about getting at least some exercise on days when you don’t feel like spending an hour at the gym.
Mingjie Sun, Web Developer
ParkWhiz — Driving in New York City, I know, is a terrible idea given the traffic is crazy. However, to me, the real ‘killer’ is parking. Looking for a cheap, reliable, safe parking spot in the city is like searching for a unicorn. Spoiler alert: they don’t exist! So here comes ParkWhiz, which was recommended by a friend of mine. The app has a very simple user experience with no instruction needed. You just open the app, find your destination on the map and select a potential parking period. Then, parking garages will populate on the map with price tags. You choose the parking area by simply clicking on the price tag and then the app will guide you through the reservation. The pricing on ParkWhiz is frequently less expensive than the walk-in price at garages. too. ParkWhiz is available in numerous cities nationwide.
Yaron Ben-Zvi, CEO
Billguard (now Prosper Daily) — Billguard just got so many things right that other personal finance apps missed on. First, they made it very easy to make me feel like I have control of what’s coming in and going out of my various accounts. Managing the finances for a family of four can get complicated fast, so it really does feel like a level of protection that I need. Also, managing a budget has always been tricky through other apps I’ve used, but Billguard keeps things simple and focuses only on the features that I actually need. I don’t use their credit monitoring or identity protection services yet, but given how much value I feel like they’ve added to my life already, I probably should.
Have a favorite app that we missed? Make sure to tweet us the apps you can’t live without so we can give them a try: @HavenLifeInsure.